Leading the Way in Alzheimer's Disease Research
Meharvan “Sonny” Singh, PhD, chairman and professor of Pharmacology and Neuroscience at the UNT Health Science Center, has been named interim director of the Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Research (IAADR). This institute is a global leader in aging and Alzheimer’s research, focusing on early detection of Alzheimer’s disease; the role of hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease; stroke therapy; and identification of oxidation processes to measure brain aging.
The IAADR also is taking research from the bench to the bedside. Several drugs are in clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. IAADR also partners with private-sector biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to develop treatments for neurological disorders.
In addition, the institute works closely with the local Alzheimer’s Association, and it supports educational and health promotion programs that encourage healthy brain aging in the community.
Singh said, “My vision for the IAADR is to build on the successes of Dr. Simpkins toward creating a nationally recognized program that is dedicated to excellence in research, education and patient care, in all areas of aging and age-associated disorders that adversely influence the quality of mid- and late life.”
He currently serves as IAADR’s director of translational research and education. In addition to becoming interim IAADR director, he will continue to serve as director of research for the Center FOR HER, a Health Institutes of Texas center at UNTHSC. He is vice president of the North Central Texas chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s board of directors.
Singh’s program of research funded by the National Institutes of Health focuses on how hormones — like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone — affect brain function and how the presence (or absence) of these hormones influence brain aging as well as the brain’s vulnerability to diseases like Alzheimer’s.
His research has been published in prominent biomedical journals and is recognized for its significant contribution to our current understanding of how these hormones affect the brain. He has also been active in the instruction and training of students and postdoctoral fellows, and in this regard, co-directs an NIH-supported training program in the neurobiology of aging.
Singh said that as interim director, “I will do my best to promote inter-professional relationships for research on aging and age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, across the institution and beyond, and be a passionate advocate for the continued investment in IAADR to ensure its growth and sustainability.”
We all hope for good health and a high quality of life as we get older. However, dementia and Alzheimer's Disease pose serious threats to thousands of seniors locally and millions nationally. Some of us already know the suffering of Alzheimer's from personal experience or from caring for a relative. Others will be affected in the future. The Healthy Aging Council and other concerned citizens are looking to our leaders and medical experts to find answers. Fortunately, we have such leaders in Fort Worth at the UNT Health Science Center.
This page last updated Oct 26, 2012