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Leon Thal, M.D. Director of the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and the Florence Riford Chair in Alzheimer’s at UCSD, has been named to the Alzheimer's Association’s National Board of Directors.
“The Alzheimer's Association is the premier organization in the United States representing Alzheimer’s disease patients and their families,” said Thal. “I am delighted to have been selected to serve on the Board, and I hope to raise awareness of both research and clinical trials by my association with this important organization.”
The Alzheimer’s Association, founded in 1980, is the first and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to finding prevention methods, treatments and an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Thal served as a member of the Alzheimer's Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Board from 1995 to 1997 and has been on the Board of the San Diego Chapter for 10 years.
He manages UCSD’s Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the national Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS.) The ADCS was recently awarded $52 million from the National Institutes of Health to conduct new clinical trials on Alzheimer’s disease. The award is the third renewal of a cooperative agreement between the NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) and UC San Diego which coordinates the consortium of nearly 70 research sites in the United States and Canada. Thal has led the ADCS since its inception in 1991.
Dr. Thal’s major research interests include genetics, behavioral studies of dementia, clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease, biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease and enhancement of neuronal function and regeneration. He serves on a variety of Alzheimer’s disease councils, including the Council of Scientific Advisors for the Byrd Alzheimer’s Center and the Alzheimer’s Association Advisory Workgroup and as the senior scientific advisor for the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In addition, Thal is an editorial and journal Reviewer for Neurobiology of Aging, Alzheimer’s Disease Review, the Journal of Neural Transmission, and associate editor of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
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