WASHINGTON, July 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation (GAP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the time, cost and risk of Alzheimer's clinical trials, today announced the appointment of Dr. Kate Zhong to the new position of Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). In this role, Dr. Zhong will lead strategic development advancing GAP's efforts to disrupt the inefficient clinical trial system with a more patient-centric approach.
As GAP's CSO, Dr. Zhong will develop, communicate, implement and sustain strategic initiatives to achieve GAP's goals through the following key initiatives:
Revamp the clinical trial system across multiple touch points, including outreach, education, recruitment, retention and trial conduct
Foster collaboration among similar clinical trial registries
Reform and streamline patient recruitment and engagement activities
Drive decision-making processes to improve research efficiency
Cultivate GAP alliances to strengthen collaboration among leading academic researchers, pharmaceutical companies, nonprofit organizations and foundations, advocacy groups, professional organizations and governments around the world
"It's been a decade since a new treatment for Alzheimer's disease was made available to our patients. The time has come for us to harmonize many important but fragmented efforts and build a patient-centered Alzheimer's disease clinical trial ecosystem," said Dr. Kate Zhong. "I am excited to join the GAP team and look forward to working with our partners, patients and caregivers to accelerate clinical research and drug development in an effort to bring new therapies to our patients faster and more efficiently."
GAP is committed to accelerating all facets of the clinical trial process in order to speed innovative medicines to those with or at risk of Alzheimer's disease. A significant barrier for researchers is finding qualified participants – a process that can take years. One of GAP's current initiatives is helping to grow a pool of readily-available trial candidates through the Brain Health Registry (BHR). The BHR is a free, online platform that refers qualified trial candidates to local research sites.
Previously, Dr. Zhong served as the Senior Director of Clinical Research and Development for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. The institution has been established as one of the largest and most active clinical trial facilities for memory disorders in the country with more than 60 drugs and diagnostic trials being conducted at the Center.
While working as the Medical Director and Seroquel Brand Global Physician at AstraZeneca, Dr. Zhong led multiple global clinical trials in central nervous system therapeutic areas, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Additionally, she has been a scientific consultant for multiple pharmaceutical, biotech and patient recruitment companies. Dr. Zhong has provided multifaceted services to industry, academic centers and health care institutions in the United States, Canada and Asia. Dr. Zhong received her M.D. degree from West China University of Medical Sciences in Sichuan, China. She earned her Master's Degree in Pharmacology and completed her residency in Psychiatry at University of Toronto, Canada.
Dr. Zhong serves as one of the founding members of WomenAgainstAlzheimer's and is a member of International Women's Forum. She was honored as a "Woman to Watch" and "Alzheimer's Ambassador" by Vegas Inc. Magazine. She was featured in the PBS documentary "MAKERS: Women Who Make America," profiling her as one of Nevada's most influential women. She recently was honored with the Las Vegas Top Tech Exec Award and Healthcare Headliner Research Award for her creation of Cleveland Clinic HealthyBrains.org. This initiative is an innovative interactive digital platform that helps accelerate clinical trial enrollment and engages the community to become involved with a brain healthy lifestyle.
"We are pleased to add an expert of Dr. Zhong's caliber to our GAP team," said John Dwyer, president of GAP. "Kate has the scientific background, an expansive network of connections and one of the sharpest minds in the AD research field. These assets, combined with her energy and drive, make her an ideal fit for this important new role in our collective fight to end Alzheimer's."
The Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation was launched in 2015 by UsAgainstAlzheimer's and the Global CEO Initiative (CEOi) on Alzheimer's disease with the vision of creating an integrated global clinical trial network to reduce the time, cost and risk of Alzheimer's disease clinical trials, a critical factor in the pacing of efforts to speed an effective treatment of Alzheimer's disease to those with or at risk of the disease. Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation, headquartered in Washington, D.C., aims to create a faster pathway to a treatment for Alzheimer's disease by 2025. It intends to do so by building a standing global clinical trial platform of willing individuals through novel web-based recruitment techniques coupled with a network of high performance clinical trial sites. Global Alzheimer's Platform Foundation also provides an organizational framework that links prominent research institutions, the private sector and government agencies in multiple countries to fight Alzheimer's disease.