July 17, 2011

Alzheimer’s Association Presents Lifetime Achievement Awards to Four Researchers

PARIS, July 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Association recognized four leading scientists for their extraordinary contributions to Alzheimer's disease research at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC 2011) in Paris, France. The Alzheimer's Association is committed to accelerating the global effort to eliminate Alzheimer's disease and to recognizing the efforts of researchers who further our understanding about this devastating disease.

The honorees are:

  • Kaj Blennow, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience and Physiology the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden.
  • John Hardy, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Neuroscience and Reta Lila Western Laboratories, UCL Institute of Neurology United Kingdom.
  • Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.
  • Bruce Lamb, Ph.D., Department of Neurosciences, Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic; Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; Departments of Neurosciences and Genetics at Case Western Reserve University.
"What we know about Alzheimer's has greatly expanded in the last several years across the research spectrum - including insight into genetics, early detection, risk factors, treatment, and prevention," said William Thies, Ph.D., Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at the Alzheimer's Association. "This year's award winners are true leaders in the field who have made tremendous contributions to the strides made in Alzheimer's research. Their work and expertise has helped to shape the ever-evolving Alzheimer's landscape."

2011 Lifetime Achievement Awards in Alzheimer's Disease Research

Henry Wisniewski, M.D., Ph.D.; Khalid Iqbal, Ph.D.; and Bengt Winblad, M.D., Ph.D., founded this research conference in 1988. The lifetime achievement awards are named in their honor and presented by the Alzheimer's Association to three outstanding scientists who have dedicated their careers to helping millions around the world through their research.

At AAIC 2011, the 2011 Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Kaj Blennow for his groundbreaking contribution to a greater understanding of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers for Alzheimer's. His role directing the standardization effort for CSF will move this important tool from the research laboratory into clinical practice for enhancing early diagnostics and measuring treatment effects.

The 2011 Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. John Hardy. The world renowned geneticist led the research group that found the first amyloid mutation related to Alzheimer's disease and formulated the amyloid hypothesis. His studies of the genetics and molecular pathogenesis of neurological disease, and recent focus on late onset Alzheimer's, have been central to a deepened understanding of the disease.

The 2011 Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance. For more than two decades, she has played a major role in advancing the understanding of the genetics contributing to Alzheimer's. Pericak-Vance was instrumental in finding the first genetic evidence for Alzheimer's in the 1990s. Now, she co-leads the analysis team for the Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC), which is creating a definitive map of the Alzheimer's genetic landscape.

2011 Zaven Khachaturian Award

At AAIC in Paris, the Association also presented the 2011 Zaven Khachaturian Award, named in honor of noted scientist, administrator, consultant, lecturer and author, Zaven Khachaturian, Ph.D. This award recognizes an individual whose compelling vision, selfless dedication, and extraordinary achievement has significantly advanced the field of Alzheimer science.

The 2011 Zaven Khachaturian Award was presented to Bruce Lamb, Ph.D., Staff Scientist in the Department of Neurosciences at the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and Professor in the Departments of Neurosciences and Genetics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Lamb spearheaded and chaired the Alzheimer's Association's Breakthrough Ride in 2010.

The Ride was a summer-long cross-country bicycle relay to generate awareness for Alzheimer's disease. Lamb participated in several segments of the ride, including the launch of this cross country endeavor in San Francisco and the last leg of the ride that completed on World Alzheimer's Day (September 21) in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, Lamb and his fellow riders and researchers delivered more than 110,000 petition signatures to members of Congress. The petition urged Congress to make Alzheimer's disease a national priority. Lamb's efforts were instrumental in getting the National Alzheimer's Project Act passed and signed into law.

About AAIC
The Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) is the world's largest conference of its 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, AAIC 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 world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's 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.

SOURCE Alzheimer's Association