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Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART)

Chair, Steven T. DeKosky

The Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART) is 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.


In 2008, the Association opened a new door to help support the vibrant Alzheimer's research community. We created the only professional society dedicated to Alzheimer's and dementia: the Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART). ISTAART embraces all areas of Alzheimer's research and welcomes members from fields including biochemistry, genetics, geriatrics, neurology, neuroscience, pathology, pharmacology, psychiatry, psychology, radiology, molecular and cell biology, and the social sciences.

Member benefits

Researchers join ISTAART to strengthen their scientific knowledge and network with their peers. Members also enjoy these exclusive benefits:

  • An annual subscription to Alzheimer's & Dementia®: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association
  • Reduced conference registration rates
  • Continuing medical education discounts
  • Discounts on travel planning assistance and rental cars
  • Peer networking opportunities such as members-only receptions, preconference sessions and special interest groups
  • Access to an online Career Center that features job postings exclusive to the ISTAART Web site

Learn more about ISTAART member benefits »

Students and new investigators

The Association recognizes that making advances in combating Alzheimer's relies not only on connecting senior investigators, but also students and those starting their careers in dementia research. ISTAART provides opportunities for students and young investigators to network with senior researchers and attend events where some of the best science is being discussed. For example, ISTAART offers:

  • Financial support to young scientists to attend AAIC
  • Volunteer opportunities and special workshops for student members at AAIC
  • Networking events specific to students

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Join more than 2,400 ISTAART members from around the globe and be a part of a collegial group focused on Alzheimer's and dementia. Annual ISTAART membership dues are $165 for professionals, $65 for students, and $60 Alzheimer’s Association Chapter Staff.

Join now »

Meet the ISTAART advisory council

The ISTAART advisory council is a select group of Alzheimer's experts representing a variety of research disciplines. Council members are active in the field, conducting and presenting research findings, and publishing papers and books. Their experience and input helps the Association expand ISTAART and ensure that the society meets the needs of researchers.

Chair, Steven T. DeKosky, M.D.

  • University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Va., Vice President and Dean
  • Alzheimer's Association Board of Directors, Chicago, Ill.

Career Highlights

Dr. DeKosky is an internationally recognized leader in Alzheimer's research. Prior to his position at University of Virginia's School of Medicine, he was chair of the department of neurology and director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the University of Pittsburgh, where he isolated the Pittsburgh B compound (PIB), a plaque-like substance secreted in the brain that allows the clearest scans possible of potential damage from Alzheimer's. His research focuses on differential diagnosis, neuroimaging, genetic risk factors, and the science and clinical care of Alzheimer's, including the pathological and chemical alterations involved with Alzheimer's development. He was also the director of a national multicenter trial assessing the effectiveness of Gingko biloba in delaying the onset of dementia in healthy adults.

Sandra E. Black, M.D., FRCPC

  • University of Toronto, Department of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Brill Chair in Neurology
  • Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Neuroscience Program Research Director

Career Highlights

Dr. Black's research interests include stroke recovery and vascular cognitive impairment, diagnosis of dementia, and the use of neuroimaging to study brain-behavior relationships. She has published more 350 papers and is actively engaged in clinical trials of stroke and stroke recovery, Alzheimer's, and vascular cognitive impairment. In 2001, she received the Mel Silverman Award for Outstanding Mentorship from the University of Toronto's Institute of Medical Science, and in 2009, the University of Toronto, Department of Medicine Mentorship Award


Carol Brayne, Ph.D.

  • University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, Professor of Public Health Medicine

Career Highlights

Dr. Brayne is a medical epidemiologist whose research focuses on longitudinal studies of older people in order to provide more knowledge about aging. Her work includes two large cohort studies, the Cambridge City over 75 Cohort and the MRC/Department of Health Cognitive Function and Ageing Study. These studies are designed to answer questions about biological aspects of aging as well as natural history and policy aspects. Dr. Brayne is involved in epidemiological research about specific neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson's disease and early-onset dementias.

Ashley I. Bush, MB BS, DPM, FRANZCP, PhD, FTSE

  • University of Melbourne, the Mental Health Research Institute, Australia

Career Highlights

Ashley I. Bush (MB BS, DPM, FRANZCP, PhD, FTSE) heads the Oxidation Biology Laboratory at the Mental Health Research Institute, is Professor of Pathology, The University of Melbourne, Biomarker co-director within the Australian Imaging Biomarker Lifestyle Study (AIBL), Chief Scientific Officer of the CRC for Mental Health, lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and adjunct professor of neuroscience at Cornell University. He has received numerous awards including the Potamkin Prize and the Beeson Award. Professor Bush has authored over 240 publications, with >20,000 citations, 21 patents and founded 3 biotechnology companies. He discovered the interaction of beta-amyloid with zinc as a major factor in Alzheimer's disease.

Howard Chertkow, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Neurology, McGill University
  • Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Director, Bloomfield Centre for Research in Aging, McGill University.

Career Highlights

Howard Chertkow is a cognitive neurologist, and director of the Jewish General Hospital/ McGill University Memory Clinic. His major areas of research interest include 1) Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease and prediction of deterioration in individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment. 2) the structure, organization, and function of the Semantic Memory component of long term memory, and its deterioration in dementia , and 3) localization of language and memory functions in the brain using functional imaging. Dr. Chertkow is past president of the Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (C5R), the national Canadian organization of clinical research on Alzheimer's Disease. In 2005 his team published the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), which has become an international standard for diagnosis of MCI. In 2006 he chaired the Third Canadian Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia, which brought together many of the country's experts to formulate new guidelines for physicians. Results have been published nationally and internationally. In 2008 Dr. Chertkow received the national Irma Parhad Award from C5R for contributions to excellence in Alzheimer's Disease research. In 2011 Dr. Chertkow was the only Canadian member of the NIH team which revised the diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's Disease (McKhann, Knopman, Chertkow et al, 2011). Dr. Chertkow represents the Canadian Institutes of Health Research on the executive board of ADNI.

Charles DeCarli, MD

  • University of California in Davis, California

Career Highlights

Charles DeCarli, MD, is Professor of Neurology at the University of California in Davis, California. He is the Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center, a United States National Institutes of Health funded Alzheimer's research center. He is also Director of the Imaging of Dementia and Aging (IDeA) laboratory. His research focuses on using advanced structural and functional brain imaging to study normal aging, mild cognitive impairment and dementia and the role of genetics, cerebrovascular and Alzheimer's disease on these processes. He is a recipient of the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine—Imaging of the Aging Brain in recognition of his work. In addition, Dr. DeCarli is the Editor-in-Chief of Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, an international journal of AD research.

Paul T. Francis, Ph.D.

  • King's College London, Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, London, United Kingdom, Professor of Neurochemistry
  • Brains for Dementia Research, London, United Kingdom, Director

Career Highlights

Dr. Francis' research interests include understanding the biochemical basis of cognitive and non-cognitive symptoms in people with dementia together with the characterisation of animal models. Recent interest focuses on how synaptic changes may underlie symptoms. Dr Francis is director of Brains for Dementia Research, funded by the two leading UK Alzheimer's disease charities, which aims to improve the quantity and quality of post-mortem brain tissue available to researchers worldwide.

Lutz Frölich, Ph.D.

  • Department of Geriatric Psychiatry, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Career Highlights

Professor Lutz Frölich is Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry and Head of the Department of Geriatric Psychiatry at the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.

After graduating from Medical School in 1982 and working at the Department of Family Therapy, University of Heidelberg, he was Research Fellow at the Brain Metabolism Group, University of Heidelberg and at the Neurochemistry Lab, University of Wurzburg. After clinical training at the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Wurzburg, he worked at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Frankfurt. He received his habilitation (equivalent to Ph.D.) with experimental work on insulin and insulin receptors in the brain in Alzheimer's disease.

His current research interests focus on translational research in dementias, identification of risk factors and preventive strategies, the validation of biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease, and most importantly on designing and conducting clinical trials in neurodegenerative disorders. For the practice of clinical medicine, he is involved in development of guidelines for diagnosis and therapy of the dementias.

Jeffrey Kaye, M.D.

  • Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Ore., Professor of Neurology and Biomedical Engineering
  • Layton Aging & Alzheimer's Disease Center, Portland, Ore., Director
  • Oregon Center for Aging & Technology, Portland, Ore., Director

Career Highlights

Dr. Kaye directs the Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center at OHSU and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He also directs the Oregon Center for Aging and Technology (ORCATECH). Dr. Kaye's research focuses on the question of why some individuals remain protected from dementia at advanced ages while others succumb to it much earlier. The centerpiece of his studies is the ongoing Oregon Brain Aging Study, established in 1989. He currently leads a large NIH study using technologies to assess seniors in their homes to detect cognitive decline.

William E. Klunk, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Pittsburgh
  • Co-Director Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, University of Pittsburgh Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic

Career Highlights

Dr. William E. Klunk is a Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology and Co-Director of the Alzheimer Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Klunk completed an MD/PhD degree at Washington University in St. Louis focusing on neuropharmacology and medicinal chemistry. Dr. Klunk then completed a general psychiatry residency at the University of Pittsburgh, followed by a Fellowship in Geriatric Neuropsychopharmacology at the same institution. He has published well over 150 journal articles and book chapters and is Principal Investigator of several NIH and Foundation grants and has received a MERIT Award from the NIA. Dr. Klunk is a pioneer in the field of in vivo amyloid imaging in humans. His work spans from basic synthetic chemistry and neuropharmacological evaluation of amyloid imaging tracers to human PET studies of these tracers. His group's 2004 paper was cited by Nature Medicine the most highly cited research paper on Alzheimer's disease published since 2004. He shared the 2004 MetLife Foundation Award, the 2008 Potamkin Prize and the 2009 Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute Awards for research in Alzheimer's disease with his colleague, Chet Mathis. He is Vice-Chair of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the National Alzheimer's Association.

Mary Mittelman, Ph.D.

  • New York University School of Medicine, New York, N.Y., Research Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • Silberstein Institute for Aging and Dementia, New York, N.Y., Director, Psychosocial Research and Support Program

Career Highlights

Dr. Mittelman has been developing and studying innovative interventions for family caregivers for over two decades. She is principal investigator of an award-winning federally funded landmark study of counseling and support for Alzheimer's caregivers, and is an author of several books and numerous articles in major scientific journals.

Kenneth Rockwood, M.D., FRCPC, FRCP

  • Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Neurology, and Kathryn Allen Weldon Professor of Alzheimer research
  • Capital District Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Internist and Geriatrician

Career Highlights

Dr. Rockwood has had a longstanding interest in clinical and epidemiological aspects of frailty, dementia and delirium. Dr. Rockwood has published more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications and seven books. He holds several CIHR grants, including as principal investigator of the Canada China Collaboration on Aging and Longevity and the Canadian Dementia Knowledge Translation Network. The latter is a national, multicentre project to provide better care for people with dementia by facilitating and carrying out translational research and knowledge translation.

Philip Scheltens, M.D., Ph.D.

  • VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Professor of Cognitive Neurology and Director of the Alzheimer Center

Career Highlights

Dr. Scheltens is main clinical and research interests are Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, magnetic resonance imaging, PET imaging and biomarkers. The principal investigator for many studies, including phase 1-3 multicenter clinical trials, he has authored more that 480 peer reviewed papers. Dr. Scheltens chairs the dementia panel of the European Federation of Neurological Societies. He was appointed member of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. He is member of the editorial boards of Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders and International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, and acts as an ad hoc reviewer of scientific articles for, amongst others, The Lancet; Stroke; Neurology, Annals of Neurology, New England Journal of Medicine, Brain and Science.