Higher Education: SIUE gets grant to fight Alzheimer’s disease

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy researchers have been awarded a five-year, $2.65 million grant to battle Alzheimer’s disease.

The funds come from the National Institutes of Health. SIUE’s research team, which includes medicinal chemists, pharmacologists and pharmaceutics experts, will use the money to develop a drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

“The National Institutes of Health has placed a significant amount of responsibility in our hands,” said Ken Witt, principal investigator and associate professor in the School of Pharmacy. “Now, we can truly make things happen. Securing the funding is merely putting needed fuel in the tank and getting those tires moving faster.”

Gireesh Gupchup, dean of the SIUE School of Pharmacy, is confident the investment will be put to good use.

“Receiving the NIH RO1 grant sets the stage for Dr. Witt and his team to develop breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s treatment,” Gupchup said. “This further emphasizes the school’s commitment to research and drug discovery.”

Initial investigations by the research team began more than 10 years ago. Witt said the program has now reached a critical point as it begins a period of developing, testing and retesting various drug candidates in a series of early stage models.

“While this process is admittedly complex when viewed from the outside, it is actually highly regulated and based on well-established criteria for moving drugs forward, and eventually getting them to early stage human trials,” Witt said.


Drum Corps International’s “DCI St. Louis” competition returns to the metro-east this summer at a new location — O’Fallon Township High School.

Hosted again by McKendree University, six corps have been announced for the performance to be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. They are the Colts, from Dubuque, Iowa; the Crossmen, from San Antonio, Texas; Pioneer, from Milwaukee; Spirit of Atlanta, from Georgia; The Cadets, from Allentown, Pa.; and The Cavaliers, from Rosemont, Ill.

“DCI St. Louis” is a popular stop on “Marching Music’s Major League’s” Midwestern tour, which culminates at the world championships in Indianapolis in August. Due to renovation of McKendree’s Leemon Field this summer, the show will take place instead at O’Fallon Township High School, 600 S. Smiley, in O’Fallon. The box office opens at 3 p.m. Gates will open at 6 p.m.

Tickets and event information are available online at Prices range from $25 to $40 for reserved premium seating. Groups of 20 or more qualify for a $5 discount in select sections; call 317-275-1212 for details. Wheelchair accessible seating is available. While DCI expects another sell out this year, any remaining tickets may be purchased on site after 3 p.m. on June 23.


If you’re considering earning a GED credential, now is the time, according to leaders of the Southwestern Illinois College Adult Education Department.

Several free SWIC GED high school equivalency test preparation classes get underway in St. Clair and Madison counties in July. The classes are open to anyone who has not yet received a high school diploma.

Daytime GED classes will be offered Monday through Thursday, July 6-30 from 9 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. or from 11 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. at the following locations:

▪  0SWIC Belleville Campus – 2500 Carlyle Ave.

▪  SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus – 4950 Maryville Road

▪  East St. Louis Community College Center – 601 James R. Thompson Blvd.

An additional daytime GED class will meet Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 6 through Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. at the Cahokia Library, 140 Cahokia Park Drive.

Class times and locations are assigned based on individuals’ availability and reading and placement scores resulting from a mandatory pre-registration and orientation session. The orientations are held at the SWIC Belleville and Sam Wolf Granite City campuses and the East St. Louis Community College Center no matter where you will be taking the GED class.

For more information, call 618-235-2700, ext. 5525, or toll free in Illinois at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5525.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at or 618-239-2626. Follow him on Twitter: @scottwuerzBND.