BAR HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Jackson Laboratory is receiving $15 million to co-lead the Alzheimer's Disease Precision Models Center.

The National Institute on Aging selected Jackson Lab and Indiana University to co-lead the research. The grant will help establish and support new innovate efforts to combat Alzheimer's disease.

The Alzheimer's Disease Precision Models Center will aim to create new mouse models for testing of drugs to fight the disease.

Senator Susan Collins is the founder of the Senate Alzheimer's Task Force. She said the Center will help to accelerate the process of testing novel therapies, that will eventually lead to treatments for those suffering.

"It is exciting because it will help lead, in my view, to more effective treatments and a better way of testing new drugs that are being developed to treat Alzheimer's. We are the oldest state in the nation by median age, so the work that's being done at Jackson Labs has special importance to the people of Maine because our population is older than the national average," said Collins.

Alzheimer's affects more than five million Americans, including 37,000 Mariners. The nation also spends $236 billion per year, making Alzheimer's the nation's costliest disease.

Jackson Laboratory will receive the $15 million over the course of five years. Senator Collins said the sustained funding makes a difference in the research provided.