Alzheimer’s expert Brian Ott, M.D., honored with lifetime achievement award

March 29, 2018

Brian Ott, M.D.
Brian Ott, M.D.

The Rhode Island chapter of the American College of Physicians has awarded Brian Ott, M.D., FACP, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital, the Milton Hamolsky Lifetime Achievement Award. Ott, a Barrington, R.I., resident, has served as director of the center, the largest memory diagnostic and treatment center in Rhode Island, since 2005, dividing his time between clinical care and research. He has been affiliated with Rhode Island Hospital since 1995.

“This recognition of Dr. Ott’s decades of patient care and research in pursuit of an end to Alzheimer’s disease is befitting of his status in medical circles and in the Alzheimer’s research and patient/caregiver communities,” said Margaret M. Van Bree, M.H.A., Dr.P.H., president of Rhode Island Hospital.

Ott is a professor of neurology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and adjunct professor of neuroscience and pharmacy practice at the University of Rhode Island. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association and the American College of Physicians. He has received excellence in teaching awards for his work with both medical students and geriatric psychiatry fellows. He is the director of the Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital Aging and Dementia Fellowship.

“I am honored to be recognized by the American College of Physicians which has been a leader and major force in support of medical research and excellence in health care for all,” Ott said. “This acknowledgement is particularly meaningful coming from my fellow physicians in Rhode Island.”

Ott has been principal investigator or co-investigator on more than 80 research grants, from policy and advocacy groups, foundations, and pharmaceutical companies, totaling over $19 million in funding.  Ott contributed to the pivotal clinical trials that led to the approval of tacrine, the first drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other cholinesterase inhibitor drug trials.  Later, he was an investigator and author on reports for clinical trials of memantine, the most recent drug approved for Alzheimer’s. Currently, he leads six clinical trials for the treatment of early Alzheimer’s and two clinical trials for the prevention of Alzheimer’s.

Ott is widely published in a range of topics including driving, quality of life, experimental pharmacotherapy, and pharmaco-epidemiology in people with preclinical Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment and dementia. His current research includes understanding the changes in the blood-brain barrier that may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, the effects of cholesterol lowering drugs on cognition, and the development of effective primary and secondary drug therapies aimed at the ultimate prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.  He has contributed to over 140 research presentations at national and international scientific meetings.

He serves on the national steering committees for the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study and the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.  He has served on boards and committees of the local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association and the American College of Physicians. He currently serves on the Governor’s Commission on Aging and the Rhode Island Executive Committee for the Alzheimer’s State Plan.

Ott received a B.S. degree from Syracuse University in 1975 and his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1979, where he was awarded the Arthur Krieger Memorial Prize in Neurology. His postgraduate training included an internal medicine residency at Brown Medical School/Roger Williams Hospital and a neurology residency at the Harvard Medical School Longwood Hospitals Program. He is board certified in both neurology and internal medicine, with special qualifications in geriatric medicine.

An advocate of the anti-nuclear war movement, Ott has been a member of the Physicians for Social Responsibility and the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War. He served as chair of the Sierra Club New England Chapter Nuclear Issues Committee, and during his tenure was co-recipient of the Code Blue Award from the Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility. He is also an active supporter of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence.

The Milton Hamolsky Lifetime Achievement Award is given each year “in recognition of academic, clinical, research and administrative excellence to a physician who epitomizes the attributes of the award's namesake, Dr. Milton Hamolsky.”  The late Milton Hamolsky, M.D. was an endocrinologist who came to Rhode Island Hospital in 1963 and served as the first full-time physician-in-chief. Hamolsky served as the chief administrative officer of the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline and was a noted pioneer of medical education in Rhode Island.

Christina Spaight O'Reilly

Senior Public Relations Officer
Rhode Island Hospital