Na­tive Is­lan­der, pi­o­neer­ing sci­en­tist in Alzheimer’s re­search to be rec­og­nized

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FEATURES/ENTERTAINMENT -

Kather­ine (Liv­ing­stone) Bick, a na­tive of Clyde River, P.E.I., will be a spe­cial guest speaker at the an­nual Neu­roConX neu­ro­science con­fer­ence public lec­ture to be held this Sun­day evening at the Delta Prince Ed­ward.

Bick or­ga­nized the first North Amer­i­can meet­ing on se­nile de­men­tia and re­lated dis­or­ders in 1977, par­tic­i­pated in early re­search and be­came a renowned au­thor and editor in the field. Along with other col­leagues, her work rep­re­sented the trans­for­ma­tion in think­ing that se­nil­ity was not a con­di­tion of age­ing but a dis­ease with pro­found im­pact on pa­tients and their fam­i­lies.

Con­fer­ence chair­man Rory Fran­cis, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the P.E.I. BioAl­liance, says that con­fer­ence or­ga­niz­ers were pleased to have re­cently dis­cov­ered that a na­tive Is­lan­der was a pi­o­neer and in­ter­na­tional leader in the un­der­stand­ing and re­search of neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases.

Neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease re­search and re­lated ther­apy de­vel­op­ment has been one of the key ar­eas of fo­cus of the P.E.I. bio­science sec­tor over the past 10 years since the P.E.I. BioAl­liance was formed, says Fran­cis.

“To find out that Dr. Bick was a pi­o­neer in ad­vanc­ing the recog­ni­tion of Alzheimer's Dis­ease and other neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases al­most 40 years ago is hum­bling and im­por­tant for us as Is­lan­ders to rec­og­nize,” Fran­cis said.

Bick said that in the early days the im­pe­tus for at­ten­tion to Alzheimer's dis­ease came from the fam­i­lies who were liv­ing with loved ones, in­clud­ing her and her col­leagues. Her own mother had Lewy Body De­men­tia.

"I have re­turned home each sum­mer to the Is­land since the 1970s. This year, I es­pe­cially look for­ward to meet­ing the P.E.I. bio­science com­mu­nity and re­searchers and com­pa­nies ad­vanc­ing the knowl­edge and treat­ment of these dev­as­tat­ing dis­eases," said Bick.

The public lec­ture will get un­der­way at 7 p.m. at the Delta Prince Ed­ward.

It will also fea­ture Ben­jamin Wolozin, pro­fes­sor of phar­ma­col­ogy, Bos­ton Univer­sity School of Medicine, who will present "What causes De­men­tia and Parkin­son's dis­ease and what we can do about it."

Any­one who wishes to at­tend this free lec­ture is asked to RSVp by call­ing the P.E.I. BioAl­liance at 902-367-4407 or email­ing sarah@peibioal­liance.com. Re­fresh­ments will be served.

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