The University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center at Fort Worth has just received the largest grant in the history of the UNT system.

The National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, is providing $150 million to the university to fund Alzheimer’s research.

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that progressively destroys a person’s memory, thinking ability, and their ability to carry out simple tasks. An estimated 6 million Americans, primarily 65 and older, may suffer from dementia caused by Alzheimer’s.

The five-year grant will fund the “single-most comprehensive study of Alzheimer’s among the three largest racial and ethnic groups ever done,” according to Dr. Sid O’Bryant, one of the world’s top Alzheimer’s researchers. He is leading the research project, which he promises will “change the world.”

O’Bryant expects to uncover “new and novel ways to not only detect but treat and prevent Alzheimer’s.” He believes that within 10 years, targeted treatments for Alzheimer’s will be available, just as there are now targeted treatments for cancer depending on the type of cancer a patient has.

Seventeen other major institutions will be assisting with the initiative.

The research will focus on the three largest racial groups in the U.S.: African Americans, Mexican Americans, and non-Hispanic whites. The large-scale study will recruit 4,500 participants from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which O’Bryant says is an ideal location because of its racial diversity. This will be the first study that includes all three racial groups in the same study at the same time.

So far, 90-95% of Alzheimer’s research in the U.S. has focused on the non-Hispanic white population, according to O’Bryant. However, reportedly African Americans are the group most likely to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It is projected that Hispanics will have the greatest increase in Alzheimer’s by 2060.

The UNT study will examine different factors potentially relevant to the development of Alzheimer’s, including genetics, area of residence, environmental factors, and health disparities.

O’Bryant — whose own grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s — and his team have focused solely on Alzheimer’s research for the last 10 years and have been funded through federal taxpayer dollars since 2016.