Dr. Ryan received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 1986 and went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Psychology from Loyola College in Maryland in 1991. Following completion of her Master’s degree, she attended Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge for doctoral training in clinical psychology with specialty training in neuropsychology. During her doctoral training at LSU, she maintained an active research program focusing on the nature and sequelae of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Dr. Ryan went on to complete a neuropsychology-focused psychology residency at the Medical University of South Carolina/Department of Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, S.C., where she broadened her research experience to include disorders such as dementia affecting geriatric populations. She obtained her Ph.D. in 1997 and went on to complete a fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital/Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. After completing her fellowship, Dr. Ryan joined the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where she served as the clinical neuropsychologist for the Walter Reed site. At that time, the DVBIC was an eight-site military, VA, and civilian partner TBI disease management program delivering clinical care, conducting clinical research, and providing focused TBI education. In January 2003, Dr. Ryan became the Assistant Director for Research and senior neuropsychologist for the national DVBIC, where she was responsible for overseeing clinical research development and implementation with a particular focus on clinical trials.
In 2005, Dr. Ryan accepted a position with the NIH at the National Institute on Aging, in the Division of Neuroscience, Dementias of Aging Branch. She is currently the Program Director for Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Trials. As program director, she is responsible for the management and development of the AD and other dementias clinical trials portfolio. This research grant portfolio is very active and currently includes more than 30 trials, including the large, multisite consortium, the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS). The trials in the portfolio include both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions and both prevention and treatment approaches.