Dr Oz Ismail
Director, Scientific Programs
Place of work / study:
Area of Research:
I used to study the links between small stroke events and the onset of Alzheimer’s pathology later in life, now I lead scientific programming at Alzheimer’s Association.
How is your research funded:
NIH Training Grant
Tell us a little about yourself:
I completed my Ph.D. at University College London, studying glymphatics in Alzheimer’s disease, after which I moved to the USA to do my postdoc. Before this, I collaborated with Eli Lilly & Co, to develop biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease pathology.
I co-host a popular science podcast called “Why Aren’t You A Doctor Yet?” which tells compelling and diverse stories, combining science and tech with pop culture. I am also an advocate for improving diversity and addressing racial inequity, and am also passionate about raising LGBTQ+ voices both within science and within ethnic minority groups. I co-founded the Minorities in STEM network, and sit on the board of the Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science at Oregon Health & Science University.
Moved to the Alzheimer’s Association in the summer of 2022.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I occasionally perform stand up comedy, drawing upon my experiences and shenanigans as a millennial, immigrant, scientist.
Why did you choose to work in dementia:
I took an interest in neuroscience at uni, and after I graduated, worked in whole body imaging which I quite enjoyed. When the chance to do imaging on the brain as a research technician arose at UCL, I took the opportunity to combine my sciencey interests, and there began my fascination and interest in dementia. I then chose to turn this role into a Ph.D. as I was keen to become more specialised in this specific field.
What single piece of advice would you give to an early career researcher?
Making the labs we are a part of inclusive and equitable is our collective responsibility. Make this aspect as important as your research interests when choosing your labs.
What book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it?
Falastin by Sami Tamimi & Tara Wigley. It’s actually a cookbook, but the recipes are interleaved with rich stories of Palestinian people, history and identity. I highly recommend it for the recipes alone, but even the rest of the book is so beautifully written.