Heather M. Snyder, Ph.D., is vice president, Medical & Scientific Relations at the Alzheimer’s Association. In this role, she oversees Association funding initiatives that accelerate innovative Alzheimer’s and dementia research and provides opportunities for the global dementia community to connect and collaborate.
Dr. Snyder leads the Association’s International Research Grant Program and other strategic funding initiatives that accelerate promising investigations into our understanding of Alzheimer's and dementia. As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research, the Association is currently investing more than $360 million in over 1,000 active best-of-field projects in 53 countries, spanning six continents.
As part of the Association's funding portfolio, Dr. Snyder works closely with the Part the Cloud program, advancing innovative approaches for potential therapies into phase 1 and phase 2 clinical studies. Dr. Snyder has also been instrumental in advancing programs to further explore sex and gender-based differences in disease vulnerability as part of a larger initiative aimed to understand how these biological and genetic factors may shape disease development and progression in women.
Dr. Snyder provides leadership on several of the Association’s cutting-edge scientific initiatives. To increase knowledge of prevention and risk reduction, she serves on the executive team for the U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (U.S. POINTER). Dr. Snyder works with other global leaders on the Association’s International Cohort Study of Chronic Neurological Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 to better understand the impact of COVID on the brain, including factors that may contribute to Alzheimer’s and other dementia. She is also a study team investigator for the development of the Alzheimer’s Network for Treatment and Diagnostics (ALZ-NET), an initiative to gain insight on FDA-approved novel Alzheimer’s therapies.
Dr. Snyder is the chair of the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs for Alzheimer's Disease. She also serves on the Research Committee for the American Heart Association and as the immediate past chair of the Health Research Alliance Board of Directors.
An expert in the field, Dr. Snyder has been featured in numerous TV interviews and print and online news articles, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
She holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and a bachelor's degree in biology and religious studies from the University of Virginia.