The Charleston Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease

The Charleston Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (CCAD) originated in 2013 to develop new methods to better understand Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  CCAD invests in early career researchers and provides a platform for competitive innovation in this field.

Three $50,000 New Vision awards are given to the researchers with the top paramount ideas. The award will help develop their concepts and mature the research for future government funding.


Who qualifies:

To participate in CCAD a researcher must be nominated by a leader in the AD field such as AD Center Directors, University Faculty and CCAD Alumni in particular. Nominees must meet following criteria: 

 • Have a PhD and/or MD

• Hold a Post Doc, Fellowship position or a Faculty position (no higher than Assistant Professor) at an institution based in the United States.

• Have received their terminal degree within the last 10 years from the date the conference is to be held.

• NOT be or have been a Principal Investigator (PI) on any NIH-funded R01/R21/R33 award, Program Project or Center grant.


We receive an average of forty nominations each year.  Once notified by the CCAD Scientific Board, nominees submit their application which consists of a curriculum vitae and a letter describing their research and why it is important to the study of ADThe CCAD Board is responsible for reviewing all applications and then selecting fifteen who best embody the four pillars of CCAD to attend the conference.


Once chosen, the New Vision Investigators have three months to prepare a proposal.  It is at this time that they are encouraged to collaborate with other investigators to work together on a proposal.  During the conference each investigator will have the opportunity to present and defend their ideas. 

The Charleston Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease is a three-day experience that is typically held in March, as flowers bloom, in the historical city of Charleston, South Carolina.  Historically, CCAD attendees have experienced a comfort bar none as they enjoy their stay at the exclusive Charleston Place Hotel.


Attendees are requested to arrive on Thursday afternoon and attend a reception that evening.  It is during this reception that the CCAD awardees from two years prior present their work and discuss how their funding has affected their research.  


Friday is solely scheduled for attendee presentations.  Each of the fifteen attendees will get fifteen minutes to present their research with a ten-minute Q & A session immediately following their presentation.  During the presentation the group is encouraged to engage in discussion of the research.    After this long day, everyone embarks on a dinner adventure.  The experience is different each year but always tied to the history of the Holy City, Charleston.  The Friday night dinners vary from dinner cruises on the Cooper river under the iconic Ravenel bridge to carriage rides among the cobble streets of the city to their dinner destination. CCAD creates memorable moments to facilitate bonds and friendships among researchers.


By the time Saturday comes around, ideas and collaboration are being discussed.  This day is reserved for a mock NIH study session, which will help researchers understand how their grants get reviewed at the federal level.  During this time, all fifteen proposals will be reviewed and scored by each investigator with members of the CCAD Scientific Board chairing the session. Once this session is completed investigators have a few hours to relax and explore the historic city.  Meanwhile, the CCAD Council meets to review the scores and select the winners, who are announced at the award ceremony that takes place at a select Michelin four-star rated restaurant nestled among the cobblestones of the city of Charleston.