Dr. Ozioma Okonkwo, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, will begin a two-year project to study the effects of aerobic exercise on the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease after receiving a research grant from the Alzheimer’s Association.
Okonkwo is the recipient of the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2014 New Investigator Research Grant to Promote Diversity, according to a statement from the association.
Kari Paterson, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, said the association chooses the recipient through a medical and scientific review panel. She said the selection panel consists of people within the association who are aware of gaps in current Alzheimer’s research.
She said the panel looks for researchers who can help “fill this void.”
“[Okonkwo] is really kind of an innovator when it comes to looking at the earliest signs and stages of the disease,” Paterson said.
She said the professor’s work focuses on proactive ways to prevent or combat Alzheimer’s, as opposed to reactive treatment.
Paterson added the organization has ties to many partners on campus, including the Pi Sigma Tau fraternity. She said students should look out for events surrounding awareness on campus, including the upcoming Advocacy Day March 11.