Academic role aims to advance dementia research

Dementia Australia and Curtin University have announced the appointment of the inaugural chair of dementia, Professor Blossom Stephan.

Dementia Australia and Curtin University have announced the appointment of the inaugural chair of dementia, Professor Blossom Stephan.

As the chair of dementia, Professor Stephan will drive research into the detection and care of dementia.

The role will also provide a platform from which to draw new researchers into the dementia space, create opportunities for national and international collaboration, and gather the insights of Australians living with the condition.

Professor Bronwyn Myers, the director of Curtin University’s enAble Institute – a research collaborative focused on enabling individuals living with physical and mental health needs or facing the challenges of ageing – said the creation of a chair of dementia would promote a dedicated focus on dementia research in Australia.

“Improving how we diagnose, treat, and care for those living with dementia is critical to helping Australians age well … Her appointment as the inaugural chair of dementia presents exciting opportunities for dementia care in Australia.”

Maree McCabe

Dementia Australia chief executive officer Maree McCabe said a chair of dementia presented an “extraordinary opportunity – for dementia research, care, and education, and for support for people living with dementia. Where similar positions have been created for other health conditions, we have seen positive advancements – and we are confident the same will occur for dementia.”

Professor Stephan – a highly respected global expert in dementia and dementia research at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom – said she was honoured by the appointment.

Professor Stephan

“Australia has so many incredible dementia researchers and scientists. I look forward to seeing this harnessed even further with greater collaboration – both nationally and internationally.”

A special event was held at Curtin University in Perth to officially appoint Professor Stephan to the role.

Dementia is the second-leading cause of death in Australia, and the leading cause of death of women. It is also the leading cause of disease burden among Australians aged 65 and over.

There are currently more than 400,000 Australians living with dementia and, without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to more than 800,000 in 2058.

Main image left to right: Professor Browyn Myers, Professor Blossom Stephan and Maree McCabe. Source: LinkedIn

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