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6 scientists receive awards for contributions to Alzheimer's disease research

Vienna, July 13, 2009 The Alzheimer's Association recognized four scientists for their extraordinary achievements in advancing Alzheimer's research at its 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD 2009) in Vienna, Austria. Two top papers on neuroimaging were also recognized.

"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 & Scientific Officer at the Alzheimer's Association. "The contributions of these leading researchers will help us defeat Alzheimer's, solve the health epidemic of the 21st century, and save future generations from 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, were the founders of ICAD 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 ICAD 2009, the 2009 Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Richard Mayeux, M.D., M.S., Gertrude H. Sergievsky Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Epidemiology and Director of the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center at Columbia University in New York City. The Center is devoted to the epidemiologic investigation of neurological diseases. Mayeux is also the Co-Director of The Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain. For nearly 20 years, Mayeux has led studies that have provided the most current information on the rates of Alzheimer's and other age-related disorders among AfricanAmerican, Caribbean Hispanic and Caucasian elderly. His research focuses on Alzheimer's disease causes and risk factors, and their often complex interactions, with special emphasis on diverse communities.

The 2009 Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ph.D., M.B.A., director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. Dr. Lee's research focus includes determining the genesis and roles of various normal and abnormal brain proteins (amyloid, tau, etc.) thought to be the keys to the cause and progression of numerous brain diseases, including Alzheimer's.

The 2009 Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Martin Rossor, M.D., head of the Division of Neurology and Director of the Dementia Research Centre at the UCL Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. Dr Rossor's research includes studying familial Alzheimer's disease and familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Longitudinal studies of at risk individuals from affected families has helped identify the first clinical and imaging changes that signal the onset of disease.

Zaven Khachaturian Award

At ICAD 2009, William R. Markesbery, M.D., was recipient of the 2009 Zaven Khachaturian Award. This award, named in honor of Zaven Khachaturian, PhD, consultant, lecturer and author, recognizes an individual whose compelling vision, selfless dedication and extraordinary achievement has significantly advanced the field of Alzheimer science.

Dr. Markesbery is professor of Pathology and Neurology at the University of Kentucky, College of Medicine, and director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. He has been a leader in uncovering the step by step development of Alzheimer's and the chain of events that leads to the disease. His research also includes studies of free radicals and other oxidative damage in Alzheimer's, and the various changes that happen in the brain in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's.

Best Paper in Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Awards

At ICAD 2009, Brian Bacskai, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Charleston is the winner of the 2009 Best Paper in Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Award for his article entitled Ab Plaques Lead to Aberrant Regulation of Calcium Homeostasis In Vivo Resulting in Structural and Functional Disruption of Neuronal Networks. Dr. Backsai will receive $5,000.

Jennifer Whitwell, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, New York is the winner of the 2009 Best Paper in Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging: New Investigator award for her paper entitled MRI correlates of Neurofibrillary tangle pathology at autopsy: a voxel-based Morphometry Study. Dr. Whitwell will receive $1,000.


Contact: Niles Frantz
Alzheimer's Association

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