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Miia Kivipelto.

Miia Kivipelto Awarded the 2021 Melvin R. Goodes Prize for Innovative Research

The prize recognizes Professor Kivipelto’s critical research to prevent cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) has named Professor Miia Kivipelto as the recipient of the 2021 Melvin R. Goodes Prize for Excellence in Alzheimer's Drug Discovery. She is being honoured for her groundbreaking work on the world’s first global initiative for preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Goodes Prize, named for Melvin R. Goodes, a distinguished leader in the pharmaceutical industry, is awarded each year to an innovative researcher who has made a significant and lasting impact in the Alzheimer’s field. The prize includes $150,000 to further the awardee’s research.

Miia Kivipelto is the Founder of the FINGERS Brain Health Institute, Professor of Clinical Geriatrics at the Karolinska Institute Center for Alzheimer Research, and Senior Geriatrician and Director for Research and Development of Medical Unit Aging at Karolinska University Hospital, as well as serving on the ADDF’s Board of Governors. She is also Professor of Neurogeriatrics at the University of Eastern Finland. Part of her Nordic-UK Brain Network multidisciplinary research team is located at the University of Eastern Finland, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and Imperial College London, UK. She and her team led the landmark FINGER (Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability) trial, which studied how a combination of lifestyle interventions—including exercise, diet, cognitive/social stimulation, and management of vascular/metabolic risk factors—can prevent cognitive decline.

“Prevention is a key pillar of the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, and the ADDF takes great pride in being able to support unique and innovative research like Dr. Kivipelto’s multimodal approach in the FINGER trial,” said Howard Fillit, MD, Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer of the ADDF. “Even if we can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by a few years, it could make a huge difference in people’s lives.”

Researchers will next add metformin to lifestyle interventions

With the funding provided through the Goodes Prize, Dr. Kivipelto plans to expand her worldwide FINGER trial by adding metformin to the lifestyle interventions of her initial study.  Metformin is currently the leading drug prescribed for diabetes. The FINGER-metformin study will test whether adding metformin will further prevent the metabolic dysfunctions frequently observed with aging and associated with cognitive decline.

“Being awarded the Goodes Prize is a great honour, not only for me and my team, but also because it represents a larger recognition of the importance of prevention and risk reduction work in the Alzheimer’s field,” said Dr. Kivipelto. “Mel Goodes has been a wonderful, distinguished leader in the pharmaceutical industry, and I am grateful to both him and his wife Nancy for establishing this award to drive forward critical research to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease.”

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