About us

Interdisciplinary, Multi-institutional, Revolutionary

Who We Are

The Neurodegeneration Consortium (NDC) is a science-driven multi-institutional initiative established with a goal to advance the study and drug discovery of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

The NDC leverages the unique infrastructure and world-class scientific and translational talent of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT)- the Picower Insititute for Learning and Memory and Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. This collaborative endeavor between the institutions facilitates innovation and accelerates our drug discovery efforts.

The NDC has been making a difference since its inception in October 2012 with a generous philanthropic donations from the Belfer Family Foundation and donors to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT).

The NDC adopts a transformative hybrid environment by bringing together experts and leaders in the field with experience that spans the entire continuum – from understanding the underlying biology to the discovery of new targets; from finding the molecules that are effective on these tragets to translating these drug-like molecules into effective therapies for our patients.

Executive Leadership

The Director of the NDC, William J. Ray, Ph.D, coordinates research activities across the member institutions. MD Anderson’s Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS) which is the drug discovery and development arm of the NDC is led by Giulio Draetta, M.D., Ph.D., professor of genomic medicine and director of IACS and Philip Jones, Ph.D., executive director and head of drug discovery of IACS. Ron DePinho, M.D., founder of the NDC and the President of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is also an active Principal Investigator of the NDC.

NDC investigators from Baylor College of Medicine are led by Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D., director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, and includes Juan Botas, Ph.D. (molecular and human genetics), Joanna Jankowsky, Ph.D. (aging, neurology and neuroscience), Hui Zheng, Ph.D. (molecular and human genetics, translational biology and molecular medicine, aging) and Hugo Bellen, D.V.M., Ph.D. (molecular and human biology, developmental biology, cellular biology and neuroscience).

The NDC investigators from Massachusetts Institute of Technology include Li-Huei Tsai, Ph.D. (neurobiology, learning and memory and neurodegeneration), director of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and Susan L. Lindquist, Ph.D. (the APOE gene - major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease), member and former director of the Whitehead Institute and a professor of biology at MIT.