The award recognises Professor Kivipelto’s more than 20 years of research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Professor Kivipelto, Scientific Coordinator of EU-FINGERS, was awarded the prize by the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, at a special ceremony in Auckland, New Zealand. Professor Kivipelto joined via video from her home in Sweden because of travel restriction related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ryman Prize is an annual, international award for the best work carried out anywhere in the world that has enhanced quality of life for older people. The prize was established to create the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for people working in the field of the health of older people.
Professor Kivipelto was inspired to take on the research by the experience of caring for her grandmother who lived with Alzheimer’s disease. She was delighted to win.
This is a great honour, not just for me, but for my team. I believe this will give us even more energy for what we do, which is more important than ever. We’ve kept going through COVID-19 and we’re getting great results, and we will keep going. The failure rate in Alzheimer’s disease drugs under development is 99.6% and there have been no new drugs approved since 2002. There is no miracle cure. Our research focuses on identifying who is at risk and finding ways they can reduce these risk factors. It isn’t just one solution – but there are a whole lot of things we can do to reduce the risk.-Miia Kivipelto
The Ryman Prize attracts a world-class field of entrants each year. Each winner is chosen by an international jury of experts from across many disciplines. Professor Kivipelto was singled out for this year’s prize for her tireless dedication to her research, and her far-reaching impact around the world.
Our jury thought she was an outstanding candidate. Professor Kivipelto’s research is world leading, practical and influential. She leads a team of 100 researchers and clinical staff working on the challenge and her colleagues describe her as a very hard-working scientist who is absolutely dedicated to understanding disease and improving life for older people. She’s a great advocate for her field of research and there is no doubt she will use this recognition to her work. She’s an inspiration and this prize is a thank you for all the work she has done, and will no doubt continue to do.-David King, Ryman Prize Director