Currently, there is an estimated 459,000 Australians living with dementia. The number of people with dementia is expected to increase to 589,807 by 2028.
Professor Amy Brodtmann
Associate Professor Brodtmann leads the Eastern Cognitive Disorders Clinic (ECDC) which is a specialist clinical center for the diagnosis and management of atypical dementias. This has developed into an Australian referral service for FTD. She also established the Australian frontotemporal dementia Association (AFTDA) which held its first International Conference for FTD in Sydney, November 2018. The ECDC clinical trials unit is regarded as an exemplar for dementia trials nationally and internationally.
Amy has been involved in over 20 AD pharmaceutical company funded and investigator-led studies, and has run or participated in a further 7 investigator-led FTD studies. She has experience with pharma studies in FTD: one of only 3 centers in Australia to participate in the TauRx/OLEX study. Her group were in the top five recruiting sites internationally (11 patients recruited, 3 screen failures, 4th in the world). They are also one of the top recruiters for AD studies – they have been the third highest recruiter internationally for the Biogen ENGAGE study (adacunamab), second only to 2 large US sites – and extraordinary achievement given that Australia’s entire population is only 25 million.
Associate Professor Nawaf Yassi
Associate Professor Yassi is an academic neurologist engaged in research on the use of brain imaging to predict outcomes after stroke, and to determine the cerebrovascular contributions towards cognitive impairment and dementia. He completed his PhD titled “Advanced Imaging Predicting Outcome in Stroke – Therapeutic Implications” in 2015 and was then awarded an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowship with a focus on examining the important overlap between cerebrovascular disease and the neurodegenerative disorders, especially Alzheimer’s Disease. During this fellowship he has successfully developed and fostered numerous national and international collaborations with partners and has established a national profile and a growing international profile in his field, with multiple international speaker invitations.
He is co-Head of the recently established Dementia Research group along with A/Prof Rosie Watson. Their partnership strengthens the MBC's close ties with the WEHI and will drive further breakthroughs in dementia treatment and management. Nawaf is also Head of Education and Training, Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, a role which involves active mentoring and supervision of junior medical staff and neurology advanced trainees. He also co-founded and co-chaired the Emerging Stroke Clinicians and Scientists Group within the Stroke Society of Australasia which focuses on support and training of emerging stroke clinicians and scientists.