CHICAGO, JULY 27, 2020 — The Alzheimer’s Association presented five awards at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®) 2020, recognizing five researchers for their achievements and contributions to the field of Alzheimer’s and dementia science.
“The five researchers recognized have all made invaluable contributions to the field of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia science,” said Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., chief science officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “We are privileged to recognize them at this year’s AAIC, where we are learning of incredible advances in dementia research.”
The honorees will also be recognized next year at AAIC 2021.
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.
Dr. Steven T. DeKosky is the recipient of the Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the Aerts-Cosper Professor of Alzheimer’s Research at University of Florida College of Medicine, Deputy Director of the McKnight Brain Institute and Associate Director of the Florida AD Research Center. Dr. DeKosky co-authored the first reports of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional football players and has published numerous studies on traumatic brain injury. He was also principal investigator of the clinical trials investigating Pittsburgh Compound-B (PiB), the first amyloid imaging compound. He specializes in work focusing on understanding the neurochemistry, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Christine Van Broeckhoven is the recipient of the Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a Professor at the University of Antwerp, and Group Leader of the Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases group of the VIB Center of Molecular Neurology. Her research focuses on the neurogenetics of early-onset dementia to characterize causal and risk genes underlying the disease. Dr. Van Broeckhoven’s team showed that the amyloid gene segregated with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in extended families which were explained by different amyloid mutations. In addition, they found that mutations in the progranulin gene are frequently involved in families with frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Over the years her teams identified several genes underlying early-onset dementia pinpointing additional disease pathways leading to disease.
Dr. Francisco Lopera is the recipient of the Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a Professor and Director of the Antioquia Neuroscience Group at the University of Antioquia. Dr. Lopera has spent more than 30 years working with large families to understand the genetic basis of Alzheimer’s disease. His work led to the discovery that a mutation in a gene called presenilin 1 (PSEN1) causes early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Lopera is a principal investigator for the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative Autosomal Dominant Alzheimer’s Disease (API ADAD) Colombia Trial investigating whether an anti-amyloid treatment given before symptoms develop may delay onset or slow disease progression.
Zaven Khachaturian Award
Dr. Guy McKhann is the recipient of the Zaven Khachaturian Award at AAIC 2020. This award is presented to an individual whose compelling vision, selfless dedication and most extraordinary achievement has significantly advanced the field of Alzheimer’s disease science. Dr. McKhann is a Professor of Neurology and Founding Chair of the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Founding Director of the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. McKhann previously served as the Associate Director for Clinical Research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and was co-chair of the National Institute on Aging/Alzheimer’s Association Proposed Criteria for Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia workgroup which developed revised criteria for Alzheimer’s disease dementia in 2011. His current research focuses on the assessment of cognitive and neurologic outcomes after cardiac surgery.
Dr. Yakeel T. Quiroz is the 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. Dr. Quiroz is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Director of the MGH Familial Dementia Neuroimaging Lab, and Director of the Multicultural Alzheimer’s Prevention Program (MAPP). She received the award for her investigation into the role of APOE3 Christchurch (R136S) mutation in the resistance to autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease. Her research group recently identified a PSEN1 mutation carrier who did not develop mild cognitive impairment until three decades after the expected age of onset. Additionally, this individual was found to carry two copies of the APOE3 Christchurch mutation, and had unusually high brain amyloid levels and limited tau and neurodegenerative measurements. Dr. Quiroz’s findings, “Resistance to autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease in an APOE3 Christchurch homozygote: a case report,” were published in Nature Medicine in 2019, and provide important insights into the role of this APOE mutation in neurodegeneration and clinical onset of Alzheimer’s disease dementia.
About the Alzheimer's Association International Conference® (AAIC®)
The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) is the world’s largest gathering of researchers from around the world focused on Alzheimer’s and other dementias. 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.
AAIC 2020 home page: www.alz.org/aaic
AAIC 2020 newsroom: www.alz.org/aaic/pressroom.asp
About the Alzheimer's Association®
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Visit alz.org or call +1 800.272.3900.