15 November 2011. The Alzforum Awards recognize altruism among Alzheimer’s disease researchers. Every autumn, the editors consider the many scientists who have actively contributed to the Alzheimer Research Forum website and select a choice half-dozen who have gone to extra lengths to serve. Alzforum editors and writers thank these scientists for being exemplary members of this Web community. At the AD Social at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, DC, awardees received an engraved Tiffany lead crystal paperweight, suitable for diffracting rays of light into the darkest corners of their offices.
Randall Bateman, Open Innovation Award
Bateman not only leads the clinical core of the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN), but he is also assembling a coalition of companies around the shared goal of offering treatment trials to families with dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s disease. Bateman and other DIAN leaders started this project in 2007, prior to current consensus that earlier trials were the way to go. They have since built a foundational body of biomarker data that is drawing stakeholders in pharma and regulatory agencies to the table while giving hope to affected families. Along the way, Bateman has openly shared information with the Alzforum audience, sparking similar initiatives in additional countries. Bateman receives this award on behalf of his fellow DIAN investigators.
Steven Estus, Outstanding Contributor Award
Steve Estus helped Alzforum editors cover research on the understudied topic of ApoE by pulling together a report from a Chicago conference he co-organized. We hope his example will inspire other scientists to share dispatches from the growing number of neurodegenerative disease conferences around the world in our online forum with the research field at large. This kind of expert community service is especially valuable at a time when no scientist, or Alzforum writer, can possibly attend all conferences anymore. See
ARF related news story.
David Holtzman, Extra Mile Award
Having received an Alzforum award in 2002, Holtzman is the only scientist to win it twice. The editors have thought carefully about creating this precedent. As chairman of the neurology department at a major university, Holtzman is as busy as anybody in this field, yet he readily contributes to the community with commentary, interviews, and advice offline. This past year, Holtzman participated in three Webinars, even moderating one on a contested topic. With two beautiful crystal paperweights from Tiffany's, Holtzman can now procrastinate on unloved administrative tasks by playing advanced light diffraction games at his desk. See ARF Webinar.
Ruth Itzhaki, Tenacity Award
This award recognizes the integrity and persistence Ruth Itzhaki demonstrated in advancing her original research hypothesis in the face of scant support for many years among the field at large and from funders. After years out in the cold, her ideas are now spurring independent support from epidemiology and genetics. All along the way, Itzhaki has been open and accessible, commented frequently, and made time for open discussion. See ARF Webinar.
Eric Reiman, Open Innovation Award
Growing out of years of groundwork on brain imaging of preclinical AD, the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative (API) is a visionary project for the future of AD clinical trials. In leading it, Reiman tackles ethical, legal, logistic, funding, and scientific challenges, while having to forge a public-private partnership around a goal that pushes the boundaries of pre-competitive space. From the beginning, Reiman has shared developments with the worldwide stakeholder community via Alzforum. As does DIAN, the API embodies what Alzforum is seeking to reward in both scope and spirit. Reiman receives this award on behalf of all API leaders. See ARF related news story.
Michael Wolfe, Outstanding Contributor Award
For years, Wolfe has been generous in sharing well-written commentary on the literature and for the news, participating in Webinars, and being generally available to Alzforum reporters as a trusted and responsive source. Furthermore, Wolfe shares his expertise in APP, presenilin, and tau with our knowledge management team on protein ontology development, an effort that represents groundwork for improved search and navigation tools on the site. See Wolfe comments.