two doctors discussing brain scan

Alzheimer's LA & Research

Alzheimer’s Los Angeles is committed to supporting local researchers’ efforts to understand, treat, prevent, and ultimately find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Below are our key initiatives:

Turken Research Awards

Beth Devermont, President and Director of The Sam and Ida Turken Charitable Foundation, is the daughter of Phyllis Turken Shamberg who began donating funds to Alzheimer’s research in the 1980’s. Almost 30 years ago, Phyllis Turken Shamberg reached out to Alzheimer’s Los Angeles regarding an interest in creating a partnership between Alzheimer’s Los Angeles, The Sam and Ida Turken Foundation, and UCLA to create a scholarship for early career Alzheimer’s researchers. The first award was provided in 1990 and has continued ever since. Mrs. Devermont continues her mother’s legacy by providing an annual gift to support an early career researcher at UCLA who is committed to studying Alzheimer’s disease.

Every year, UCLA’s Mary Easton Center hosts Turken Day, a daylong event where early career researchers share their impressive work in the study of Alzheimer’s disease and culminates with a presentation from the awardee.

Turken Research Award Recipients

1991 - Peter (Taihung) Duong, Ph.D.
1992 – Joseph Watson, Ph.D.
1993 – Susan McPherson, Ph.D.
1994 – Todd Morgan, Ph.D.
1995 – Susan Book Bookheimer, Ph.D.
1996 – Marni E. Harris-White, Ph.D.
1997 – Julia W. Chang, Ph.D.
1998 – Chandra Reynolds, Ph.D.
1999 – Tiffany Chow, M.D. (UCLA) & Barbara Cherry, Ph.D. (USC)
2000 – Dan Silverman, M.D., Ph.D. (UCLA) & Christian Pike, Ph.D. (USC)
2001 – Dan Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D.
2002 – George Jackson, M.D., Ph.D.
2003 – Paul Thompson, M.D., Ph.D.
2004 – John Ringman, M.D.
2005 – Gal Bitan, Ph.D.
2006 – Linda Ercoli, Ph.D.
2007 – Liana Apostolova, M.D.
2008 – Edmond Teng, M.D., Ph.D.
2009 – Martin Wirenfeldt Nielsen, M.D., Ph.D.
2010 – Po-Haong Lu, Psy.D.
2011 – Meredith Braskie, Ph.D.
2012 – Joshua Grill, Ph.D.
2013 – Sophie Sokolow, Ph.D., M.Pharm.
2014 – Zhefeng Guo, Ph.D.
2015 – Florence Roussotte, Ph.D.
2016 – Lin Jiang, Ph.D.
2017 – Eric Hayden, Ph.D.
2018 – Paul Seidler, Ph.D.
2019 – Jessica Rexach, M.D. Ph.D.

Early Career Investigators Award

Every spring, Alzheimer’s Los Angeles honors 4 emerging researchers early in their careers with a $1,000 travel stipend. Graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty in our service area who are working in biomedical, clinical, or psychosocial research with a focus on Alzheimer’s or related dementias are encouraged to apply. This award honors both the work they are currently doing and their potential to contribute significantly to the field in the future.

The hope is that this award furthers their career as a researcher in the field. These awards are made possible through the generosity of Dr. Helena Chui, MD

Early Career Investigator’s Award Recipients

2013
Eric Hayden, Ph.D. (UCLA)
Aida Attar, Ph.D. (UCLA)

2014
David Gate, Doctoral Student (USC)
Mafalda Caccittolo, Ph.D. (USC)

2015
Elliot Swartz, Ph.D. (UCLA)
Marie-Victorie Guillot-Sestier, Ph.D. (USC)

2016
Quilan Ma, M.D., Ph.D. (UCLA)
Douglas Barthold, Ph.D. (USC)
Tara Weitz, Ph.D. (USC)
Fabian Corlier, Ph.D. (USC)
Jing Di, Ph.D. (UCLA)

2017
Brian Pak Yan Leung, Doctoral Student (USC)
Carson Whinnery (Loma Linda)
Francisca Then, Ph.D. (USC)
Kwok (Chris) Im, Doctoral Candidate (USC)
Nicholas Sanchez, Doctoral Student (Loma Linda)

2018
Brendan Miller, Doctoral Student (USC)
Elizabeth Joe, M.D. (USC)
Lirong Yan, Ph.D. (USC)
Mariana Figueiredo Uchoa Doctoral Student (USC)

2019
Fumito Endo, M.D., Ph.D. (UCLA)
Melanie Sweeney, Ph.D. (USC)
Anakha Ajayan, Doctoral Student (USC)
Axel Montagne, Ph.D. (USC)

2020
Mirella Diaz-Santos, Ph.D. (UCLA)
Stacey Schepens Niemiec PhD, OTR/L (USC)

BrightFocus Foundation Partnership

In 2017, Alzheimer’s Los Angeles began an exciting partnership with BrightFocus Foundation to fund local Alzheimer’s disease research. Scientists in the greater Los Angeles area have the opportunity to apply for a research grant from BrightFocus Foundation that is supported in part by Alzheimer’s Los Angles. This initiative is funded by the generosity of our donors.

BrightFocus Foundation funds innovative, investigator-initiated research from post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty affiliated with academic institutions focused on the etiology, prevention, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias.

Alzheimer’s Los Angeles-BrightFocus Foundation Award Recipients

2017 – Paul Seidler, Ph.D. (UCLA) & Inma Cobos, M.D., Ph.D. (UCLA)
2018 – Sarah Gallant, Ph.D. (USC)
2019 – Zhen Zhao, Ph.D. (USC)
2020 - Lirong Yan, PhD, (USC)

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