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AAIC Press Release

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Alzheimer's Association®  |  Media line: 312.335.4078  |  E-mail:  |
AAIC 2013 press room, July 13-18: 617.954.3414

Two Leading Alzheimer's Disease Scientists Honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards at Alzheimer's Association International Conference® 2013

BOSTON, July 14, 2013 – The Alzheimer's Association® today recognized two acclaimed scientists and research administrators for their significant contributions to progress in Alzheimer's disease at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference® (AAIC® 2013) in Boston, Massachusetts.

The honorees are:

"As exemplary scientists, team leaders, and spokesmen for the Alzheimer's disease research community, Drs. Thies and Petersen have each made a tremendously positive impact on the Alzheimer's effort worldwide," said Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association. "We honor their commitment to the Alzheimer's cause and the great work that they've done to change the trajectory of this disease."

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 nearly $315 million to more than 2,200 best-of-field grant proposals.

2013 Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Awar

Henry Wisniewski M.D., Ph.D., co-founded this Alzheimer's research conference in 1988 with Khalid Iqbal, Ph.D. and Bengt Winblad, M.D., Ph.D. The lifetime achievement award named in Wisniewski's honor is 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 2013, the Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ronald Petersen, Ph.D., M.D., Professor of Neurology and Cora Kanow Professor in Alzheimer's Disease Research at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, MN. Dr. Petersen is currently the director of Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and director of the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. He is immediate past Chair of the Alzheimer's Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Council and is currently on the Association's Board of Directors.

Dr. Petersen was first to define mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to describe early changes in memory. His interest is currently in clinical research involving the study of normal aging, MCI and Alzheimer's disease - focusing on mild cognitive impairment as an intermediate stage between normal aging and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Petersen was 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. At AAIC 2012, Dr. Petersen received the Zaven Khachaturian Award.

2013 Zaven Khachaturian Award

At AAIC 2013 in Boston, the Alzheimer's Association also presented the 2013 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 2013 Zaven Khachaturian Award was presented to William H. Thies, Ph.D., Senior Scientist in Residence with the Alzheimer's Association, Chicago, IL. Dr. Thies is formerly chief medical and scientific officer of the Alzheimer's Association, where he oversaw the world's largest private, nonprofit Alzheimer's disease research grants program.

Dr. Thies was instrumental in bringing AAIC under the umbrella of Alzheimer's Association activities. In addition, Dr. Thies played a key role in launching the peer-reviewed journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association and the Association's Research Roundtable. The Roundtable provides a unique forum for senior scientists from the pharmaceutical industry, biotech, imaging, academia, the National Institutes of Health and regulatory agencies to discuss common issues and obstacles in Alzheimer's disease research and drug development. Additionally, Dr. Thies established the Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART), a professional society for individuals interested in Alzheimer's and dementia science – including scientists, physicians and other professionals involved in the causes and treatments of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.

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 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.


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Make history at AAIC 2013 • Boston, MA • July 13-18, 2013