Alzheimer’s Research Grant

Our memories make us who we are. But sadly, an estimated 44 million people worldwide are losing theirs each day. Could a new discovery within infectious diseases lead to finding the cause of, and cure for, Alzheimer’s?

We are determined to find out!


The IDSA Foundation has awarded two $50,000 grants to innovative researchers who will work to investigate the potential link between an infectious agent and Alzheimer’s Disease.


Colette Cywes-Bentley, PhD

Institution AffiliationBrigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Project titled: The Role for Pathogen Expressed PNAG in Alzheimer’s Disease.

“The focus of this investigation is to identify a link between bacterial exposures and AD inflammation characterized by beta-amyloid plaques.  Many researchers intuit this connection, but establishing the link has thus far been elusive.  It is our hope that by using poly-N-acetyl glucosamine (PNAG) as a marker, it may be possible to identify bacterial pathogens or their fragments, as factors in Alzheimer’s pathogenesis.  It is exciting and an honor to have the financial and academic support of IDSA in this research. Colette Cywes-Bentley, Ph.D.  Feb 2019”


Allison Aiello, PhD, MS

Institution Affiliation: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Project titled: The Role of Dementia-Associated Pathogen Burden in the Development of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Other Dementias.

“We hypothesize the burden of dementia-associated pathogens may contribute to neurodegeneration, and specifically development of dementia. Using data from multiple aging cohort studies, we aim to examine the association between dementia-associated pathogen burden and development of incident AD and other dementias. Furthermore, we will test for mediation of this pathway by inflammatory profiles, given that inflammation is a known risk factor for AD. Finally, genetic risk for AD will be explored as a moderator of this pathway, specifically we will assess interactions with ApoE and other known genetic risk factors for dementia.”


Grants to medical students to support a longitudinal mentored clinical learning and/or research project for up to a year, on infectious diseases-related topics including HIV.

Ways to Support

Our partnerships with individuals, corporations and foundation help us make strides toward creating approaches to empowering the next generation of ID leaders!

IDWeek Mentorship Program

No matter the stage in a person’s career, one thing remains clear: mentorship can be a critical entrée into the field of infectious diseases (ID).