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Expertise in Alzheimer's Disease

MODEL-AD: Developing the next generation of animal models

Success rates of Alzheimer’s disease drugs in clinical trials after testing in animal models have been disappointing. While existing mouse models for the disease have provided important insights in aspects of Alzheimer’s disease biology, they have not sufficiently modeled the disease for accurate use in preclinical studies.

The Model Organism Development and Evaluation for Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (MODEL-AD) consortium, established by the National Institute on Aging, brings together experts at Indiana University School of Medicine, Jackson Laboratory, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Sage Bionetworks. The consortium is developing the next generation of animal models, and MODEL-AD provides the key to translating research discoveries into new Alzheimer’s disease therapies.

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Learn more about MODEL-AD and access scientific resources available from the consortium at the MODEL-AD website.

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4 partner institutions
$84.6 million in awarded grant dollars
40 Alzheimer's animal models
MODEL-AD researcher

Developing animal models

Since the consortium was first established in 2016, researchers have created more than 40 animal models carrying genetic risk variants that closely mimic late-onset human Alzheimer’s disease. These models have been characterized using molecular and imaging modalities used in the clinic, revealing phenotypes not observed in prior mouse models. 

MODEL-AD researcher

Rigorous testing of therapeutics

The consortium also performs rigorous preclinical testing of potential therapeutics, giving scientists new insight into drugs that may have been tested in previous Alzheimer's disease clinical trials or may be thought to be a potential therapeutic for the disease. All animal models, protocols and validation data studied by MODEL-AD are shared online to the greater research community through the AD Knowledge Portal, run by Sage Bionetworks.

petri dish

Core services across the consortium

MODEL-AD consists of multiple cores across the four institutions.

  • The Bioinformatics and Data Management Core (BDMC), Gregory Carter, PhD at the Jackson Laboratory
  • The Preclinical Testing Core (PTC), Paul Territo, PhD at IU School of Medicine and Stacey Rizzo, PhD at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • The Disease Modeling Project (DMP), Gareth Howell, PhD and Michael Sasner, PhD at the Jackson Laboratory, and Bruce Lamb, PhD and Adrian Oblak, PhD at IU School of Medicine

model-ad investigators

Bruce T. Lamb, PhD

Executive Director, Paul and Carole Stark Neurosciences Research Institute

Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Adrian L. Oblak, PhD

Assistant Professor of Radiology & Imaging Sciences

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Schedule an interview with an IU School of Medicine faculty member or request materials and resources about Alzheimer’s disease research by contacting the IU School of Medicine media relations team.

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