This section contains answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. Please click below to expand each item. If you cannot find what you’re looking for, please contact us.

About Tau Consortium

  • +What is the relationship between the Rainwater Charitable Foundation and the Tau Consortium?

    The Rainwater Charitable Foundation was created in the early 1990s by renowned investor and philanthropist Richard E. Rainwater. The foundation supports a range of different programs in K-12 education, medical research, and other worthy causes. As part of these efforts, the Rainwater Foundation launched the Tau Consortium in 2010.   Since that time other funders have contributed to the effort, but the Rainwater Foundation manages the program and continues to provide the vast majority of its funding. Click here to learn more about the Rainwater Charitable Foundation.

  • +Why is Tau important?

    Tau is a protein found in neurons, where it is thought to stabilize the shape and function of the cell. As part of normal function, proteins in the body fold, unfold and refold into different shapes in order to perform specific functions.  When these proteins are no longer needed, they are broken down and recycled by the cell. In many neurodegenerative diseases, the normal folding and unfolding stop, and the misfolded protein begins to accumulate in the neuron.  This tau accumulation is thought to disrupt normal cellular function and possibly lead to neuronal death.

    Misfolded tau is detected in several neurodegenerative diseases referred to as tauopathies.  Over 25 tauopathies have been identified including: progressive supranuclear palsy, frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism, and Alzheimer’s disease.   Tauopathies tend to affect individuals in the prime years of their life with an average onset between 45 and 55 years old.

    We believe more research is needed to understand mechanisms of tau dysfunction in tauopathies in order to develop effective treatments to help patients.

  • +How do I apply for a grant?

    Generally, our grant making is done by invitation only. When searching for applicants, the Rainwater Charitable Foundation relies on the advice of a team of leading scientists, clinicians and patient advocates who help us to identify talented researchers whose research focus, commitment to collaboration, and desire to make an impact match our own.

    Occasionally, we launch grant making partnerships with other funding organizations that enable us to consider incoming grant applications. To receive the latest announcements about these grant programs, please sign up to join our email list by clicking here.

  • +How do I get on your mailing list?

    Please click here to fill out the newsletter sign-up form on the News & Events page.

  • +I heard you have a conference, can I attend?

    Some of our events are open to anyone, but many are by invitation only.

    Our next open event is the Tau2020 Global Conference on February 12-13 in Washington, DC.

    Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on our public conferences.

  • +Do you accept donations?

    The Rainwater Charitable Foundation is funded through the estate of Richard E. Rainwater and does not actively seek outside donations. However, we are able to accept donations if they are offered.  Donations can be made to our medical research program via the Rainwater Neurological Research Fund at the North Texas Community Foundation.  

    To make an online gift, please follow this link: https://northtexascf.org/donate/  There’s a dropdown box near the middle of the page where you can select the Rainwater Neurological Fund.

    To make a gift by check, please make it out to North Texas Community Foundation, noting Rainwater Neurological Research Fund in the memo section.

    Checks may be mailed to:

    North Texas Community Foundation

    306 West 7th Street, Suite 1045

    Fort Worth, TX 76102

  • +How do I become a partner or sponsor?

    We are always eager to explore new partnerships.   To get started, please click here.

For Patients and their Families

Rainwater Prize Program

  • +Where do I learn more about the Rainwater Prize Program?

    The Rainwater Prize has just opened for nominations. Please check here for updates, and join our email list to learn more.

Tau 2020 Global Conference

  • +How do I register to attend your next conference?

    The Rainwater Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, and CurePSP are co-sponsoring an open, international conference called the Tau2020 Global Conference. It will take place February 12-13, 2020 in Washington, DC. Public registration is now open. Representatives from academia, industry, government, and the philanthropic sector are encouraged to attend. Public registration and related information is available here: https://alz.org/tau2020/overview.asp .

  • +How do I become a partner or sponsor for your open conference?

    We welcome inquiries from potential partners and co-sponsors for our conference. Please click here to contact us.

A to Z and everything in between.