A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on December 16 will bring together Israeli and US researchers from several high-profile institutions in an effort to join forces in the fight against neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.

The MoU was spearheaded on the American side by Congressmen Steve Israel (D-NY) and Chaka Fattah (D-PA), with signers including the Feinstein Institute in Manhasset, Cold Spring Harbor Lab in Cold Spring Harbor, Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, Temple University in Philadelphia, and Israel Brain Technologies (IBT) in Ramat Hasharon.

“I was thrilled to join my colleague, Rep. Fattah, to announce a revolutionary global partnership between five world-class research institutions in neuroscience,” Rep. Israel said in a press release. “I am confident that groundbreaking research will come from this partnership that will bring us closer to understanding the brain and finding a treatment, cure or prevention method for Alzheimer’s disease.”

The announcement comes after Rep. Fattah traveled to Israel earlier in the year to deliver the keynote at the inaugural International Brain Technology Conference, Braintech 2013, reports the Times of Israel.

Fattah’s chief of staff Maisha Leek told Philly.com that the MoU was designed to “[formalize] a direct pipeline of opportunity” in order to fast track new potential neurological treatments.

“What this partnership does is it brings academic institutions, private institutions and international private industry together,” Leek told the site. “It’s a great opportunity, especially for an institution like Temple that doesn’t have these partnerships naturally, that will allow researchers to work together.”

In a statement released in conjuction with Fattah and Israel, Rafi Gidron, founder and chairman of Israel Brain Technologies (IBT), expressed similar excitement at the possibilities offered by the MoU.

“Inspired by the vision of Israel’s President Shimon Peres, IBT has made it a top priority to foster collaboration between Israeli scientists and entrepreneurs and their counterparts in the US in the fields of neuroscience and neurotechnology,” Gidron said in the prepared statement.

“This collaboration represents an important first step in a long-term partnership between Israel and the US. Together, we can make a major impact on the lives of millions throughout the world.”

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