Katherine and Robert Jacobs and Dr. Eva Feldman
Katherine and Robert Jacobs and Dr. Eva Feldman. (U-M)

Alzheimer’s disease impacts roughly 5 million Americans, a number that is expected to grow as our population ages over the next three decades.

Robert and Katherine Jacobs have stepped forward to expand their support of the research of University of Michigan renowned neurologist Dr. Eva L. Feldman as she seeks to understand neurological diseases and develop new therapies to treat them. 

“Robert and Katherine are going to help us understand what allows the brain to be healthy in terms of dietary intake, which could change public policy and also change how we as physicians practice,” Dr. Feldman said. “They are really special people.”

Mouse brain with transplanted human stem cells red
Mouse brain with transplanted human stem cells red

Her laboratory’s years of research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) led to the breakthrough discovery of environmental factors that often underlie serious neurological damage, supported by the establishment of the Robert and Katherine Jacobs Environmental Health Initiative in 2016.

From there, Dr. Feldman was able to demonstrate that other, vastly more prevalent diseases — Alzheimer’s and diabetes, for example — could also have their origins in not only our surroundings, but our lifestyles and diets as well.

The Jacobs have now donated more than $700,000 to this initiative and most recently sponsored the third installment of the NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies Mini Symposium Series.”

Amyloid Beta plaque red surrounded by microglia green in mouse brain
Amyloid Beta plaque red surrounded by microglia green in mouse brain

“This is near and dear to my heart because I was born in Detroit, where we know diabetes is such a problem,” says Robert Jacobs, the former Buddy’s Pizza CEO. “We have seen Dr. Feldman’s work firsthand, and what she is discovering is truly remarkable. We believe it is critical that Dr. Feldman and her staff continue to reveal how our health is a result of our lifestyles.”

“We know nutrition is an essential part of your overall health — your immune system and your ability to have a good quality of life,” Katherine Jacobs says. “We see this research program as a way to delay or reverse the symptoms and even cure some of the disorders that we are familiar with because our friends and family have them and that affect so many people in the world.”

Alzheimer’s disease impacts roughly 5 million Americans, a number that is expected to grow as our population ages over the next three decades. 

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