The Alzheimer’s Association® will present seven awards at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®) 2022, recognizing researchers for their varied expertise, noteworthy achievements and innovative contributions to the field of Alzheimer’s and dementia science.
Our understanding of dementia science today owes much to these seven researchers and their collaborators. The celebration of their accomplishments and their powerful work in diverse areas of study is an inspiration to all of us in the science community as we strive to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.”
Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., chief science officer, Alzheimer’s Association
AAIC Lifetime Achievement Awards
The AAIC Lifetime Achievement Awards are named in honor of Henry Wisniewski, M.D., Ph.D.; Khalid Iqbal, Ph.D.; and Bengt Winblad, M.D., Ph.D., the co-founders of the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, now known as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. These awards honor significant contributions to Alzheimer’s and dementia research, either through a single scientific discovery or a body of work.
Agneta Nordberg, M.D., Ph.D., is the recipient of the Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a professor of clinical neuroscience and director of the Nordberg Translational Molecular Imaging Lab at the Karolinska Institutet, as well as a senior consultant in geriatric medicine at Karolinska University Hospital. Her research currently focuses on developing early diagnostic biomarkers and new drug targets in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Nordberg has contributed greatly to the field’s understanding of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine’s role in dementia, and has pioneered the use of brain amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to visualize abnormalities in tau protein and reactive astrogliosis.
Keith Johnson, M.D., is the recipient of the Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a professor at Harvard Medical School, the director of molecular neuroimaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is the co-principal investigator of the Harvard Aging Brain Study and leads the PET component of the Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Consortium (ACTC). Johnson’s pioneering neuroimaging work has contributed greatly to the understanding of tau and amyloid pathology in Alzheimer’s, especially in the preclinical and early stages of the disease. His recent studies have focused on identifying the origins of tau pathology in deep brain structures and optimizing outcomes for molecular imaging in Alzheimer’s disease prevention trials.
Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, Ph.D., is the recipient of the Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a professor of health policy and management (School of Public Health) and associate of the Center for Health Equity (School of Medicine) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is also a co-investigator for the Alzheimer’s Association’s New IDEAS Study, which investigates brain amyloid PET scans in diverse populations with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Dilworth-Anderson’s research on health disparities in caregiving for Alzheimer’s and other dementia and development of methods/strategies to advance an inclusive science in the study of Alzheimer’s have greatly informed the conduct of culturally relevant research and has enabled wider dissemination of information about Alzheimer’s and dementia in medically underserved populations.
Bill Thies Award
The Bill Thies Award for Distinguished Service to ISTAART (the Alzheimer’s Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment) recognizes an ISTAART member who has provided continued and outstanding service to the ISTAART community. The award honors William (Bill) Thies, Ph.D., who passed away on Aug. 16, 2020. During his tenure from 1998 to 2020 as the Alzheimer’s Association’s chief medical and scientific officer, and then as senior medical science advisor, Thies was instrumental in bringing AAIC under the Association’s management. He launched the peer-reviewed journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia®: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Alzheimer’s Association Research Roundtable.
Sandra E. Black, O.C, M.D., is the recipient of the 2022 Bill Thies Award for Distinguished Service to ISTAART. She is a professor of neurology at the Sunnybrook site, University of Toronto and director of the Dr. Sandra Black Center for Brain Resilience & Recovery at Sunnybrook Research Institute. As a stroke and cognitive neurologist, Black helped to build the Ontario Stroke System, and is site director of the Heart & Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery. She was the inaugural executive director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance, a University of Toronto network of memory clinics assessing more than 2,000 new patients annually. Black served as vice-chair and chair of the ISTAART Advisory Council between 2014 and 2018. She also co-chaired the Neuroimaging Professional Interest Area, served on the AAIC Scientific Planning Committee, and has been active in the Vascular PIA Executive Committee since its inception. Her research spans 30+ years and more than 600 papers, and has had an invaluable impact on our understanding of the connection between dementia and vascular health.
Zaven Khachaturian Award
Cynthia A. Lemere, Ph.D., is the recipient of the Zaven Khachaturian Award at AAIC 2022. This award is presented to an individual whose compelling vision, selfless dedication and extraordinary achievement has significantly advanced the field of Alzheimer’s science. Lemere is an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Lemere’s current research examines the potential for preclinical antibody treatments, vaccines and ultrasound to disrupt the formation of amyloid plaques. She also is investigating the effects of cosmic radiation on brain aging and Alzheimer’s risk, in preparation for NASA’s planned mission to Mars in the 2030s. As a whole, Lemere’s work has contributed greatly to our understanding of the therapeutic power of the immune system to potentially prevent and treat Alzheimer’s.
Rakez Kayed, Ph.D., is this year’s recipient of the Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer’s Research. This award is presented to the senior author of the most impactful study published in Alzheimer’s research during the two calendar years preceding AAIC. Kayed is a professor of neurology and a primary investigator in the Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Texas, Galveston. His work focuses on the mechanisms of protein misfolding and aggregation, novel methods for studying forms of amyloid, and the role of tau in abnormal cell transmission, cell death and disease progression in Alzheimer’s. He is receiving the Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for his July 2021 paper in Cell Reports, “Tau oligomer induced HMGB1 release contributes to cellular senescence and neuropathology linked to Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia.” Kayed and team found that by blocking a specific protein in the brain, they could reduce neuroinflammation and tau tangles in mice. If replicated in humans, this finding opens exciting new treatment possibilities for reducing cell death and tau abnormalities in Alzheimer’s.
Blas Frangione Early Career Achievement Award
Mychael Vinicius Lourenco, Ph.D., is the 2022 recipient of the Blas Frangione Early Career Achievement Award. This award recognizes early career researchers whose cutting edge research in Alzheimer’s and dementia has the potential to impact the field by propelling it in novel directions. Lourenco is an assistant professor of neuroscience and the principal investigator of the Lourenco Lab at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He completed his B.S., M.S., Ph.D. and postdoctoral training at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. His innovative research focuses on how inflammation and cellular stress contribute to memory loss, as well as on the potential beneficial effects of the hormone irisin and physical exercise in Alzheimer’s models.