FARGO, N.D. (Diya TV) — Jagdish Singh, chair and professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the College of Heath Professions at North Dakota State University, Fargo, has been selected to receive a $1.89 million grant for Alzheimer’s research.

The ultimate goal of Singh’s research is to develop a new delivery system that uses neurotrophic growth factor to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health spans five years.

Alzheimer’s represents the most common form of dementia in the world’s elderly population, with 60 to 80 percent of the cases. More than 46 million people worldwide are living with dementia, and the numbers are expected to increase to 131.5 million by 2050. On the same token, global costs to manage dementia will reach $1 trillion, according to a 2015 reportfrom Alzheimer’s Disease International.

“Although gene therapy possesses potential to treat various neurodegenerative diseases, its clinical application is limited, primarily by methods that efficiently deliver the therapeutic gene across the blood brain barrier,” Singh said in a press release.

The research at North Dakota State University includes Dr. Takahisa Kanekiyo of Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida as co-principal investigator. The NDSU research team is focusing on designing a gene delivery carrier that efficiently delivers the Nerve Growth Factor to the brain in an effort to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. The study will be conducted in vitro and in vivo in Alzheimer’s animal models.

“By developing a mechanism to more efficiently deliver Nerve Growth Factor across the blood brain barrier, strides can be made to more effectively treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which will continue to be a significant global health issue far into the future,” Singh added.

Singh began his career at NDSU in 1994 and has served as department chair in pharmaceutical sciences since 2002. He has received multiple research and teacher of the year awards at NDSU. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in pharmacy, and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutics from the BHU Institute of Technology, Varanasi, India.