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Division Announcements

Leadership changes in NIA's Division of Neuroscience

Phelps, Ryan appointed to new roles

NIA’s Division of Neuroscience recently announced the appointment of two long-serving staff members to new leadership positions.

Dr. Creighton (Tony) Phelps, Deputy Director of NIA’s Division of Neuroscience

Dr. Creighton (Tony) Phelps recently appointed as new Deputy Director of NIA’s Division of Neuroscience.

Dr. Creighton (Tony) Phelps is the new Deputy Director of the division. Dr. Phelps has served as the acting chief of the Dementias of Aging Branch for the past 18 months and will continue to direct the efforts the national network of Alzheimer’s Disease Centers, a program he has overseen since 1992.

Dr. Phelps has greatly influenced NIA’s Alzheimer’s disease research program. He first joined the Institute in 1985, helping to coordinate the review of research grant applications related to the neurobiology of aging and Alzheimer's disease. In 1987, he became the division’s program director in charge of neurobiology and neuroplasticity. After working at the Alzheimer’s Association from 1989 to 1992, he returned to NIA to help build the infrastructure to advance Alzheimer’s research, including the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center in Seattle and the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer’s disease in Indianapolis.

Dr. Phelps has focused on the development of major initiatives related to the genetics and genomics of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, programs aimed at identifying Alzheimer’s risk factor genes. He continues to work closely with national advocacy organizations, as well as with sister NIH institutes focused on dementia, to advance understanding of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. In recent years, he has coordinated a project culminating in the 2011 update of the NIA-Alzheimer’s Association guidelines for the clinical and pathological diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Laurie Ryan, Chief of the Dementias of Aging Branch for NIA’s Division of Neuroscience

Dr. Laurie Ryan recently appointed as new Chief of the Dementias of Aging Branch for NIA’s Division of Neuroscience.

Dr. Laurie Ryan is the new Chief of the Dementias of Aging Branch. In this role, she oversees the development, coordination, and implementation of NIA’s basic and clinical Alzheimer’s disease research program and directs the Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials research portfolio. Since 2005 when she joined the division, Dr. Ryan has served as program director for Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Trials.

Dr. Ryan received her bachelor's degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 1986 and her master’s from Loyola College in Maryland in 1991. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Louisiana State University in 1997 and completed a fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital/Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.

Dr. Ryan came to the NIA from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. She began her career at the DVBIC as clinical neuropsychologist for the site, when DVBIC was an eight-site military, Veterans Affairs, and civilian partner traumatic brain injury disease management program that included clinical care, research, and education. In 2003, Dr. Ryan was named assistant director for research and senior neuropsychologist for the national DVBIC, where she oversaw clinical research development and implementation with a focus on clinical trials.