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Mary Kay Baum, Dr. Craig Atwood, and Rev. Jeff Scheer

Featured on Woman to Woman on May 30, 2009.

In 1993 Craig Atwood completed a graduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Western Australia, Perth. Afterwards, he undertook postdoctoral training in the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Later, he was recruited to the Genetics and Aging Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Charlestown, where he became an instructor of neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and assistant biochemist at Mass General. At Harvard, he studied aspects of neuron loss in the brains of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

In 2000, Atwood became an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he examined basic molecular mechanisms controlling aging and disease. In 2003, he was recruited to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While currently an associate professor in the Section of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, he also serves as research director of the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute, and the Wisconsin Comprehensive Memory Program.

Atwood has published over 200 articles on his research and serves in an editorial capacity for the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Current Alzheimer Research, and numerous other journals. In 2006, he received a Zenith Award from the Alzheimer's Association in recognition of his research.

Website: agingresearch.wisc.edu/

Mary Kay Baum has worked as an attorney, a court administrator, a director of a not-for-profit concern, and a minister. As an activist for various causes, Baum has been vocal for and against a variety of issues during her lifetime. As a teenager, she advocated for Wisconsin farmers forced to sell their land to pay taxes. Later, she spoke out against the war in Vietnam. As an attorney, she litigated for Native Americans in Wisconsin. Today, she is vocal about a struggle that became hers in 2005 when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Both Baum and her sister, Chris Van Rizen (who also has early-onset Alzheimer's), are active in the struggle against the disease. Working with a host of specialists -- from physicians and research neurologists to pharmacists, nutritionists, and other therapists -- the sisters wage a daily battle against the disease as symptoms appear in their own lives.

Baum has a husband, George Swamp, and two children, Dawn and Jake.

To learn more about Baum's journey, click here.

Website: hopeofalzheimers.com/

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