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Award Winners

Awards Presented at AAIC 2013

Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award

Ronald C. Petersen, Ph.D., M.D.

Dr. Ronald C. Petersen received a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Minnesota and graduated from Mayo Medical School in 1980. He completed an internship in medicine at Stanford University Medical Center and returned to the Mayo Clinic to complete a residency in neurology. That was followed by a fellowship in behavioral neurology at Harvard University Medical School/Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Dr. Petersen joined the staff of the Mayo Clinic in 1986 and rose through the ranks to become a professor of neurology in 1996. In 2000, he was named the Cora Kanow Professor of Alzheimer’s Disease Research. He formerly was chair of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical Scientific Advisory Council and is now on the Association’s National Board of Directors. He is a member of the National Advisory Council on Aging of the National Institute on Aging and chair of the Advisory Council on Research, Care and Services for the National Alzheimer’s Project Act.

He is currently director of the Mayo Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. He has authored over 450 peer-reviewed articles on memory disorders, aging and Alzheimer’s disease and edited four books: Memory Disorders, Mayo Clinic on Alzheimer’s Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment: Aging to Alzheimer’s Disease and Mayo Clinic Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Dr. Petersen is one of the recipients of the 2004 MetLife Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease and the 2005 Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders of the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Petersen also received the inaugural Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute Award in 2004 from the Alzheimer’s Association and the inaugural Leon Thal Prize of the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute in 2007. In 2012, he received the Zaven Khachaturian Award from the Alzheimer’s Association. His current research focuses on the study of normal aging, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award

Eva-Maria Mandelkow, M.D., Ph.D.
Eckhard Mandelkow, Ph.D.

Principal Investigators, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases Bonn, Germany

Eva-Maria Mandelkow studied medicine in Heidelberg and Hamburg, Germany, followed by a three-year internship at university hospitals in Hamburg and Heidelberg, and then did her doctoral dissertation at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, with research on enzyme kinetics of the motor protein myosin. Dr. Mandelkow then did postdoctoral research at Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., and at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. She joined the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg as research scientist, where she studied the self-assembly of microtubules by cryo-electron microscopy. In 1986, Dr. Mandelkow became principal investigator at the Max Planck Unit for Structural Molecular Biology at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg. Her group’s current research interests include the cell biology of tau protein and its role in Alzheimer’s disease, with emphasis on cell models, transgenic mouse models and development of therapeutic approaches. Dr. Mandelkow is a recipient of a 2007 Breuer Award, a 2010 MetLife Award and a 2011 Potamkin Award. In 2011, she moved to the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn, Germany (DZNE), as a principal investigator. For publications, see

Eckhard Mandelkow studied physics in Braunschweig, Germany, New Orleans and Hamburg, and received his doctoral degree at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg (for work on the structure of tobacco mosaic virus). This was followed by postdoctoral training at Brandeis University (structure of cytoskeletal proteins). Later, Dr. Mandelkow moved to the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg and worked as director at the Max-Planck-Unit for Structural Molecular Biology, professor at Hamburg University and scientific member of the Max Planck Society. His research focuses on structural molecular biology by X-rays using synchrotron radiation; image reconstruction in electron microscopy; cytoskeleton (microtubules, motor proteins); the structure, function and aggregation of tau protein and protein kinases in Alzheimer’s disease; and the development of tau aggregation inhibitors. Dr. Mandelkow is a recipient of a 2010 MetLife Award and a 2011 Potamkin Award. In 2011, he joined the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn (DZNE) as a principal investigator. For publications, see

Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award

Laura Fratiglioni, M.D., Ph.D.

Laura Fratiglioni, professor at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, is the director of the Aging Research Center (ARC), KI. She is a medical doctor, specializing both in neurology and epidemiology, and she has scientific, clinical and pedagogical commitments. She is the principal investigator of The Swedish National Study on Aging and Care-Kungsholmen population study, the scientific coordinator of the Kungsholmen Project on Aging and Dementia and co-investigator of the Harmony: A Twin Study on Dementia project. Her major scientific contributions concern primary and secondary prevention of dementia and, more recently, multimorbidity and longevity among the oldest old adults. Her scientific production has led to 307 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 20 book chapters and 12 reports.

Dr. Fratiglioni is active in several national and international networks. In Sweden, she participates as a core leader in Swedish Brain Power, a network of dementia researchers that promotes interdisciplinary collaboration. She has received several awards, including the Karolinska Institutet Distinguished Professor Award, Sohlberg's Nordic Prize in Gerontology and Karolinska Institutet Folksams prize in epidemiologic research.

Since 2008, Dr. Fratiglioni has been the director of the National Graduate School for Aging Research, an educational program with a biological and psycho-social profile. Under her supervision, 15 Ph.D. and four postdoctoral students have completed their studies since 1996. At the moment, she is the main supervisor of two and co-supervisor of two Ph.D. students.

Zaven Khachaturian Award at AAIC

This distinguished award, named in honor of Dr. Zaven Khachaturian, was established to recognize an individual whose compelling vision, selfless dedication and extraordinary achievement has significantly advanced the field of Alzheimer's science.

William H. Thies, Ph.D.

William H. Thies, Ph.D., is senior scientist in residence with the Alzheimer’s Association. Dr. Thies is formerly the Association’s chief medical and scientific officer, responsible for overseeing the world’s largest private, nonprofit Alzheimer’s disease research grants program. During his tenure, the organization’s annual grant budget more than doubled. Since its inception in 1982, the Alzheimer’s Association grants program committed nearly $315 million for Alzheimer’s disease research.

Dr. Thies was instrumental in bringing the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) under the umbrella of Association activities. AAIC is the world’s largest gathering of Alzheimer and dementia researchers, regularly drawing more than 5,000 attendees. 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.

Before joining the Alzheimer’s Association, Dr. Thies was a director and senior scientist at the American Heart Association. He previously held faculty positions at Indiana University and the University of Pittsburgh.

The Jerome H. Stone Philanthropy Award for Alzheimer's Research

The Zenith Society

The Alzheimer's Association Zenith Society, an original example of venture philanthropy, was founded in 1990. In its 23-year history, the Zenith Society has invested in cutting-edge, initiative Alzheimer's research around the world, validating key hypotheses, exploring the origins of Alzheimer's and genetics, developing therapeutic targets and advancing diagnostics and technology to find ways to treat and prevent the disease.

The Zenith Society has funded over $30 million to more than 100 researchers worldwide. These Alzheimer's research studies have gone on to receive subsequent funding of more than $631 million from additional sources, demonstrating the quality and importance of the research selections this group has made over the years. Many of the 57 members of the Zenith Society are also significant contributors to additional Alzheimer's research institutions.

AAIC 2013 program

View the 2013 schedule and conference program.

Registered attendees have exclusive access to the 2013 AAIC mobile app with full speaker and session listings as well as abstract content. Attendees can email for download instructions.

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