TGen’s MindCrowd.org social media study is finalist for international social-impact award

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

CLASSY Awards recognizes Alzheimer's disease investigation by TGen

PHOENIX, Ariz. - March 5, 2014 -MindCrowd.org, an innovative social-media investigation of Alzheimer's disease by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), is a CLASSY Awards finalist, the organization announced today.

The CLASSY Awards is the largest social impact celebration, recognizing the world's greatest champions of social progress and encouraging the brightest minds to engage in conversations around social problems and solutions. The 5th annual CLASSY Awards will be May 3 at the Marriott Marquis in San Diego. 

"We at TGen are honored to have the MindCrowd.org project recognized by CLASSY. It demonstrates that there are new ways to do science in a way that engages the public, and is ultimately for the public good," said Dr. Matt Huentelman, an Associate Professor in TGen's Neurogenomics Division and head of the project.

"We encourage as many participants as possible to join us at mindcrowd.org and take their turn discovering something about themselves in our 10-minute, anonymous test," Dr. Huentelman said. "Even those with healthy brains can teach us something about how the mind works, and contribute to a greater understanding of this memory-robbing disease."

Nearly 28,000 volunteers have already taken the test. Researchers aim to gather results from as many as 1 million participants. MindCrowd is fun and interactive. It lets participants explore their own data.

TGen plans to use a combination of statistical analysis of the data - and genetic testing - to identify those factors associated with brain performance.

MindCrowd is a web-based scientific study of how our brain learns and remembers items of information. The goal of MindCrowd is to better understand these processes and develop a better-informed cure for Alzheimer's.

MindCrowd should enable us to identify changes in the human genome and demographic factors linked to brain performance, helping us fight Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's disease is a socioeconomic epidemic that promises to continue to significantly impact our society at multiple levels if we don't identify ways to prevent or slow the disease. There are more than 5 million Americans living with the disease, it is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S., and cost the nation more than $200 billion to treat annually.

Winners will be determined by the CLASSY Leadership Council on Health, one of eight panels of experts representing academia, community foundations, for-profit corporations, global non-government organizations, industry experts, media professionals, nonprofits, philanthropists, private foundations, policymakers, public figures, social entrepreneurs, and a student fellow.

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About the Classy Awards

The CLASSY Awards is the largest social impact awards ceremony in the United States, highlighting the greatest champions of social progress. From May 2-3, 2014, top leaders from the social sector will convene in San Diego to connect in an environment that drives collaboration around solving social problems. 

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About TGen

Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes, through cutting edge translationalresearch (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit).  TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.

Press Contact:

Steve Yozwiak

TGen Senior Science Writer

602-343-8704

syozwiak@tgen.org