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Miranda Reed, associate professor in the Harrison School of Pharmacy’s Department of Drug Discovery and Development, and graduate student Sharay Setti recently received a grant from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education for their project titled “Investigating the role of the lateral entorhinal cortex in Alzheimer’s disease via optogenetic manipulation.” Alzheimer’s disease, or AD, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of Americans every year. Although there is no cure, early detection and subsequent treatment of the disease leads to a better prognosis for affected individuals. The project focuses on the lateral entorhinal cortex, a brain region that is susceptible to AD-related alterations early in the disease state, before associated neuronal loss occurs. Using their technique, Reed and Setti hope to design cognitive tasks that would be sensitive to AD progression, allowing for earlier detection.