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PictureMiguel “Mike” Loya is one of the country’s more successful businessmen. A president of Vitol, Inc., one of the world’s largest oil trading companies, he makes strategic decisions that impact energy supplies around the globe.

He also worries that one day, he won’t be able to make those decisions.

Both Loya’s mother and grandmother had Alzheimer Disease. The eldest of seven successful siblings, Loya worries that he and his family are at risk.

“We’re all terrified that one of us, some of us, may get Alzheimer Disease. I’m the oldest, so I could be first in line,” he admitted.

Loya learned about HudsonAlpha’s M&M (Memory and Mobility) Fund, which supports unique research into the genomics of neurodegenerative disease. Scientists at HudsonAlpha are using genomic sequencing to determine the genetic causes of Alzheimer and similar diseases.

“My sister Irma Tuder is on the HudsonAlpha board of directors. When she told me about this research, I knew it was something I wanted to learn more about,” Loya said.

Loya visited HudsonAlpha. He also threw a party in Houston to introduce his friends and colleagues to top HudsonAlpha scientists. At that party, he made a generous donation to the M&M Fund: One million dollars.

“This is important. We need to find something to stop Alzheimer Disease, first to arrest its progress. Then to find new therapies. That would be a huge achievement. Beyond that, prevention and a cure would be the ultimate goal,” said Loya.

“We are so grateful for the support of the Loya family,” said Rick Myers, PhD, president and science director of HudsonAlpha. “Determining the genomic underpinnings of Alzheimer and other neurodegenerative disease is a crucial first step in understanding and preventing this debilitating disorders.”

Learn more about the M&M Fund at HudsonAlpha.
Immediately after we wrote this story about the passion and generosity of Mike Loya’s family, we were surprised by another gift to the M&M Fund. The Institute received an anonymous $2.5 million donation right before Christmas. Thank you.

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