The Commonwealth Medical College - unique in many ways

Hani Atamna, PhD, awarded NIH grant for novel neurodegenerative research

Friday, October 07, 2020

TCMC researcher to study methylene blue and its effect on the aging process.

Scranton, Pennsylvania- Hani Atamna, PhD, assistant professor of neuroscience at The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) was awarded a research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Aging. The award, totaling $313,000 over three years, provides funding to investigate methlylene blue, a one hundred-year-old drug, and its effect on repairing and strengthening cells during the process of aging.

“Understanding the chemical and biological effects of methylene blue will hopefully lead to a new drug to fight symptoms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, essentially the most common neurodegenerative disease,” states Dr. Atamna, principal investigator, leading this research effort.

Research has shown that methylene blue, an FDA approved drug frequently used in pharmaceutical products, has been effective in repairing and slowing the aging by preventing mitochondrial impairment. Mitochondria are the powerhouse to each individual cell of the human body and supply the energy necessary for these cells to live.

“If we can successfully slow down the aging of these cells, we can conclude the first steps in research that will hopefully lead to a future clinical trial,” Dr. Atamna continued.

This research is of particular interest to patients in northeast Pennsylvania, which has the third highest aging population in the nation.

“The long term benefit of this research has the potential to treat people living with neurodegenerative disease and offer improved health and a better lifestyle for those suffering from neurodegenerative disease,” added Dr. Atamna.

To date, TCMC has submitted more than 200 grant applications and has received 31 research grants totaling $90.5 million. Basic research grant funding has reached $4 million over the past three years.  TCMC has invested $8 million in technology and researchers have obtained $530,000 in equipment grants to purchase technology for research.

To learn more about Dr. Atamna visit,

Media contact:
Anne Green, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Phone: (570) 504-9687
[email protected] 

TCMC press release archive