Dr. Laurie Ryan is Chief of the Dementias of Aging Branch in the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging, part of the NIH. She oversees the development, coordination, and implementation of NIA’s basic and clinical Alzheimer’s disease research program. Dr. Ryan also directs the Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials research portfolio.
Dr. Ryan received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 1986 and her Masters in Psychology from Loyola College in Maryland in 1991. She undertook her doctoral training in clinical psychology (with specialty training in neuropsychology) at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. During her doctoral training, she focused her research on mild traumatic brain injury. She also completed a neuropsychology-focused psychology residency at the Medical University of South Carolina/Department of Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, S.C., where she researched disorders affecting geriatric populations, including dementia. She obtained her PhD 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 the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC where she served as the clinical neuropsychologist for the Walter Reed site. At that time, the DVBIC was an 8-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 September 2005, Dr. Ryan joined the NIA as the Director for Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Trials. In December 2013, she was promoted to her current position.