AAIC provides the Alzheimer's Association with the opportunity to present awards to some of the most prominent leaders in the field. These prestigious awards recognize the work of distinguished Alzheimer's researchers, as well as those who are just beginning their career in this vital field.
AAIC Lifetime Achievement Awards in Alzheimer's Disease Research
The AAIC Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize a senior investigator whose contributions, whether they have been in research, leadership or mentorship, have shown a lasting impact on the field and whose body of work has demonstrated a lifetime commitment towards progress against Alzheimer's and dementia.
The awards are named in honor of Henry Wisniewski, M.D., Ph.D.; Khalid Iqbal, Ph.D.; and Bengt Winblad, M.D., Ph.D.—co-founders of the Alzheimer's Association scientific conference, now known as the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC). Since its inception and first iteration they each held key leadership roles in planning and conceptualizing the conference:
- Khalid Iqbal and Bengt Winblad both served in leadership roles from the conference's first iteration in 1988, including as co-chairs of the scientific program committee until 2008 and as committee members through 2013.
- After a lifetime of contributions to the field of Alzheimer's and dementia research, Henry Wisniewski passed away in 1999; to recognize his leadership and to show the Association's gratitude, one of the lifetime achievement awards is named in his memory.
Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Awarded to: W. Sue Tilton Griffin, Ph.D.
The Alexa and William T. Dillard professor in geriatric research, director of research at the
Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
(UAMS) and chief editor of the Journal of Neuroinflammation, Dr. Griffin has also served as
director at the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the Central Arkansas
Veterans HealthCare System for two decades. Dr. Griffin focuses on the mechanisms involved in
the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions such as
Parkinson’s disease, Down syndrome, head trauma and epilepsy.
Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Awarded to: Denis A. Evans, M.D.
Director of the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Evans is the author or co-author of approximately 340 publications, of which about 300 are original reports of primary research. His major interest is in common chronic diseases and conditions of older persons, especially Alzheimer’s disease, as they occur in the community, rather than in a hospital or nursing home. He was the principal investigator from 1993 to 2012 of the Chicago Health and Aging Project, a NIH-funded population study enrolling approximately 10,800 residents of a geographically defined, urban, biracial community on the south side of Chicago.
Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Awarded to: Bengt Winblad, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor Winblad was the first director of the Alzheimer’s Research Center at Karolinska Institutet and is the current director of the Swedish Brain Power research network. Dr. Winblad’s research interests are experimental and clinical Alzheimer’s research with a translational approach and focus on early diagnosis and treatment. Together with Khalid Iqbal and Henry Wisniewski, he is a founder of the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD), now the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. In 2009, he was ranked the world’s most prolific researcher in the Alzheimer’s field by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Jerome H. Stone Philanthropy Award for Alzheimer’s Research
The Jerome H. Stone Philanthropy Award for Alzheimer’s Research honors the legacy of Mr. Jerome Stone, a unique and determined individual who was among the first to call for investment in Alzheimer's research. Inspired by the loving memory of his late wife, Evelyn T. Stone, he took the helm of the Alzheimer’s cause as the primary founder of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Mr. Stone was renowned for his vision, leadership, and generosity in support of the fight against Alzheimer's, and research in particular. For many years, he served as the honorary chair of the Alzheimer’s Association National Board of Directors. Mr. Stone passed away on January 1, 2015 at the age of 101.
This award, given in his name, honors the world's top philanthropists for actively engaging in changing the course of Alzheimer's disease through their generous commitment to research.
Awarded to: Jerre and Mary Joy Stead
Very few non-scientists have played a more transformational role in promoting and advancing
Alzheimer’s research than Jerre and Mary Joy Stead. Longtime supporters of the Banner
Alzheimer’s Institute and chairs of its Breakthrough campaign, the Steads have contributed
generously to philanthropic causes with a special focus on Alzheimer’s research. Besides serving
as chairman and CEO of IHS Inc., Jerre is chairman of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute. Mary Joy
has served on the board of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute along with board positions with
various other educational and civic organizations.
Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer's Research
The Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer's Research is presented to the senior author of the most impactful study published in Alzheimer's research over the preceding two years. A short list was selected from all nominees by the AAIC Scientific Program Committee (SPC). The recipient was selected by the SPC Executive Committee.
Awarded to: Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D., Ph.D.
After completing post-doctoral trainings at Massachusetts General Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Dr. Tsuneya Ikezu joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as an assistant professor of pathology. He has joint appointments in the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center and Graduate Program in Neuroscience and leads the Laboratory of Molecular NeuroTherapeutics. Investigating AD for more than 20 years, he has performed pioneering research into how modulation of neuroinflammation or neurogenesis enhances hippocampal function and ameliorates AD-like neuropathology through viral gene transfer.
About Dr. Inge Grundke-Iqbal
Inge Grundke-Iqbal served as Professor and Head of Neuroimmunology at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities from 1977 until her passing in September 2012. She was a world renowned neuroscientist and Alzheimer disease researcher. She was author/co-author of over 250 scientific publications in prestigious American and international journals and books. Dr. Grundke-Iqbal made several seminal discoveries in the biology of Alzheimer's disease and related conditions. Her discovery of the abnormal hyperphosphorylation of tau opened a whole new area of research in neurodegeneration, especially Alzheimer's disease and related tauopathies. Her research contributions won her several U.S. Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health and non-federal research grants and honors. Dr. Grundke-Iqbal served as a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (now known as the Alzheimer's Association International Conference).
de Leon Prize in Neuroimaging
The de Leon Prize in Neuroimaging recognizes a senior scientist and a new investigator (first authors) who are judged to have each published the best paper in any peer-reviewed journal related to the topic of in-vivo neuroimaging of a neurodegenerative process. Members of the ISTAART Neuroimaging Professional Interest Area (NPIA) are the nominating body for the two awards.
Senior Scientist Recipient: Kirsten L. Viola
After graduating with a degree in genetics and developmental biology, Kirsten Viola joined Dr. William L. Klein’s research group at Northwestern University in 1991. Her earliest work focused on the study of Alzheimer’s disease type phosphotau in CNS development. She soon included studies of APP and amyloid beta protein and their impact on cultured SH-SY5Y neuronal cells, showing first that Aβ exposure induced tau phosphorylation, FAK phosphorylation and neuronal loss. Recently, she and William Klein coauthored a comprehensive review of AβOs in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis and their use in developing effective diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Kirsten Viola continues to focus her research on antibody-based therapeutic and diagnostic development, while concurrently investigating the relationship between tau and AβOs that she began 25 years ago.
New Investigator Recipient: Melissa E. Murray, Ph.D.
A research neuropathologist in the Department of Neuroscience at Mayo Clinic in Florida and Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Dr. Murray’s research focuses on investigating the molecular neuropathologic drivers of structural and functional neuroimaging changes associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Her goal is to determine early biomarkers and longitudinal changes that will enable accurate diagnoses for the treatment and formation of clinical trial inclusion/exclusion criteria for AD. Dr. Murray has received numerous awards and honors, and has authored more than 90 scientific papers.
Alzheimer's Imaging Consortium (AIC) Best Oral and Poster Presentations
Using review scores as a guide, the AIC Chairs judged and selected the best oral and poster presentations.
AAIC Student and Post-Doc Poster Competition
Competitions held in each conference program theme to determine the best posters by students and post-docs at AAIC. Judging took place onsite by the Scientific Program Committee.