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Stony Brook Alzheimer’s Researcher and Athlete to Compete in First NYC Ironman Triathlon

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Stony Brook Alzheimer’s Researcher and Athlete to Compete in First NYC Ironman Triathlon

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William Van Nostrand, PhD, Professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Medicine, in his Stony Brook laboratory.

STONY BROOK, NY, June 29, 2012 – The beakers, test tubes and other equipment in the laboratory of William Van Nostrand, PhD, Professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Medicine, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, do not give hints toward one of his driving passions – pounding the pavement, pedaling for miles, and swimming for hours, all to advance awareness against Alzheimer’s disease. On August 11, Dr. Van Nostrand will compete in New York City’s first Ironman Triathlon.

Dr. Van Nostrand conducts studies in his laboratory on the molecular pathology of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the fatal illness affects more than five million Americans and is a leading cause of death and disability in an aging U.S. population. Dr. Van Nostrand, who has competed in many athletic events, including bike rides, road races, swimming events and triathlons, will compete in several events this summer to support Alzheimer’s disease research.

Dr. Van Nostrand during the cycling leg of the 2009 Hawaii Ironman Triathlon.

First up on July 8, Dr. Van Nostrand will compete in the shorter NYC Triathlon. Then, closer to the Ironman event, he will compete in the 2012 “Distant Memories Swim” on July 30.
“There needs to be a war against Alzheimer’s in our country and worldwide,” says Dr. Van Nostrand. “With an aging population, there will be a dramatic increase in the incidence of this deadly disease in the near future, and right now the toll on the individuals afflicted and their families in terms of the physical, emotional, and financial burdens, is huge. We need to further research to discover effective ways to curb and perhaps even cure the disease.”
With his even keel approach to topics and a relaxed demeanor, Dr. Van Nostrand is not one to tout his athletic accomplishments. He has displayed his athletic talents in many events. For example, in 2010 Dr. Van Nostrand swam and was the first to finish in the 3-mile open water Distant Memories Swim in Northport, N.Y., an event to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. He also moved beyond the lab to the long and winding roads of America in 2010 with 55 other Alzheimer’s researchers during the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Ride. He rode hundreds of miles, including a 282 mile leg in Texas, in a ride that ended in Washington, D.C., on World Alzheimer’s Day.
August 11 will be the first time the Ironman Triathlon will be held in a major metropolitan area. The New York City event will consist of a 2.4 mile swim in the Hudson River, followed by a 112 mile bike segment mainly along the Palisades Parkway in New Jersey, then a 26.2 mile marathon run along the Palisades Parkway, across the George Washington Bridge, and finishing in Riverside Park in Manhattan.
“These challenges provide me with opportunities as an active Alzheimer’s disease research scientist to raise awareness and contribute to combating this disease outside my investigative efforts in the laboratory and interacting with the scientific community,” says Dr. Van Nostrand, who began his training for the Ironman in January 2012.
About Stony Brook University School of Medicine:

Established in 1971, the Stony Brook University School of Medicine includes 25 academic departments. The three missions of the School are to advance the understanding of the origins of human health and disease, train the next generation of committed, curious and highly capable physicians, and deliver word-class compassionate healthcare. As a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and a Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited medical school, Stony Brook is one of the foremost institutes of higher medical education in the country. Each year the School trains nearly 500 medical students and over 480 medical residents and fellows. Faculty research includes National Institutes of Health-sponsored programs in neurological diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disorders, biomedical imaging, regenerative medicine, infectious diseases, and many other topics. Physicians on the School of Medicine faculty deliver world class medical care through more than 30,000 inpatient, 80,000 emergency room, and approximately 350,000 outpatient visits annually at Stony Brook University Hospital and affiliated clinical programs, making its clinical services one of the largest and highest quality on Long Island, New York. To learn more, visit

© Stony Brook University 2012

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