Investigating Vascular Risk Factors to Prevent Dementia

Dr Matt Paradise and Liz Woolfson

HEIDI DOUGLASS | h.douglass@unsw.edu.au

Dr Matt Paradise is the 2018 recipient of the Josh Woolfson Scholarship which supports research looking at modifiable risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease to identify and target at-risk groups and individuals and develop intervention strategies for risk reduction. 

This award was generously donated to UNSW Sydney’s Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) by Ms Liz Woolfson in honour of her late husband Mr Josh Woolfson who had Alzheimer’s disease. Ms Woolfson was introduced to Dr Paradise on the 9th August 2018. 

Dr Paradise, whose research interests include late-life depression, mild-cognitive impairment (MCI) and cerebrovascular pathology, will use this PhD scholarship to further his research into the quantification of vascular burden in the brain with the hope of determining ways to control vascular risk factors and ultimately prevent dementia. 

Dr Paradise said he was privileged to be the recipient of the Josh Woolfson Scholarship and was encouraged that the importance of dementia research was being recognised by the community with such awards. 

“There is increasing recognition of the role of vascular risk factors in both Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. This is all the more important with the failure to find effective drug treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 

“We know that we can prevent dementia by controlling vascular risk factors so by investigating this area further, we will be able to develop better markers of vascular damage in the brain and consequently improve diagnosis and prognosis,” he said.

“Intervention in early cognitive deficits provides us with the greatest potential for treatment and amelioration of symptoms,” he said. 

Dr Matt Paradise, an Old Age Psychiatrist who trained both in the UK and Australia and received a Masters of Psychiatric Research from University College London (UCL) added that it was difficult to pursue an academic career in psychiatry because of lack of funding. 

“This award allows me to concentrate more on my research career and goals to make a significant impact on dementia research.” said Dr Paradise. 

CHeBA offers a series of scholarships for research examining healthy ageing in older adults with a focus on the ageing brain and age-related cognitive disorders and dementia. 

CHeBA undertakes ground-breaking research in a number of areas including neuroimaging, genetics, epigenomics, cognitive ageing, epidemiology and proteomics.  Exceptional students like Dr Paradise are encouraged to apply for available PhD Scholarships and undertake research at CHeBA to help change the future of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 
 

About the Scholarship
The Scholarship will have a value of $10,000 per annum payable for three years, the duration of the degree with a possible extension of six (6) months. The Scholarship can be awarded from 2017 onwards.

Conditions of Scholarship
The Scholarship will be paid fortnightly subject to satisfactory progress and performance.

Terms

  • Former recipients are ineligible to reapply
  • Extensions at the end of the term may be granted with approval of the supervisor and GRS and will be considered on a case by case basis
  • The Scholarship may be suspended for 1 or 2 semesters with permission of the supervisor or GRS
  • The offer may be deferred

Eligibility
The Scholarship shall be awarded in accordance with the eligibility criteria stated below:

  • The scholarship is available to both new and existing students
  • The scholarship is available to fulltime and part time students
  • The scholarship is available to domestic students only
  • The applicant can be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • The applicant must be enrolled, or willing to enrol, in a higher research degree
  • The applicant may hold other Awards (eg) APA. This is a top-up scholarship.
  • The applicant may not be enrolled in both research and coursework

Application
Applicants will be required to submit their CV, a copy of their academic transcripts and an overview of their proposed research project.

Selection Criteria
The Scholarship shall be awarded in accordance with the selection criteria below:

  • The potential to contribute to the understanding, early detection, treatment, care or cure of Alzheimer's disease
  • Academic merit

Reporting Requirements
The recipient will be required to provide annually to the donor a short report summarising the research that has been undertaken, including any publications and presentations arising from their work.

Date Published: 
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
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