Philip Scheltens and Kiyoshi Kurokawa to lead Council as new chair and vice chair

The WDC is delighted to announce its new chair and vice chair due to take up their positions this summer.

Professor Philip Scheltens, director of the Alzheimer Center at Amsterdam University Medical Centers (The Netherlands), will become chair of the council. Philip’s main clinical and research interests are Alzheimer's disease, especially at early onset, biomarker research and its clinical benefit, as well drug development and clinical trial design. He is and has been the international PI for many studies, including phase 1-3 multicenter clinical trials. Since 2020 he is also managing partner of the LSP Dementia Fund, aiming to foster and boost drug development for dementia.

Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa, chair of the Health and Global Policy Institute (Japan) and professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo, will became the council’s new vice chair. Kiyoshi is well known internationally in the fields of medicine, health, science, technology and innovation policies through his leadership, including as president of the Science Council of Japan as well as serving as science adviser to the Japanese prime minister and WHO commissioner.

We would like to thank outgoing chair Harry Johns and outgoing vice chair Jeremy Hughes CBE for their 3 years of leadership. The Council pays tribute to their efforts and invaluable contribution over the years. Council chairs and vice chairs serve for a two-year term and are elected by their fellow full council members.

Ahead of taking up the role of chair this summer, Professor Scheltens said: “I am humbled and honored to have been elected as chair. I will work with the Council to put dementia care and research on the forefront of attention of all governments”.

Also taking up his role as vice chair, Professor Kurokawa said: “We have achieved over decades a remarkable success against various diseases and achieved longer life. But despite this success we faced a new challenge, dementia, a major health issue among mostly, but not limited to, the aged population. Recognizing this challenge, leaders of G7 created the World Dementia Council at its summit in London in 2013, which has worked hard to address and push this major health issue. In the last few weeks the first treatment for Alzheimer’s has been approved in the US. It is important the phase 4 trial is carried out quickly so we learn more about the treatment but this is an important milestone for patients and the dementia community. As vice chair of the Council, I pledge together with the chair and colleagues to make my best effort to push our collective effort in advancing the fight against this major disease in our time, a promise of G7 nations to our people and to the world”.

Outgoing chair Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, said: It has been a pleasure to work with members in my role as chair of the Council for the last three years, together we have moved the cause forward globally. I’d like to thank all members for their support and their many contributions to advancing the Council’s work over that time. I particularly thank vice chair Jeremy Hughes, who has been a great partner throughout this period, and Lenny Shallcross who has provided great leadership as our executive director. Special thanks as well to Sir Dennis Gillings, the first chair of the Council, who also served as the World Dementia Envoy. And, to Professor Yves Joanette and Raj Long, who as chair and vice chair, oversaw the successful transition of the WDC from UK government support to becoming an independent UK charityMy congratulations and best wishes go to Professor Scheltens and Professor Kurokawa as the new chair and vice chair of the council, and I look forward to continuing to serve as a member.”

Outgoing vice chair Jeremy Hughes CBE said: “From its inception the Council has uniquely brought together world leaders in dementia research, care and support including people with lived experience. We have ensured dementia is high on the agenda of governments, industry, academia and charities and I expect this to continue under the excellent new chair and vice chair”.