Four Researchers Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at Alzheimer's Association International Conference

Jul 15, 2012, 11:30 ET from Alzheimer's Association

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 15, 2012 /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® 2012) in Vancouver, Canada.

The honorees are:

  • Bradley T. Hyman, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.
  • Lennart Mucke, MD, Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, and University of California, San Francisco.
  • Monique M.B. Breteler, MD, PhD, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), University Bonn, Germany.
  • Ronald Petersen, PhD, MD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN.

"These four scientists are making tremendous strides in the advancement of Alzheimer's research," said William Thies, PhD, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at the Alzheimer's Association. "The passion and dedication shown by these distinguished researchers and others in this field, combined with the recent approval of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease, will hopefully bring us closer to a much-needed cure for the Alzheimer's epidemic."

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 Association is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research and has awarded more than $292 million to 2,000 best-of-field grant proposals.

2012 Lifetime Achievement Awards in Alzheimer's Disease Research

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

At AAIC 2012, the Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bradley T. Hyman, MD, PhD. Hyman is a neurologist; his laboratory is working on Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases with a goal of understanding the brain and nervous system changes and genetic factors that underlie dementia. His studies have helped describe the lesions that impact the brain in Alzheimer's. A recent focus has been the use of advanced microscopy methods for imaging Alzheimer's-related lesions such as amyloid plaques and tau tangles, with the goal of preventing the propagation and progression of the disease.

The 2012 Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Lennart Mucke, MD. Mucke's research focuses on mechanisms resulting in memory loss and other major neurological deficits in Alzheimer's disease. He has generated informative experimental models of this and related conditions and used them to identify processes that may cause synaptic, network and cognitive dysfunctions in Alzheimer's. Based on these discoveries, Mucke has identified new drug targets and experimental strategies to prevent Alzheimer's-related neurological decline. As founding director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, he has put in place a leading research program on Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative disorders. He is also professor of neurology and neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco.

The 2012 Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Monique M.B. Breteler, MD, PhD. Breteler's research focuses on the causes and preclinical detection of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cerebral small vessel disease and stroke. An important research focus has been clarifying of the role of vascular and lifestyle factors in Alzheimer's and other dementias. Until 2011, Breteler worked at Erasmus University Rotterdam where she was the principal investigator for neurological diseases of the Rotterdam Study. In Bonn, she is establishing the Rhineland Study, a prospective study of 30,000 individuals that aims to identify causes and preclinical biomarker profiles of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, and to investigate brain structure and function over the adult life course.

2012 Zaven Khachaturian Award

At AAIC in Vancouver, the Alzheimer's Association also presented the 2012 Zaven Khachaturian Award, named in honor of the noted scientist, administrator, consultant, lecturer and author. This award recognizes an individual whose compelling vision, selfless dedication, and extraordinary achievement has significantly advanced the field of Alzheimer's science.

The 2012 Zaven Khachaturian Award was presented to Ronald Petersen, PhD, MD, Professor of Neurology and Cora Kanow Professor in Alzheimer's Disease Research at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN. Petersen is currently the director of Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and director of the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging.

Petersen's current research focuses on the study of normal aging, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. He was recently appointed chair of the Advisory Council on Research, Care and Services for the National Alzheimer's Project Act by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where he took a leadership role in drafting the first U.S. National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease.

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 or call 800-272-3900.

SOURCE Alzheimer's Association