Adopt a Scientist

Unlike most Alzheimer’s charities, the AD Foundation invites active participation in everything we do, and our fundraising efforts are no exception. Through our Adopt A Scientist™ program, donors can directly support individual Alzheimer’s scientists and follow how their donations are being used to advance AD research. For donations exceeding a certain level, donors have the opportunity to meet the scientist, form a personal relationship with him or her, and if desired have their name(s) appear in the acknowledgments section of scientific publications supported by the donation.

Our Adopt A Scientist™ program dramatically accelerates AD research because it funds people, not projects. To understand the advantages of this approach, imagine that a scientist makes a discovery on January 1, 2018. In order to pursue this discovery, the scientist will need to obtain a grant. Even if he or she is successful on the first try (which is rare today), it typically takes 12 to 18 months to complete the complex process of writing and submitting a grant, which must go through a protracted process of peer review, before receiving funding. Assuming it takes only 6 months to complete the project once it is is funded, the scientist won’t have results until June 2019 or January 2020!

Our Adopt A Scientist™ program was specifically designed to eliminate these unnecessary delays and thereby advance AD research as quickly as possible. We do this by reversing the peer-review process—that is, by pre-selecting promising scientists with solid records of accomplishment, then funding the scientists rather than the specific projects (which sometimes work out and often times do not). Donations can be put to use immediately to capitalize on new discoveries, complete underfunded projects, and/or pursue high-risk/high-payoff pilot projects—all things that are not supported by traditional grants.

We operate two types of adoption programs:

Collective Adoptions

Here multiple donations are gathered together to fund the scientist. This program has an adoption goal, and monies are distributed immediately to the scientists as they are collected. Donors to this program can follow the progress of the scientist(s) they are supporting on our website and via emailed reports.

Individual Adoptions

In this program, a single donor adopts the scientist through a single donation matching or exceeding a minimum adoption fee. Donors to this program will have the opportunity to meet the adopted scientist in person and will receive personalized progress reports. If desired, the donor may elect to have his or her name appear in the acknowledgements section of scientific publications supported by the donation.

We welcome you to take a look at our current round of adoptees, learn more about them, and consider adopting your very own Alzheimer’s researcher.

Current Adoptees

Frank M. LaFerla

Dean, School of Biological Sciences
Chancellor’s Professor
University of California, Irvine

Adoption fee: $500,000
Adoption type: Individual

Caitlin N. Suire

Graduate Student
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior
University of California, Irvine

Adoption goal: $35,000
Adoption type: Collective