Recorded on 11/18/2020

Venture Philanthropy: The Race for an Alzheimer’s Cure

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Recorded November 18, 2020.

Alzheimer’s disease is a 21st century global crisis hurting patients, families, and communities. Although Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the NIH, recent studies indicate that the disorder may actually rank as the third cause of death in older adults – behind only heart disease and cancer. Six million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s, and without an effective therapy this number could nearly triple by the year 2050. With at least $300 billion being spent on healthcare, long-term care and hospice for people afflicted, Alzheimer’s has become the most expensive disease in the U.S., and it is certainly among the most emotionally devastating for families. As Alzheimer’s robs its victims of their memories and sense of self, it has become the greatest health fear reported by America’s rapidly aging 71 million Baby Boomers.

This informative discussion is led by two leaders who are at the forefront of some of the most cutting-edge research into our understanding of this devastating disease: Henry McCance, the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund co-founder and venture capital pioneer, and Dr. Rudy Tanzi, one of the world’s leading geneticists and Alzheimer’s researchers. Hear Henry’s deeply personal connection to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, why he structured it using a venture capital model and how this has fueled the latest breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s research. In addition, learn about what the latest research has taught us about preventative measures, potential treatments, and what the science is saying about the path to a cure.

Whether Alzheimer’s disease has touched your family personally or not, we hope you gain a new understanding of why the venture philanthropy non-profit model has been so successful in advancing the research into Alzheimer’s, a knowledge of the preventative steps you can take against the disease and a profound appreciation for people like these speakers who are putting their energy and expertise into the quest to eradicate one of the most mysterious and devastating illnesses in the world.

About Dr. Rudolph (Rudy) Tanzi

As a long-time geneticist, Dr. Rudy Tanzi has been at the forefront of some exciting discoveries in his field including being on the team that was the first to find a disease gene (Huntington’s Disease) using human genetic markers, helping to launch the field of neurogenetics. He is currently the Vice-Chair of Neurology and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and serves as the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tanzi co-discovered all three early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease genes and identified several others as leader of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Alzheimer’s Genome Project. Most recently, he and his team used Alzheimer’s genes and human stem cells to create what the New York Times coined, “Alzheimer’s-in-a-Dish” that is considered to be the first true model of Alzheimer’s disease making drug screening for Alzheimer’s disease 10 times cheaper and 10 times faster. Dr. Tanzi is also very active in the areas of integrative medicine and applications to brain health and co-directs with Dr. Deepak Chopra the Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative (SBTI) aimed at exploring and quantifying the effects of lifestyle interventions on brain health. Dr. Tanzi serves as Chair of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Leadership Group. He has published more than 550 research papers and has received the highest awards in his field, including the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award, Potamkin Prize, Ronald Reagan Award, Silver Innovator Award and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award, the top national award for invention and innovation. He serves on dozens of editorial boards and scientific advisory boards and was named to TIME magazine’s list of The 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2015. He co-authored the books Decoding Darkness, and three international bestsellers, Super Brain, Super Genes and The Healing Self. He was named by GQ magazine as a Rock Star of Science, and in his spare time, has played keyboards with the band Aerosmith.

About Henry McCance

Henry is Chairman Emeritus of Greylock Partners, one of the oldest and most successful venture capital firms. In 2004, Henry received the National Venture Capital Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received the Harvard Business School Award for Alumni Achievement in 2003, and was recognized as one of the country’s 10 Best Venture Capitalists by Forbes in 2000. He is a partner of Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC, and a member of the Advisory Board of Yale School of Management. He was formerly a Director of Cabot Corporation, a member of the Yale Investment Committee, and President of the Fishers Island Club. Henry graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration with High Distinction, Baker Scholar, and from Yale University with a B.A. in economics, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.


Dr. Rudolph (Rudy) Tanzi

Dr. Rudolph (Rudy) Tanzi

Vice Chair of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Henry McCance

Henry McCance

Founding Board Member & Co-Chairman, Cure Alzheimer's Fund

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