HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – Alzheimer’s research will get a big boost thanks to a $4.8 million grant to a Hampton University School of Pharmacy professor.

Associate Professor Dr. Travonia Brown-Hughes received the grant – The Black American United Memory & Aging Project: An examination of cognitive decline in midlife and older Black adults using remote cognitive assessments, risk factors and biomarkers – to study Alzheimer’s in middle-aged African Americans.

The grant, the largest research project grant in the university’s history, will allow for a five-year study looking at biopsychosocial factors impacting cognitive outcomes in 600 Black adults ages 55 and up with both low and high levels of education.

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

The university’s Gerontology Center for Excellence, Johns Hopkins University, Penn State University, Michigan’s William Beaumont Hospital and the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest School of Medicine will all collaborate on the study.

Uniquely, the grant will be conducted entirely online, using what the university said is an “innovative, faceless enrollment and data collection strategy.”

“At Hampton University, it is a part of our DNA to be of service to others,” said Hampton University president Darrell K Williams. “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.”