The Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW has been awarded one of two $50,000 cheques given by the Dick Smith Foods Foundation in their "1 million to charity" competition.
Recently Dick and Pip Smith gave the total intellectual property for Dick Smith Foods to a new Foundation, The Dick Smith Foods Foundation. Set up under the Private Ancillary Funds (“PAF”) legislation, the Foundation is subject to stringent rules that require all money to be given to charity. Their "1 million to charity" competition requires the community to purchase Dick Smith grocery items and submit a photograph nominating their charity of choice. Over the course of 12 months, $1 million will be given away by Dick Smith Foods Foundation based on votes received.
The CHeBA community proved to be formidable competition, staying neck and neck throughout the final stages of the first wave with joint winner Top Blokes Foundation, who also received $50,000. An additional 36 charities received smaller donations.
CHeBA's Co-Director, Professor Perminder Sachdev, congratulated Dick and Pip Smith for their backing of Australian charities and said that the degree of support for CHeBA's research was overwhelming and encouraging.
"With grant funding becoming increasingly competitive, support from the community in philanthropic endeavours such as this one is crucial to advance our research projects and work toward healthier brain ageing and better clinical care of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's and other dementias."
CHeBA currently has five longitudinal studies examining various aspects of cognitive ageing and dementia, including neuroepidemiology, neuropsychology, neuroimaging, genetics/genomics, proteomics, stem cells, metabolomics and neuroinflammation. Recently CHeBA was successful in identifying genetic markers that predict levels of a blood protein marker of cognitive ageing and early dementia. Since the official launch of CHeBA in 2012, there has been a significant increase in collaboration and the development of a number of international partnerships with consortia. The intention at CHeBA is to build upon these resources and develop novel and innovative research themes. A major focus will be on biomarker research using genomics, proteomics and neuroimaging. In addition, promising post-doctoral fellows at CHeBA will give a new impetus to the bench-to-community approach allowing for translation of the research.
"On behalf of CHeBA I'd like to extend our gratitude to the Dick Smith Foods Foundation and a heartfelt thank you to everyone who generously voted for CHeBA," Professor Sachdev said.