FTD Biomarkers Initiative

Where they have been identified, biomarkers enable clinicians and researchers to accurately diagnose diseases and monitor disease progression, both of which are critical to clinical practice and drug development. The current lack of such biomarkers for FTD results in diagnostic delays and errors, and impedes the search for effective treatments.

The FTD Biomarkers Initiative is a major new AFTD funding opportunity focused on this unmet need. Over the next 5 years, AFTD will award up to $5 million to support innovative approaches to the discovery and development of biomarkers that differentiate FTD from other neurodegenerative disorders, discriminate between FTD subtypes, identify underlying molecular pathologies, confirm pharmacodynamic modulation of disease pathways, and track disease progression.


Eligibility requirements

  • Investigators at nonprofit academic and medical research institutions or for-profit organizations worldwide.
  • Individual investigators, partnerships, small collaborative groups, or large consortia
Project focus
  • Disorders across the FTD spectrum (behavioral variant FTD, primary progressive aphasia, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, and FTD with motor neuron disease)
  • Any underlying pathological mechanism
  • Any approach with potential translational impact
  • All stages of development, from preclinical to advanced


Award details

  • Direct costs only
  • Typical budget $250 – 500K; higher or lower requests will also be considered for high impact projects
  • Timeframe 1-2 years; extended timeframes will also be considered for high-impact projects
Data sharing
  •  A commitment to the open exchange of data and results required

To access the RFP for The FTD Biomarkers Initiative, click here.

To further discuss scientific or financial aspects of the proposals, please contact:

Nadine Tatton, PhD, Scientific Director, AFTD

Phone: 267-758-8644/Email: ntatton@theaftd.org

For more information regarding the application process, please contact:

Debra Niehoff, PhD, Research Manager, AFTD

Phone: 267-758-8654/Email: dniehoff@theaftd.org


FTD Biomarkers Initiative Scientific Advisory Board


Stacie Weninger, PhD, Chair

Executive Director

F-Prime Biomedical Research Initiative


Keith Johnson, MD

Professor of Radiology & Neurology

Harvard Medical School

Director, Molecular Neuroimaging,

Massachusetts General Hospital


Adam Boxer, MD PhD

Associate Professor of Neurology

Director, AD & FTD Clinical Trials Program,

Memory & Aging Center

University of California, San Francisco


David Knopman, MD

Professor of Neurology

Mayo Clinic – Rochester MN

Chair, AFTD Medical Advisory Council


Jang-ho Cha, MD PhD

Global Translational Medicine

Head, Neuroscience

Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NBIR)


Ian Mackenzie, MD

Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

University  of British Columbia


John Dunlop, PhD

VP & Head, Neuroscience Innovative Medicines

Astra Zeneca



Leonard Petrucelli, MD

Professor of Neuroscience

Mayo Clinic – Jacksonville FL


Mark Forman, MD PhD

Executive Director, Translational Medicine



Jonathan Rohrer, MD

Clinical Lecturer & Neurologist

University College London

Principal Investigator, Genetic FTD Initiative (GENFI)


Murray Grossman, MD

Professor of Neurology

Director, Penn FTD Center

University of Pennsylvania Medical School

Von Rosentiel

Philipp von Rosenstiel, MD

Senior Medical Director

Neurology, Early Clinical Development



Carole Ho, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Head of Development

Denali Therapeutics


Henrik Zetterberg, MD PhD

Professor of Neurochemistry

University of Gothenburg