External Advisory Board Bios
Click on the IOA External Advisory Board member's name below to learn more about each individual and the expertise he/she brings to the IOA.
Zaven S. Khachaturian, PhD
Chair and President
Senior Science Advisor
Zaven S. Khachaturian, PhD is a steadfast scientist, relentless researcher and a resolute director in the quest to defeat diseases of the brain. In a career that has spanned nearly four decades, he has battled an enigmatic enemy - a foe that lurks within the neurons of the brain that robs individuals of their memory, their imagination, and ultimately their humanity.
Dr. Khachaturian obtained his B.A. in 1961 from Yale University, and completed his doctorate in 1967 from Case Western Reserve University. While in New York City in 1969, he completed post-doctoral training at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. His early career included an academic appointment at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry from 1969 to 1977. He was also a research scientist, the vice president for research at the University of Pittsburgh, and Professor of Health Services Administration, Graduate School of Public Health.
After leaving the University of Pittsburgh, he took a position with the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. His appointments included Director of the Office of Alzheimer’s Research and Associate Director for Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of the National Institute of Aging. He was responsible for creating a new area of scientific study and policy for the U.S. Federal Government concerning brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease, which previously did not exist.
He is recognized internationally as the architect of the major scientific research programs on brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease supported by the U.S. Government. During nearly 20 years of government service, Dr. Khachaturian played a key leadership role in planning and administering the current infrastructure for Alzheimer’s disease research. He helped develop the scientific careers of many investigators and Nobel laureates who have become prominent leaders in the fields of brain aging and Alzheimer’s research.
Since 1978, he has devised the necessary strategies for incorporating policies into programs to meet global public health needs. He was responsible for many successful national and international scientific programs on the Neurobiology of Aging and Alzheimer’s disease, and helped initiate programs like the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers, the Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery Group, and the National Genetics Resource for the study of Alzheimer’s Disease.
In addition to his administrative responsibilities at the NIH, Dr. Khachaturian made original scientific contributions to the development of brain aging. In 1984, he posited a unifying theory of brain aging, which is now referred to as the “Calcium Hypothesis of Brain Aging.” This hypothesis has received substantial scientific support, and is instrumental in stimulating the field of aging research to shift from descriptive studies to those exploring biological mechanisms of brain aging.
Moreover, he played a central leadership role in the clinical arena by motivating the field of neuropathology and clinical neurology to standardize clinical diagnosis, instruments for assessment, and diagnostic criteria for neuropathological evaluation. He helped create the protocols for determining biomarkers that indicate a predisposition for Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia with a focus on the complex nervous system.
Dr. Khachaturian progressively assumed more responsible positions dealing with a broad range of national scientific and technical issues concerning the development and funding of national research programs and initiatives on brain aging, neurological disorders, diagnostic criteria, research infrastructure for clinical trials, drug discovery programs, intellectual property rights, regulatory issues and the cultivation of human resources. He assumed posts that developed public policies and programs relating to brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease including:
After retiring from government, Dr. Khachaturian created an international consulting firm - Khachaturian and Associates, Inc. to create business plans for research programs that integrate government, science and the private sector. He served as the president and CEO of the then Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, a 501 (c)(3) organization, which has since merged with the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is also the Senior Science Advisor to the Alzheimer’s Association and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Alzheimer’s Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, he travels the world speaking on the topics of aging, Alzheimer’s disease, the Politics of Science, Preventing the Disabilities of Aging, Barriers to the Development of Effective Treatments, and Revolutions in Models of Care and Future Trends in Research.
Dr. Khachaturian is now the President and Chairman of the The Campaign to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease by 2020, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. The Campaign seeks accelerated progress in the discovery of cures for Alzheimer’s and related neurodegenerative disease. The effort will pursue radical changes in current conceptual models of diseases and the traditional approaches for discovering and developing therapies for prevention.
Awards and Honors include:
Barbara Kleger has been serving the senior housing industry since 1978. She is currently President of 55+ consulting, a division of KD Partners, LLC, a national firm that specializes in strategic planning, consumer research and marketing for active adult and full service retirement communities. Ms. Kleger serves on the board of many senior housing organizations and is a frequent speaker at national seminars. She has personally served over 250 clients and surveyed over one million adults.
Adam Koppel, MD, PhD, received his BA and MA in History and Science (Physics) from Harvard College in 1991. He completed his MD/PhD as a Medical Scientist in Training in 1998 at Penn’s School of Medicine and Department of Neuroscience and graduated in 2000, after also receiving his MBA as a Palmer Scholar from the Wharton School. While training at Penn Medicine, Dr. Koppel did a clinical rotation at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR. Together with Drs. Virginia Lee and John Trojanowski, Dr. Koppel co-owned Layton Bio-Science, a biotech company that specialized in cell-therapy and progressed through to clinical trials in 1998. Dr. Koppel is currently a Managing Director at Bain Capital in the Brookside Capital Fund, a Public Equity Hedge Fund. In this role, Dr. Koppel manages an investment portfolio of mostly publicly traded equities across the entire healthcare sector, as well as a small portion of private investments. Prior to joining Bain Capital, Dr. Koppel was an Associate Principle at McKinsey & Co. in their New Jersey/New York Healthcare Practice. In this role, he acted as a consultant to pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies and hospital systems. Dr. Koppel also serves as a board observer for Portola Pharmaceuticals, Tengion, and Concert Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Koppel maintains a strong interest in neurosciences and in particular, Alzheimer’s and related neurodegenerative disease drug discovery.