Paola is CEO of Alzheimer’s Disease International. Prior to this, she was CEO of LIFE and occupied senior positions with Cass Business School, Tate, British Library and IIED. She is a Board Member of the World Dementia Council, a Trustee of The Postal Museum and of Lauderdale House. Previously she was a Non-Executive Director of the Non-Communicable Disease Alliance (NCDA), a Trustee of Shelter, the housing/homelessness charity, and of MLA London. She holds a degree cum laude in Classics from Federico II Napoli University, an MA in Field and Analytical Techniques in Archaeology and an MA in Library and Information Science both from University College London.
Dévora Kestel is a senior mental health policy specialist with more than twenty five years of international experience in Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America, implementing and advising governments on national policies related to mental health systems. She is a strong advocate for the rights of people with mental health issues.
Ms Kestel obtained her MSc in Psychology from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, in Argentina and her MSc in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. After completing her university studies in Argentina she worked for 10 years in the development and supervision of community-based mental health services in Trieste, Italy. In 2000 she joined the World Health Organization (WHO) as a mental health officer first in Kosovo and then in Albania where she became the WHO Representative to Albania. In both countries, she worked closely with the Ministries of Health to help establish comprehensive community-based mental health systems.
In 2007 Ms Kestel joined the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) as the Sub-regional Mental Health Advisor for the English Speaking Caribbean Countries, based in Barbados. In 2011 Ms. Kestel was appointed to the position of the Regional Mental Health Advisor, at the headquarters in Washington DC, providing technical cooperation in the mental health field to the entire region. In 2015 she became the Unit Chief for Mental Health and Substance Use at PAHO/WHO. Over the years, Ms. Kestel has contributed to and co-authored publications in the area of mental health.
Since 2019 Ms Kestel is the WHO Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use.
Nils Dahl is a Senior Policy Advisor at Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health.
One of his main tasks is to coordinate Germany’s “National Dementia Strategy” and related research projects.
Before joining the Federal Ministry, he worked for the state department of health and social affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia (which is the the most populous of the 16 states of Germany) and completed the (interdisciplinary) doctoral programme ‘Age(ing): Cultural Concepts and Practical Realisations’ at Heinrich-Heine University Dusseldorf.
His PhD thesis dealt with the topic of social isolation in old age, in particular with the growing number of lonely deaths (kodokushi) in Japan.
Chris Lynch is Deputy CEO at Alzheimer’s Disease International and Director of Policy, Communications & Publications.
Chris has over 25 years’ experience in communications, marketing, business development, policy, publications and events, working in the private, public and not for profit sectors.
On the director team at Alzheimer Scotland, Chris had responsibility for Communications, External Affairs, Marketing, Membership, Events, International liaison and Digital strategy, plus key fundraising activity.
With a passion for digital communication and transformation, he became a Scottish Government Digital Champion in 2016.
Chris has run his own marketing and business development consultancy, Future Marketing, as well as a successful hospitality business.
His pro-bono work includes start up and third sector business advice.
Dishen is a Broadcast Engineer and Presenter for Astro Awani Channel. He is the host of Health Matters with Dishen Kumar. The television show aims to raise awareness on health and wellness issues from the perspectives of physicians and patients. After graduating from University Malaysia Sabah with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Dishen had the opportunity to work in a construction company. However, he quickly realized that it was not his passion and found an opportunity to enter the Media and Broadcasting industry through Astro Awani.
While working closely with Journalists and Presenters as a person behind the camera, Dishen realized he wanted to be in front of it. Starting on a web show called V!VA, Dishen has hosted Personaliti Malaysia Memilih and is a contributing writer for Awani Review. Juggling life as an Engineer and Presenter, Dishen hopes to inspire others to pursue their passion.
Professor Miia Kivipelto, MD, PhD is Deputy Head of KI-ARC and Professor in Clinical Geriatric Epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. She is also Research Director of Neuroepidemiology unit at University of Eastern Finland. She is combining research with clinical medicine, working also as senior geriatrician at the Memory Clinic, Karolinska University Hospital. She has been working in several clinical trials concerning cognitive impairment and AD and is now Deputy Head of the Clinical Trials Unit.
Prof. Kivipelto is the principal investigator in the large population based Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) study and in FINGER. Her research focus is the effects of and interactions between lifestyle-related and genetic factors on cognitive decline/dementia and prevention of AD and other aging-related diseases. Prof. Kivipelto has several PhD and post-doctoral students in her research group and she is involved in many international networks and scientific/steering committees. The unique combination as neuroepidemiologist and geriatrician gives a natural platform for the translational research proposed in the research plan.
Dr Christopher Chen is a Senior Clinician-Scientist, Associate Professor at the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, and Director of the Memory Aging and Cognition Centre, National University Healthcare System.
His pre-clinical studies were at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University and his clinical training was at New College, Oxford University. He was elected the Janssen Junior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford University and was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Neurochemistry, Institute of Neurology, London.
Since returning to Singapore, Dr Chen has developed multi-disciplinary research programmes with extensive international collaborations. His major research and clinical interests are in neuroimaging, molecular biology and treatment of stroke and dementia resulting in over 350 peer reviewed publications. He is the Principal Investigator for several trials including the SINgapore GERiatric intervention study to reduce physical frailty and cognitive decline (SINGER), serves on journal editorial boards and has been a member of trial steering committees and advisory panels.
Currently he is President of the Asian Society Against Dementia, Secretary-Treasurer of the Asian & Oceanian Association of Neurology and Immediate Past Chair of the International Society for Vascular Behavioural and Cognitive Disorders.
Gill Livingston is professor of psychiatry of older people in University College London, Division of Psychiatry, head of mental health care of older people’s research & consultant psychiatrist, Camden & Islington NHS FT in the UK.
She led the Lancet International Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care, launched in 2017. It contained the first life course analysis of potentially modifiable risks in dementia. She works to the commission’s strapline “Acting now on dementia prevention, intervention, and care will vastly improve living and dying for individuals with dementia and their families, and in doing so, will transform the future for society.” She also leads the new update to the Lancet standing commission. She will discuss new material from it.
Her other research includes the START project which successfully reduced depression in carers in a randomised controlled trial, demonstrating clinical and cost effectiveness and long term effectiveness. She has also researched interventions in care homes; non-pharmacological interventions for sleep in dementia and dementia and interventions in minority ethnic groups.
Mr. Roman Szydlowski was born in 1944 in the village of Wolnowacha in Ukraine, the son of Karol and Regina Szydlowski who fled to Soviet Union from Poland during WWII.
He was enrolled in the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm studying electrical engineering from 1970 – 1974. He worked for Ericson as an object leader regarding mobile base stations. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002 and had contractual retirement. After treatment and progression of health, he started working with programming burglar alarms for a small company. In 2011, he was diagnosed with colon cancer which he later recovered from. In 2012, he had a surgery because of a metastasis in his lung.
Mr. Szydlowski was diagnosed with early Alzheimers in 2009 and started taking the drug Aricept against the progression of Alzheimers the same year. In 2018, he was enrolled in a special programme regarding Alzheimers which ended in March 2019. In July 2019, he had better results regarding his cognitive abilities than his results at the same type of test in 2018.
Mr. Szydlowski married Alina Hanczyc in 1981 and they have two children. His hobbies are bridge, classical music and sports.
John C. Morris, MD, is the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Distinguished Professor of Neurology; Professor of Pathology and Immunology; Professor of Physical Therapy; Professor of Occupational Therapy; and Director of the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Morris’ research interests include healthy aging and Alzheimer dementia, antecedent biomarkers for Alzheimer disease, and trials of investigational drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer dementia.
Dr. Morris has authored 4 books and more than 600 published articles (current h-index 127). Dr. Morris is a member of several professional societies and serves on numerous scientific and community advisory boards. He has received many honors and awards, including the MetLife Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease (2004); the Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s, and Related Dementias (2005); and the Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award, Washington University (2010). In 2013, he received the 2013 Peter H. Raven Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Science of St. Louis, the Washington University School of Medicine Second Century Award, and the 2013 Medical & Scientific Honoree from the Alzheimer’s Association He is ranked in the top 1% of investigators in the field of Neuroscience and Behavior by Essential Science Indicators database.
Dr. Hamed Al Sinawi is a senior consultant old age psychiatrist at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat and the chairman and founder of Oman Alzheimer’s Society. He completed his residency and higher psychiatry training in London and establish a memory clinic in Oman in 2011. Along with his clinical work, Dr Al Sinawi is a trainer for the Residents at the Omani board of psychiatry and Research supervises for residents and medical students. His research interests are in the area of geriatric psychiatry, mental health stigma and medical education. He also conducts regular health education campaigns in dementia to the general public and health care professionals.
For 30 years, Michael Schmieder led the Sonnweid in Wetzikon, Switzerland. He developed models for caring for people with dementia. At the end of 2015, he handed over the management of the Sonnweid. Since then he has worked as a consultant and speaker. In the same year, he published with Uschi Entenmann the book «Dement, aber nicht bescheuert».
Dr. Violet Okech-Helu is a Consultant Psychiatrist/ Counselor with more than 15 years of experience in the field of mental health. She chairs Adult Psychiatry and Coordinates Mental Health Research at the Department of Mental Health, KNH, Nairobi, Kenya. She is an Honorary Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi. She played a key role in Mental Health Services development in Kenya and East Africa as the Founding President of the Eastern Africa Young Psychiatrists and Trainees Association (EAYPTA) and was the first female to be the National Vice Chairperson of Kenya Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Okech is an expert in Gender, HIV care and Public Mental Health and Policy. She is an alumnus of the Johns Hopkins University, USA, MPH (Masters in Public Health) and Fulbright Hubert. H. Humphrey Programs and of the University of Nairobi, Medical School. She is also the Kenya Psychiatric Association Ambassador to ADI.
Dr. Okech is passionate about Women’s Mental Health, Mood Disorders, Dementia Care and promoting Quality, Dignified Care for the Elderly.
Martin Knapp is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He has also been Director of the NIHR School for Social Care Research since 2009.
Professor Knapp has been working for many years in the fields of long-term care, social care, and mental health policy and practice. His current research emphases are primarily dementia, child and adult mental health, autism and long-term social care. Much of his work has an economic focus, and in all of it he seeks to tease out the policy and practice implications. He has published almost 600 peer-review journal papers and 15 books. His work has had numerous impacts on policy and practice in these areas.
A/Prof. Lim is Senior Consultant at Department of Geriatric Medicine and Director of the Institute of Geriatrics and Active Ageing, Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He is faculty advisor to National Healthcare Group Health Outcomes Medical Education Research (NHG-HOMER); Adjunct Associate Professor of Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS; council member, Chapter of Clinician Educators; Fellow of the American Geriatric Society; and Associate Fellow of the Association for Medical Education in Europe. He is also adjunct faculty of the Centre for Healthcare Innovation and a member of the Research Management Committee, Geriatric Education and Research Institute.
Awarded the outstanding alumni award 2016 from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, Boston, USA, his enthusiasm in his role as “Geriatrician Educator Researcher” is evidenced by his comprehensive track record of scholarly work, including over 150 peer-reviewed publications; editorial board member of the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging and guest associate editor for Frontiers in Medicine and Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience; reviewer for major national grants, international journals and conferences; and research and teaching awards in the fields of Geriatric Medicine and Health Professions Education. He is chair of the scientific committee for the Asia Pacific Geriatrics Conference in 2016, and co-chair of the local scientific committee for ADI 2020.
A/Prof Lim has completed fellowships in dementia and cognitive disorders at Washington University, St Louis, Successful Aging Programme at St Louis University, and Trans-disciplinary Frailty Research To Achieve Healthy Ageing at University of Adelaide. As principal investigator of the seminal GERI-LABS and GERI-LABS2 studies, he leads a multi-disciplinary team of researchers in conducting cutting-edge research in the areas of frailty and sarcopenia. His passion and dedication in raising regional interest and standards in the field of geriatric medicine, frailty and sarcopenia are evident in his involvement with the Asia Pacific Geriatrics Network; the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia; and a co-author of the widely-cited Asia-Pacific Clinical Practice Guidelines for frailty.
In the area of dementia research, A/Prof Lim has been instrumental in demonstrating the salience of the multidimensional approach to caregiver burden. In particular, his seminal work on “worry about performance” caregiver burden has also been replicated in fields outside of dementia. His research in the area of caregiving is now focusing on the complementary and protective role of mastery against adverse caregiver outcomes. He is also the lead author of the highly cited Cochrane review on the role of omega-3 supplementation in prevention of dementia. His other areas of interest in the area of cognitive disorders include cognitive frailty, delirium, and mild cognitive impairment.
Joyce Simard, MSW, is an Adjunct Associate Professor School of Nursing, University of Western Sydney Australia, patron and founder of Namaste Care International and patron of Soul Midwives and Hope for Home a voluntary organization in the United Kingdom. She is a private geriatric consultant residing in Land O Lakes, Florida in the winter and Prague Czech Republic during the summer months. She has been involved in long-term care for over 40 years serving as Alzheimer’s specialist for many healthcare companies providing services in skilled nursing homes, assisted living communities and hospice organizations throughout the world. In January of 2013, Provider Magazine recognized her as one of “20 To Watch” for her leadership and commitment to improve the lives of residents in long-term care facilities.
Ms. Simard has written numerous articles and chapters in healthcare books and has authored three books: “The Magic Tape Recorder”, a book for children about Alzheimer’s disease and “The End-of-Life Namaste Care Program for People with Dementia” now in its second edition. She has been involved with grants studying the outcomes of Namaste Care with the School of Nursing, University of Western Sydney, Australia, St. Christopher’s hospice (UK), the University of Worcester (UK) and Lancaster University (UK). Ms. Simard is a popular speaker for organizations all over the world as she is known for bringing a light touch to serious subjects.
Dr. Volicer is currently the Courtesy Full Professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, Visiting Professor at the 3rd Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic and Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Sydney. He studied medicine at the Charles University in Prague Czechoslovakia and received PhD in pharmacology at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. In 1969, he moved to the USA and started teaching pharmacology and doing research at the Boston University Medical School. In 1979, he moved his laboratory to the E.N.Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA and got involved in research and care for individuals with dementia.
As a medical director, he established one of the first Dementia Special Care Units and introduced the concept of structured palliative care for patients with advanced dementia. Goals of care on this unit were quality of life, dignity and comfort instead of prolongation of life at all costs. Dr. Volicer investigated various aspects of dementia care, including behavioral symptoms, medical complications and eating difficulties. He is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He published over 250 articles and chapters and edited four books on clinical management of dementia. He is a past chair of the American Medical Directors Association Ethics Committee, section editor for the Journal on Nutrition and Aging and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of American Medical Directors Association.
Dr Atri is the Senior Scientist in the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative at Banner Sun Health Research Institute and Chair of Alzheimer’s Disease International’s (ADI’s) Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel (MSAP). Dr Atri is an internationally renowned cognitive neurologist, clinician-researcher and educator in the fields of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Related Dementias (ADRD). His research utilises mathematical/statistical methods, biomarkers, and clinical trial/effectiveness methodologies to focus on early detection, risk reduction, and treatment and care of AD/ADRD. He boasts a BS Mathematics, MS Biomathematics and PhD Biomathematics, UCLA; concurrent with MD, UCSF, amongst many other qualifications.
Dr Atri advises and has led several large international investigational medicines/clinical trials programs for AD. He serves as co-chair of the Alzheimer’s Association U.S. national best clinical practices (AADx-CPG) workgroup on evaluation of cognitive behavioural syndromes, Alzheimer’s disease and ADRD.
Dr. Seong Yoon Kim graduated from Seoul National University in 1985, and has taken psychiatric residency and geropsychiatry research fellowship training in Seoul National University Hospital from 1989 to 1994.
Since 1995, he has been working as a house staff and professor in the Department of Psychiatry of Asan Medical Center and the Medical College, University of Ulsan. Establishing and running a Dementia and Memory Disorder clinic since 1997, he is now working as a Director of Geropsychiatry Section and Memory Disorder Clinic.
Since his research fellowship in McLean Hospital in Boston in early 2000’s, he is actively involved in new drug clinical trials, development and validation of neuropsychological tools, establishment of geriatric cohorts for epidemiological and clinical studies, structural and functional neuroimaging, biomarker studies on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias writing more than 150 peer reviewed journal articles and 10 books and chapters. He is working as an active member of the national dementia cohort research network (CRCD: clinical research centers for dementia) and has been the PI of Korean ADNI (Alzheimer’s disease neuroimaging initiative) study during 2004~2015. Recently, he has worked as a visiting scholar to UC Irvine Memory Impairment and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND), and also serving as the national expert consultant and as the president of Korean Association of Geriatric Psychiatry.
The couple live in Australia and are retired Social Workers, who are actively involved in dementia advocacy both nationally and internationally. Both are on advisory committees for Dementia Australia (DA). Eileen is secretary for Dementia Alliance International (DAI), hosting their online weekly support group for Australian and New Zealand. Both Eileen and Dubhglas are cofounders of the Dementia Awareness Advocacy Team (DAAT).
Lorène Gilly is Head of Public Affairs at France Alzheimer and Related Diseases. For more than 30 year this department has been working to raise awareness within the political world. By speaking out for the millions of families affected, the organisation constantly reminds public decision-makers that taking care of people living with dementia and their caregivers is still an issue today, especially in our aging European countries.
Mario Possenti is the general secretary and represents Federazione Alzheimer Italia both at international and national level. He is the project leader for the “Dementia Friendly Community” program in Italy and manages Federazione membership program, supporting existing member associations and working with emerging organizations. He’s member of the “Table for Dementia” by the Minister of Health for monitoring the application of the “national dementia plan”.
Dr. Wang obtained Bachelor of Medicine from Peking University (formerly, Beijing Medical University) in 1994, and MD/PhD from Peking University in 2001. She was trained on International Mental Health Research at Harvard Medical School, neuropsychology and neuroimaging of dementia at University of California, Irvine.
Dr. Wang is one of the national pioneers to manage memory clinic and build service capacity for dementia care. She set up the first dementia caregiver support group in China in 2000, developed and tested a community-based family caregiver support program in Beijing. Now she directs a training program for community doctors and service providers, and a train-the-trainer program for dementia caregivers support in China. The care model has been partly adopted by WHO West Pacific Regional Office to develop the toolkit for community-based dementia care in low- and middle-income countries.
A Caribbean woman, born in St. Kitts, lived in England and the United States who had reside for the past 25 years in the British Virgin Islands. Her experiences in developing mental health programmes in the United States and a further 25 years as an Human Resources Business Partner with a background of Organisational Development and Planning, equips her with the passion and skills to initiate the Alzheimer’s Movement in the British Virgin Islands. She is the Founding Director of the Virgin Islands Alzheimer’s Association.
Obsessive rule breaker, creative agitator, and smartphone cinematic advocate.
Jason’s story started on the global stage of Tropfest NY in 2008 with an unexpected short film win shot on a Nokia N95 for $57. In 2020 he survived home isolation by capturing charming videos documenting life with his 87 year old mother living with Alzheimers disease and vascular dementia. Over 50,000,000 views later he’s been featured on shows such as Good Morning America and The Late Late Show with James Corden.
His passion for smartphone filmmaking carries through from his popular festival shorts and workshops right through to the commercial work he champions at his own production studio – Treehouse Creative – Australia’s very first iPhone content creation agency. They now consult for some of the world’s leading media brands and broadcasters.
Equally at home presenting a TEDx lecture or inspiring an auditorium of conference attendees – Jason is currently launching his digital workshops program to help educate and empower marginalised storytellers anywhere.
Emily Ong lives in Singapore and used to be a preschool teacher, Special Educational Needs (SEN) learning consultant and trainer. At 51, she was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and possibility of young onset-dementia. After overcoming the initial grief, she is determined to use her lived experience to do dementia community education and advocate for direct support for people with dementia. Emily Ong is co-facilitator of the ‘Voices for Hope’, which is a step-up programme by Singapore Alzheimer’s Disease Association for people with dementia and their care partners. She is the committee advisor to the dementia inclusive community project of the Kebun Baru Community Club. Emily is very active in her dementia education work through her personal Facebook Page, ‘Living with Mild Cognitive Impairments and YOD.’ Her passion and devotion in re-framing dementia as an acquired disability and the need to provide direct post-diagnostic support to people with dementia can be seen through her advocacy talks and partnership with Singapore National Neuro Institute and Apex Harmony Lodge. Emily is a member of the Global Dementia Observatory (GDO) Focus Group and Dementia Alliance International.
Fiona Carragher joined Alzheimer’s Society in January 2019. As Director of Research and Influencing and a member of our Executive Leadership Team, Fiona plays a pivotal role in the Society vision to create a world without dementia. Fiona has overall responsibility for our Research and Influencing strategy; leading our growing and ambitious world-class research programme and portfolio and our work to strengthen our position as the national charity leader on dementia health, social care policy and societal change.
Prior to joining Alzheimer’s Society, Fiona was the Deputy Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England, providing leadership for the 50,000 healthcare science professionals in the NHS and expert advice to the health system on science, innovation and diagnostics. She led a broad portfolio of policy responsibilities including establishing the UK Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostics programme and the system wide Action Plan on Hearing Loss. She is a passionate advocate for women in health and led the establishment of the first Women in Science and Engineering fellowship programme in the NHS.
Fiona is a Consultant Clinical Biochemist by background and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists. She has worked in multi-professional teams for two decades at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh and Kings College Hospital London, with a focus on providing high quality, innovative services.
Fiona is committed to ensuring that we reach every person who has a dementia diagnosis and wants our help. She wants to change the conversation on dementia, mainstream the rights of people affected by dementia and drive the research agenda, working tirelessly to improve care and find a cure.
Mr Jason Foo is the Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer’s Disease Association (“ADA”) in Singapore, a social service agency set up in 1990 as a result of the growing concern for the dementia prevalence affecting Singapore. With a vision of building a dementia inclusive society in Singapore, ADA provides a whole host of programmes and services to tackle the challenges of dementia and to support people with dementia and their families.
Jason had served on the Board of ADA as a volunteer for 22 years before taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2012. He is a Chartered Accountant by training with more than 25 years of experience in senior positions in the banking and financial industry before making the career switch to the social services sector.
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