Kári Stefánsson, CEO and founder of deCode genetics, became the first recipient of the Inge Grundke-Iqbal award, awarded by the American Alzheimer’s Association, on Tuesday. The award ceremony was part of the organization’s International Conference, held this year in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Alzheimer’s Association has plans to make the Grundke-Iqbal a bi-annual award, awarded to those scientists behind the most important studies in the field of Alzheimer’s research.
The study that won Kári the award was a joint effort by deCode and the Landspítali National University Hospital. In particular he mentioned Jón Snædal and Pálmi Jónsson, doctors at Landspítali as important contributors to the research.
“What we found is a mutation that protects against Alzheimer’s disease. The discovery helped write the final chapter in a long story about a certain protein that appears to play a key role in creating this terrible disease,” Kári said in an interview with vísir.is.
Asked what significance the award held, Kári dismissed its importance. “It has no significance. It’s ornamental. These sorts of awards mean nothing more than the work that led to the award. It doesn’t do anything more for you than having people tell you: ‘alright, that was a good job you did.’ It’s like getting a gold star on your homework when you were in elementary school.”