Honolulu, Hawaii; July 11, 2010 – The Alzheimer's Association recognized four scientists for their extraordinary achievements in advancing Alzheimer research at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease 2010 (AAICAD 2010) in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Honorees for their professional and scientific contributions to Alzheimer research are:
•Takeshi Iwatsubo, MD, Department of Neuropathology, Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Tokyo.
•Karen H. Ashe, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology and Neuroscience Director at the University of Minnesota.
•Marsel Mesulam, MD, Dunbar Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry and Director of the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Northwestern University.
•Marilyn Albert, PhD, Director of the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
"We are beginning to reap the benefits of Alzheimer's scientific advancements made in the last two decades, including a robust pipeline of anti-dementia drug therapies and advances in early detection," said William Thies, PhD, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at the Alzheimer's Association. "These leading researchers, who have been in the vanguard of scientific advancements in Alzheimer's disease, have devoted their professional careers to greater understanding of this disease. Their dedication and commitment will help us defeat Alzheimer's – the public health threat of the 21st century – and create a world where future generations will not have to experience this progressive and fatal disease."
Lifetime Achievement Awards in Alzheimer's Disease Research
Henry Wisniewski, MD, PhD; Khalid Iqbal, PhD; and Bengt Winblad, MD, PhD, founded AAICAD in 1988. Lifetime Achievement Awards named in their honor are given to three outstanding scientists who have dedicated their careers to helping millions around the world through their research.
At AAICAD 2010, the 2010 Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Takehsi Iwatsubo, whose significant research with the Japanese Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (J-ADNI) is creating a longitudinal workup of standardized neuroimaging, biomarker and clinico-psychological surveys. Designed to maximize compatibility with US-ADNI, it is hoped that this work along with other global ADNI efforts will establish rigorous, quantitative descriptions of the natural course of Alzheimer's in its very early stages.
The 2010 Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Karen Ashe, whose research focuses on animal and cellular models of Alzheimer's. These transgenic animal models enhance understanding of how amyloid and tau proteins – thought to be the keys to the cause and progression of Alzheimer's – impact memory and cognition. Transgenic mice have been a mainstay in the preclinical investigation of new treatments for Alzheimer's.
The 2010 Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Marsel Mesulam. His research addresses the connectivity of the monkey brain, the organization of human cholinergic pathways, the representation of cognitive functions by large-scale neurocognitive networks, and the neurobiology of dementias. Dr. Mesulam's work on cholinergic pathways has been groundbreaking in understanding Alzheimer's. He is a world expert in Primary Progressive Aphasia.
Zaven Khachaturian Award
In addition to these three awards, Dr. Marilyn Albert was recipient of the 2010 Zaven Khachaturian Award at AAICAD. Named in honor of noted scientist, administrator, consultant, lecturer and author, Zaven Khachaturian, PhD, this award recognizes an individual whose compelling vision, selfless dedication, and extraordinary achievement has significantly advanced the field of Alzheimer science.
Dr. Albert's distinguished career includes more than two decades as a faculty member at Harvard University Medical School. Her research has primarily focused on the cognitive and brain changes associated with aging and Alzheimer's. The scope has also encompassed investigating potential methods of early identification of Alzheimer's and lifestyle factors that may maintain mental abilities with advancing age.
The Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (AAICAD) is the world's largest conference of it's kind, bringing together researchers from around the world to report and discuss groundbreaking research and information on the cause, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. As a part of the Alzheimer's Association's research program, AAICAD serves as a catalyst for generating new knowledge about dementia and fostering a vital, collegial research community.
About the Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. Visit www.alz.org or call 800-272-3900.