While their family has not been touched directly by Alzheimer’s disease, Andrew and Kate Davis have seen the suffering the disease inflicts on others, including their friends’ parents. The couple became inspired as they learned about Dennis J. Selkoe, MD, and Reisa A. Sperling, MD, MMSc, two pioneering neurologists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who have made it their life’s work to better understand, prevent, and treat Alzheimer’s.
In Andrew’s role as trustee of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, they made a $1 million gift to propel the doctors’ Alzheimer’s disease investigations, which are aimed at detecting the disease in its earliest phases and ultimately halting it in its tracks.
“This is such a slow, insidious disease,” Andrew says. “As a philanthropist, as a human being, I want to help find a solution. I admire Dr. Selkoe and Dr. Sperling for their track record of excellence, diligence, and outstanding research, and want to support their work and their collaboration with other scientists.”
“I admire Dr. Selkoe and Dr. Sperling for their track record of excellence, diligence, and outstanding research, and want to support their work and their collaboration with other scientists.” —Andrew Davis
Selkoe and Sperling are grateful for Andrew and Kate’s generous gift and their curiosity and passion for the research. The family’s contribution will support a multiprong research plan that includes identifying and measuring early blood and cerebrospinal biomarkers, as well as clinical trials testing ways to interrupt the disease process.
“Andrew and Kate are true philanthropic partners in this effort,” Selkoe says. “Our ultimate goal—to eliminate Alzheimer’s—is one we cannot accomplish alone.”
Adds Sperling, “With nearly 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s today and nearly triple that number expected in 30 years, this goal has never been more crucial. This tremendous gift will serve to accelerate our clinical research and realize our vision to change the face of Alzheimer’s more quickly.”
Knowing the stakes are high for so many families, Andrew and Kate are committed to investing in research to eradicate the disease. “What we are talking about is a matter of time and a matter of funding for science,” Andrew says. “When we’ve taken aim at other major diseases that once devastated humanity, we’ve been able to solve them.”