UTSA Opens Call for Entries for $4 Million Oskar Fischer Prize to Expand Understanding and Explanation of Alzheimer's Disease

SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) announced that the official call for entries has opened for the Oskar Fischer Prize to expand the understanding and explanation of Alzheimer’s disease. Entries for the prize can be submitted through December 15, 2020, via an online submission portal on EasyChair.org using the link "OFP 2020."

Established in November 2018 by a generous gift to UTSA from Texas businessman Dr. James Truchard, co-founder, retired president and current Chairman of the Board of the U.S.-based technology company National Instruments, the Oskar Fischer Prize aims to engage the world’s brightest minds within and outside of the international research community to assess the work done in Alzheimer’s disease. Up to $4 million USD in monetary prizes will be awarded to individuals who, through a comprehensive literature review as well as novel thinking, are able to best synthesize the breadth of Alzheimer’s disease research to-date into one explanation for the cause of the disease.

"Billions of dollars have been spent on research and potential cures for Alzheimer’s disease since Oskar Fischer’s seminal work, and yet we still do not have a fundamental understanding of what causes it and therefore how to treat it," said Truchard. "The Oskar Fischer Prize will establish an international forum to assess that work and bring forward an explanation for the disease using a systematic approach."

Among older adults, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, a condition affecting an estimated 50 million people worldwide at a cost of $1 trillion to the global economy. While there have been decades of research with more than 130,000 papers published on the topic of Alzheimer’s, due to its complexity and multifaceted nature, no definitive explanation or cure for the disease has been found. The Oskar Fischer Prize takes a new systems approach, and aims to bring forward new ideas that build upon the work started by neuroscience pioneer Oskar Fischer more than a century ago.

"There has never been a prize like this, awarded for a comprehensive explanation for the cause of Alzheimer’s disease," said Dr. Jenny Hsieh, Professor and Semmes Foundation Endowed Chair in Cell Biology and Director of the UTSA Brain Health Consortium. "This is an exciting opportunity to allow ideas to come forward that otherwise may not have been explored and shared."

The prize – the largest of its kind – includes a grand prize of $2 million, two second place prizes of $500,000 each and four third place prizes of $250,000 each, to be spent at the discretion of the winners. Winners will be announced no later than April 30, 2021.

"UTSA is honored to incubate this two-year challenge," said Dr. David Silva, Dean of the College of Sciences. "We will work closely with an interdisciplinary committee of advisors from the scientific, business, and public policy realms to award the prizes."

More information about the Oskar Fischer Prize, the competition rules and eligibility, and the outstanding group of advisors can be found on oskarfischerprize.com.

About the University of Texas at San Antonio

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is a public urban serving university specializing in health, cybersecurity, energy, sustainability, and human and social development. With more than 32,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property–for Texas, the nation and the world. Learn more online, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram or on UTSA Today.

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Source: UTSA Opens Call for Entries for Million Oskar Fischer Prize to Expand Understanding and Explanation of Alzheimer's Disease