Neuroscience Consortium

Program Overview

The Neuroscience Consortium funds pre-clinical neuroscience research at Massachusetts academic and research institutions. The MLSC in collaboration with Alzheimer Disease Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital brings together company partners with researchers focused on understanding Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative diseases to further research and collaboration in the space. Companies that have participated in the Consortium include AbbVie, Biogen, Celgene. General Electric, Lundbeck, Merck, Novartis, and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals. (Consortium Members). Nearly $10 million has been committed by consortium members to fund research through this program.

Eligibility & Evaluation

The consortium thrives off both commitments from biotech companies and applications for innovative translational research. Every year Consortium Members pool their resources to fund the identification and validation of novel targets for the symptomatic treatment and modification of these chronic and debilitating neurological diseases. It is required all proposals be anchored in recognized human disease genetics and pathophysiology, or within pathways of known relevance to human disease, and should be translational, rather than exploratory. Examples of such proposals might include research that:

  • Confirms or refutes the involvement of a particular pathway or mechanism in human disease;
  • Identifies new molecular targets, or strengthens the case for a potential target, or rules out a suspected target;
  • Establishes new and improved animal models of human disease in the identified focus areas, with established face and/or construct validity;
  • Develops a method for manipulating or measuring a pathway of known human pathological relevance; or
  • Identifies or validates a biomarker than can be used for drug discovery and/or development.

Applications for the current round of funding are due by Friday, June 3, 2022. Please submit your application to Dr. Brad Hyman, BHyman@mgh.harvard.edu, and Dr. Mark Albers, Albers.Mark@mgh.harvard.edu, with the subject line “MassCATs 10 Application”. The current application can be found here.

Companies that are interested in becoming a Consortium Members should contact MLSC staff to discuss further. Please contact neuroscience@masslifesciences.com.

Impact on the Ecosystem

Launched in 2013, the consortium originally adopted a broad interest in neurological diseases with a focus on neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases. Following multiple rounds of proposals, a collective focus on Alzheimer’s Disease emerged and now the consortium spends its time and effort on understanding and developing novel solutions for AD. Since inception, the program has garnered nearly $10 million in industry commitments and funded the work of 30 Principal Investigators in Massachusetts. 

Through the work of this program, public resources for neuroscience and Alzheimer’s researchers have been generated. More information on these resources can be found here:

Alzheimer DataLENS provides information on hypothesis-driven and data driven research, allowing neuroscientists to share, browse and visualize comprehensive results from bioinformatics analysis of public omics datasets. It also serves as a tool to organize and share results from MassCATS investigations.

Connect with us to Learn More

Our team is happy to discuss either joining the consortium as a company Consortium Member or applying as a Massachusetts-based researcher. To connect with MLSC staff, please contact neuroscience@masslifesciences.com.