Hampton University School of Pharmacy Professor Receives $4.8 Million Dollar Grant from NIH to Study Alzheimer’s Disease in Middle Aged African Americans

HAMPTON, Va. (Nov. 7, 2022) —Associate Professor Dr. Travonia Brown-Hughes, School of Pharmacy, received a $4.8 million grant from The National Institute of Health (NIH). The grant, entitled “The Black American United Memory & Aging Project (BA-UMAP): An examination of cognitive decline in midlife and older Black adults using remote cognitive assessments, risk factors and biomarkers” will receive funding for a five-year study designed to examine biopsychosocial factors that impact cognitive outcomes in a group of 600 middle-aged and older Black adults age 55 and older with both low and high levels of education. This award is the largest R01 received in the University’s history.

Dr. Travonia Brown-Hughes

“At Hampton University, it is a part of our DNA to be of service to others,” said Darrell K Williams, Hampton University President. “One of Hampton’s chief missions is to serve the needs of our community. The research that is being conducted by Dr. Travonia Brown-Hughes exemplifies our Standard of Excellence. I’m proud to say that Hampton University faculty and students are at the forefront of life-changing research that will make an impact on the lives of so many people within the Black Community.”

The study is being conducted in collaboration with Hampton University’s Gerontology Center for Excellence, Johns Hopkins University, the Pennsylvania State University, Michigan’s William Beaumont Hospital, and the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest School of Medicine. A unique component of the grant is that it will be conducted completely online utilizing an innovative, faceless enrollment and data collection strategy.

“It is time that we move beyond hoping for change and towards finding a way to prevent, stop, or cure Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Brown-Hughes. “We have to help ourselves by harnessing the resources and the strengths that are a part of the Black community and its history.