21CBT Award Winner


Dr. Enrico Glaab, Ph.D., research associate at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, University of Luxembourg, has been named winner of the 21 CBT Innovation Award in Round 2 of the 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge. It is the first-ever innovation challenge that seeks to identify male/female differences in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Glaab will receive a $50,000 Innovation Awards from the 21St Century BrainTrust® to continue his research. Glaab will also share in a $50,000 award for “Best Hypothesis” from the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative as one of four finalists of this global online competition.

This rigorous scientific challenge with a total of $150,000 in awards exceeded expectations in terms of both scientific interest and global outreach with more than 800 open project rooms from 65 countries.

“A hallmark of all Geoffrey Beene philanthropy is support of next generation leaders in the sciences as well as the fashion industry. Global Innovation Challenges that attract the best and the brightest help to further our mission,” said Tom Hutton, Trustee and Chief Executive Officer of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Geoffrey Beene, LLC. “We must redefine the solutions process and free the greatest minds of our time to do the work to help save and improve lives.”

The results of the online/live voting that attracted 6,500 votes from 36 countries in just four days were so close, that Sanofi US CEO Anne Whitaker offered an additional $50,000 to fund the second-place winners, Kimberly Glass, Ph.D. and John Quackenbush, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“Because one finalist was a female, Dr. Kimberly Glass, we felt it was important to encourage more women to go into STEM careers,” said Anne Whitaker, President, North American Pharmaceutical, CEO, Sanofi US, and founding member of Women Against Alzheimer’s. “Congratulations to Dr. Glaab, Dr. Glass, and Dr. Quackenbush.”

The winners were selected from a pool of three finalists through online voting open to the public from November 1-5, and a live vote at the Alzheimer’s Disease Summit: The Path to 2025, presented by The New York Academy of Sciences, the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease, and the NIA/NIH.

“The 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge supports a research focus for our next generation scientists to benefit both women and men,” said Meryl Comer, President of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative. “What better way to mobilize women than ask a question that matters to them? What better way to validate the wisdom of the crowd than to invite them to vote online alongside the scientific community?”

Enrico Glaab, Ph.D., will continue his study of age-related gender differences in brain expression levels of tau-interacting ubiquitin-specific peptidase 9 and possible implications for Alzheimer’s disease.

Second-place winners Kimberly Glass, Ph.D. and John Quackenbush, Ph.D., will continue their study of sex-specific differences in Alzheimer’s disease characterized by unique alterations in cellular network structure.


Round One – Best Hypothesis

This rigorous scientific challenge, vetted by the NIA as technical advisor, attempts to leverage large sets of clinical data and novel analytical approaches to elucidate the causes and consequences of male/female (sex) differences in the destructive physical changes and atrophy in the brain, how those changes translate into progression of physical symptoms, and the influence of genetics and hormones on the development of AD in both men and women.

Winning entries that will share $50,000 in awards from the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative, include:

Round Two – Best Hypothesis

2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge
21CBT Innovations Award
Online vote November 1-5: Live Vote November 7

People's Choice button-Pippity


About the 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge

The 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge was launched in association with: Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), Institute of Medicine (IOM), Women Against Alzheimer’s Network (WA2), 21st Century BrainTrust™ (21CBT), BrightFocus® Foundation, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, MassBio (600 Biotech Companies), Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR). The National Institute on Aging/NIH provided technical support.

2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge Judges:

  • Marietta Anthony, PhD
    Consultant in Women’s Health Research
  • Howard Fillit, MD
    Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
  • Freda Lewis-­Hall, MD
    Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer
  • Florence Haseltine, MD, PhD
    IT Consultant, Founder, Society for Women’s Health Research
  • Lenore Launer, PhD
    Chief of the Neuroepidemiology Section, NIA
  • Michelle Mielke, PhD
    Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic
  • Peter Rabins, MD, MPH
    Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry, Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Alan Russell, PhD
    Founding Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Janine Clayton, MD
    Director of Women’s Health, NIH (ex-officio capacity)

Open Innovation Supports World Class Research

The 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge is the second in a series of open-source competitions engaging multi-disciplinary teams to develop NEW THINKING – new theoretical hypotheses, novel wireless technologies and cost-effective applications, to help accelerate earlier Alzheimer’s diagnosis and recruit asymptomatic populations for prevention trials.

More technology driven and clinically validated tools to identify high-risk, presymptomatic patients and evaluate their progression have been lacking, slowing critical clinical trials and drug development. The Geoffrey Beene Global Grand Challenge series seeks to stimulate solutions to this impasse.

Each phase of the Challenge series focused on a different obstacle to research breakthroughs. All phases are driven by three core imperatives:

  • Improve early diagnosis and monitoring of patients with Alzheimer’s
  • Expand data collection and sharing beyond traditional clinical trial laboratory settings
  • Make cognitive baseline testing and tracking a routine part of every American’s basic health assessment

Based on these criteria, winners were awarded a development prize to actualize their proposal for mainstream use.

2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge Outreach

The Challenge succeeded expectations in terms of both scientific interest and global outreach with 65 participating countries and final submissions from 23 countries.
United States, India, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Russian Federation,Italy, Poland, Singapore, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, France, Pakistan, Portugal, Brazil, China, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, Australia, Belgium, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Jordan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Serbia, South Africa, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, Estonia, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lithuania, Macedonia (The Former Yugoslav Republic Of), Madagascar, Moldova (Republic Of), Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Slovenia, Taiwan , Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Uzbekistan.

Latest Stats on Alzheimer’s

From 2000 to 2010, Alzheimer’s deaths rose 68%. In addition to the enormous physical and emotional burden on patients, families and caregivers, the disease is also costly. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in the U.S. cost up to $215 billion annually, according to a new RAND Corporation study funded by the NIH National Institute on Aging and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Around 70% of the cost of care—or $142 billion—is paid by Medicare and Medicaid. By 2050, the costs to Medicare and Medicaid are expected to increase more than 500%. In addition, this year more than 15 million Americans, mostly women, will provide unpaid care for Alzheimer’s patients valued at more than $216 billion.

About The Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative

The Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative (GBFAI) launched in 2007 as a major charitable beneficiary of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation – to fight Alzheimer’s.  GBFAI is a philanthropic, not for-profit 501(c)(3), committed to providing catalyst funding to innovative new projects that advance awareness, diagnosis and research in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Contributions in excess of $4.8 million have been made to support groundbreaking awareness programs and next generation research in early diagnostics. Its contributions include catalyst funding for the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry, Geoffrey Beene’s Rock Stars of Science™ campaign (owned and produced by the Geoffrey Beene Foundation), marquis sponsorship of HBO’s, “The Alzheimer’s Project” documentary series, co-sponsorship of the Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012, the 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge, and co-founder of the 21st Century BrainTrust®.

Powered by INNOCENTIVE® The 2013 Geoffrey Beene NeuroDiscovery Challenge is powered by Innocentive®, a global leader in crowdsourcing innovation problems to the world’s best minds who compete to provide ideas and solutions to important business, social, policy, scientific, and technical challenges.

Galileo Cosmos™

The Round Two winning submission will be able to access the data (where permitted), using Galileo Analytics’ Galileo Cosmos™, a visual data exploration and advanced analytics platform. Based on a computer architecture used by Wall Street to gain milliseconds of speed in online trades, Galileo Cosmos™ enables researchers to quickly test, refine, validate their hypotheses, and visually discover new patterns within data – without the need to seek external IT support or wait weeks for programmers to produce rounds of query results. Galileo Cosmos™ supports the Challenge goal to help speed the rate of discovery and innovation in Alzheimer’s data research.