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Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Ronald C. Petersen Awarded Leon Thal Prize for Excellence in Dementia Research

December 4, 2007

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ — Lou Ruvo Brain Institute today announced Dr. Ronald C. Petersen, Director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, was awarded the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute’s Leon Thal Prize for Excellence in Dementia Research. Dr. Petersen became the first recipient of the award.

This prestigious award acknowledges a senior investigator in the field of dementia research who best emulates Leon Thal’s characteristics as physician, teacher, scientist, mentor, and humanitarian. Recognized by many as the world’s most prominent scientist in the field of Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Leon Thal passed away earlier this year.

Lou Ruvo Brain Institute’s President & CEO Zaven Khachaturian, Ph.D. presented Dr. Petersen with the award at a Monday dinner reception. The reception was part of the Leon Thal Symposium on the Prevention of Dementia, which assembled 40 of the world’s foremost experts in dementia research in Las Vegas (December 2-4) to craft a roadmap for public policies that would radically change current paradigms of therapy development for dementia. In doing so, the conference is projecting Leon Thal’s dream for the future — by focusing the attention of the field on formulating new national strategies to accelerate drug discovery, development, and validation (clinical trials).

About the Leon Thal Prize

Nominees were evaluated by a peer-review panel consisting of senior opinion leaders in the field, who reviewed candidates on the following criteria:

   -- Significant contribution to Rx/Dx development,   -- Selfless public service on behalf of the field,   -- Mentoring, and   -- Leadership in developing cooperative/collaborative endeavors and      promoting goodwill cooperation in the field.    

“Dr. Petersen well deserves the Leon Thal Prize, not only because of his long history of significant scientific contributions to our understanding of dementia, but also for serving as a role model for public service and an ardent advocate for people with the disease,” said Khachaturian.

About Dr. Ronald C. Petersen

In addition to his role at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Petersen also serves as the Vice Chair of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the Alzheimer’s Association and has held roles on numerous advisory boards for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the National Institutes of Health including the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute on Aging.

Research awards for Dr. Petersen have included the 2004 MetLife Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease and the 2005 Potamkin Prize for Research in Picks, Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders from the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Petersen also received the inaugural Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute Award in 2004 from the Alzheimer’s Association. His current research focuses on the study of normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Petersen has authored over 250 peer-reviewed articles on memory disorders, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease and edited four books: Memory Disorders, Mayo Clinic on Alzheimer’s Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment: Aging to Alzheimer’s Disease and a recent book, Mayo Clinic Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease.

About Lou Ruvo Brain Institute

The Lou Ruvo Brain Institute (LRBI) is dedicated to bringing new thinking about thinking to the conquest of Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and other chronic brain disorders. The Institute’s two main objectives are to develop technologies for the early detection of neurodegenerative processes in asymptomatic people and to develop interventions to slow or stop the neurodegenerative processes altogether. The LRBI is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Lou Ruvo Brain Institute

CONTACT: Jeanne Russo of R&R Partners, +1-702-318-4241,jeanne.russo@rrpartners.com, for Lou Ruvo Brain Institute; or Carol Lammers ofMayo Clinic, +1-507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu




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