September 17, 2007
SIU Med School Names Alzheimer’s Center Director
Dr. Thomas A. Ala, associate professor of neurology, has been named interim director of the Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield. He succeeds Dr. Rodger J. Elble, Ph.D., professor of neurology, who continues as department chair.
Ala joined SIU’s faculty in 1999. He is active in clinical and neuropathological research in Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, vascular dementia and other dementing illnesses. He has four current clinical evaluations of new drugs underway at SIU and has completed 21 others. He serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and has been a reviewer for eleven medical journals.
Previously, Ala was an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota (UM) in Minneapolis, Minn., and active on the neurology staff at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where he conducted clinical and neuropathologic research in Alzheimer disease and other dementia for the hospital’s Alzheimer’s Treatment and Research Center. He was acting director of the memory disorder clinic at Regions (1988-96) and an instructor in neurology at UM (1987-91). He previously worked for 3M Company in St. Paul (1970-8).
Ala completed a two-year research fellowship at Regions’ Alzheimer’s center (1987) and his neurology residency at UM (1985). He earned his medical degree at UM (1981) and bachelor’s degree at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. (1970).
He is board certified in psychiatry and neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and of Neurology and is a member of the American Academy of Neurology. He has published more than 75 journal articles and abstracts.
Ala is a native of Hancock, Mich., and was raised in Houghton, Mich. He is married to Kathleen A. Feidt and has four daughters.