Heather M. Snyder, Ph.D., is vice president, Medical Science Relations at the Alzheimer’s Association®. In this role, she oversees Association initiatives that accelerate innovative Alzheimer’s research and provide opportunities for the global dementia community to connect and collaborate.
Dr. Snyder is responsible for the progress the Association has made in Alzheimer's and dementia research funding. She leads the Association’s International Research Grant Program, the vehicle through which the Association funds promising investigations that advance understanding of Alzheimer's and moves the field toward solutions for the global Alzheimer's crisis. As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research, the Association is currently investing $167 million in more than 500 active best-of-field projects in 27 countries.
As part of this effort, Dr. Snyder is instrumental in advancing grant programs to explore sex and gender-based disease vulnerability, which contributed to the Women's Alzheimer's Research Initiative, one of the only focused funding programs in this area. This grant program funds studies to uncover how biological and genetic factors shape disease development and progression in women as compared to men, a factor that may influence diagnostic and treatment options as research moves closer to precision medicine.
To increase knowledge about prevention and risk reduction, Dr. Snyder serves on the executive team for the U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (U.S. POINTER). In addition, she oversees the development and management of the leading clinical neurology journal, Alzheimer's & Dementia®: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, and its companion open-access journals, which help bridge the knowledge gaps across a wide range of dementia research disciplines.
Dr. Snyder sits on the programmatic review committee for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs for Alzheimer's Disease. She has been a peer reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, the Polish government, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the state of California Alzheimer's funding program.
An expert in the field, Dr. Snyder has been featured in numerous TV interviews and print and online news articles, including "The Dr. Oz Show," The New York Times, The Washington Post, Crain's Chicago Business "40 under 40" 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.