Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® Honorees Include the First Canadian Recipient, Advocate to Veterans, Caregiver, and First Honoree with Parkinson’s Disease
Contact: Andi Zucchi – firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-927-8767
Washington, DC (February 23, 2022) – The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP) is honoring four clinical trial volunteers with 2021 National Citizen Scientist Awards. This year’s recipients include the first Canadian and Parkinson’s honorees, along with an advocate for veterans, and a caregiver dedicated to making an impact on the Alzheimer’s community. These four award recipients demonstrate the impact that clinical trial volunteers have in the fight against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
“The four remarkable volunteers who are being recognized with a Citizen Scientist Award are exemplary leaders within the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s research communities. Without these volunteers, new treatments and medications for people living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s would not be possible,” said GAP President John Dwyer. “It is critical to have changemakers like these special Citizen Scientists doing extraordinary things by giving their time and their talents to improve science.”
Recruiting and maintaining trial participants is presently the greatest obstacle, aside from funding, to developing new therapies and treatments for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, 90% of clinical trials are delayed due to a lack of participants.
The 2021 National Citizen Scientist Award honorees represent different countries, diagnoses, races, and livelihoods – yet share a passion for advocacy and research that has led them to such a significant role in the fight against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. More than 100 research centers in GAP-Net nominated dozens of deserving volunteers for the 2021 National Citizen Scientist Award and they were celebrated locally along with other volunteers.
The 2021 Honorees are:
The National Citizen Scientist Collaborator Award recognizes a study partner for someone with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease who is enrolled or was enrolled in a clinical trial. Recipients of this award demonstrate a selfless commitment to the Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s community.
Carol Peterson- National Citizen Scientist Collaborator Award Honoree
Carol began participating in clinical trials after her husband John was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Carol accompanies John to his appointments and participates in the hope of accelerating the speed of treatment options. Carol was nominated for the Collaborator Award by Raleigh Neurology Associates.
“We do what we need to do,” said Carol. “Yes, I would have liked to have done other things, I would have liked to have more free time. My husband, though, would have liked to have his time.”
The National Citizen Scientist Champion Award acknowledges a clinical trial volunteer who fights for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s research and is an advocate for participation in clinical trials in the community.
Dan McEachin- National Citizen Scientist Champion Award Honoree
Dan is the first person living with Parkinson’s to be honored with a National Citizen Scientist Award. Dan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s seven years ago, and immediately got involved with research. Dedicated to speaking to fellow people with Parkinson’s who are newly diagnosed, Dan exemplifies the importance of spreading awareness about Parkinson’s research. Dan was nominated for the Champion Award by the Quest Research Institute.
“It’s necessary to adapt things that are a little bit outside of my comfort zone and not only volunteer for what is interesting and convenient, but volunteer for what needs to be done,” said Dan.
The National Citizen Scientist Catalyst Award is awarded to a clinical trial volunteer who acts as a stimulus in bringing about or hastening a result through creative, new, and novel approaches to encourage clinical trial participation.
Sheila Minor- National Citizen Scientist Catalyst Award Honoree
Sheila was motivated to get involved in Alzheimer’s clinical trials due to her mother’s diagnosis. Since then, Sheila has remained dedicated to trial participation, and recruiting others from her association with Vietnam Veterans of America, giving Progressive Research newfound connections to the veteran community. Sheila was nominated for the Catalyst Award by Progressive Medical Research.
“I think people need to get more involved in medical research, and not be afraid of it. I want to be an advocate, promote research, and get more people involved,” said Sheila.
The National Citizen Scientist Cornerstone Award recognizes a clinical trial volunteer who has personally made extraordinary efforts to support local research and participation in trials.
Anthony “Tony” Ng- National Citizen Scientist Cornerstone Award Honoree
Tony is the first Canadian recipient of a National Citizen Scientist Award. Dedicated to research in the hopes of a brighter future for others facing an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Tony’s commitment to clinical trials is centered around contributing to the entire Alzheimer’s community. Tony was nominated for the Cornerstone Award by Toronto Memory Program.
“There’s a practical benefit to being involved in the trial. Not just for the future, but it may also benefit yourself. It makes me realize this is something we all need to move forward, together,” said Tony.
About the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® (GAP)
The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® (GAP) is a person-centric nonprofit dedicated to accelerating the delivery of innovative therapies for neurological disorders by reducing the duration and cost of clinical trials. Research centers across the US, Canada, and Europe are part of the growing GAP Network (GAP-Net). GAP supports GAP-Net research centers by assisting with study start up and recruitment activities, promoting diversity in research studies, and offering international clinical trial infrastructure, resources, and programs that champion brain health and the citizen scientists who make research possible.
About National Citizen Scientist Awards®
GAP created a first-of-its-kind award, Citizen Scientists Awards, in 2019 to celebrate Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial participants. The only way to find treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s is through clinical trials and volunteers make that research possible. Citizen Scientist Awards are one way that GAP recognizes the time, passion, and dedication of the trial participants. Participation is one of the most impactful and accessible ways for Alzheimer’s advocates to make a difference. In 2021, GAP expanded the program to include volunteers in Parkinson’s disease clinical trials and their study partners.
All GAP-Net sites can nominate up to three Citizen Scientists in each of four award categories for a total of up to 12 nominees per GAP-Net site. Each site will celebrate these nominees at local site and regional events. A national awardee is selected in each award category.
Read about past Citizen Scientists here.