ADRC 35th Anniversary Celebration

The UW ADRC and its associated clinical and educational programs at the UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center are pleased to bring you a celebration of the ADRC's 35th anniversary and a  look forward to present and future endeavors! Through interviews, profiles, historical research, archival documents and photos, this special project explores the foundation built by the early researchers and team members of our Center and the fruitful avenues of current research that grow from it. We hope you will notice how recurring themes of collaboration, creativity, community outreach, and leadership still define us today. For this project, our current day team spoke with the people who shaped the ADRC as well as those who work today on such efforts, such as answering longstanding research questions, creating innovative programs for caregivers, and better addressing disparities in dementia care, resources, and education for American Indians and Alaska Natives. We listened to the life stories of research participants who share their reasons for giving gifts of time and effort to our research projects and trials. 

While it is impossible to represent every valuable team member and project in depth, we urge to you to follow the clues in these stories and timeline to learn more about what interests you. In the future, the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic will certainly be a part of our Center's history. To rise to these challenges, we adapted many resources and programs, enhanced our virtual offerings of educational programs, conferences, and activities, such as nature walks, and continue to brainstorm about ways we can improve the lives of people living with memory loss.

We want to take this opportunity to thank our generous philanthropic donors for supporting numerous Alzheimer's disease research projects, community initiatives, and faculty positions that help our Center flourish. We recognize the Ellison Foundation, Richard M. and Maude Ferry Charitable Foundation, Paul V. Martinis Estate, Anderson Foundation, Steven G. and Dixie Y. Wilson, Ms. Charlotte Merritt, Sky Valley Whirlwinds, Skyline First Hill, Friends of Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Arthur J. and Marcella McCaffray endowment, Arthur Krause endowment, and Nancy and Buster Alvord endowment, and many members of the public. Your interest also makes a difference and helps us advance the day when threats to memory and brain health will be detected and prevented as the standard of care.

Happy reading! 

Thomas Grabowski, MD



/ The Early ADRC’s Search for an Alzheimer’s Gene: How Creative Teamwork, Collaboration, Leadership, and Luck Set the Stage for Today’s Approach to Biological Complexity 





/ An Ecology of the Aging Brain: The Shared Project of the Adult Changes in Thought Study and the ADRC 

/ Untangling the Knot: The Far-Reaching Legacy of Non-Pharmacological Intervention and Caregiving Programs at the Early UW ADRC and Related Programs 

/ High Standards: A Profile of Ellen Wijsman 




/ Taking the Long Road: ADRC Efforts to Recognize Health Disparities and Better Represent American Indians and Alaska Natives in Alzheimer’s Disease Research





/ An Interview with the ADRC's Founding Director

/ Celebrating the Stories of ADRC Research Participants





/ Prescriptions for Prevention: Exploring the Most Impactful Take-Home Lessons of the ACT Study about Dementia Prevention and Risk Factors 






/ Revisiting a Defining Question, 34 Years Later

/ A Research Mystery for the Ages: Are Females at a Higher Risk for Alzheimer's?





/ ADRC Milestones: 1978-2020



> To view this content in its original print form, download the ADRC 35th Anniversary Edition of Dimensions 

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