Honoring a brilliant mind: Pierre N. Tariot, MD


Internationally renowned Alzheimer’s researcher and director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, a fitting time to pay tribute to a leader and pioneer in Alzheimer’s disease prevention and research. After 17 years of dedicated service as Director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Pierre N. Tariot, MD, has stepped down from his full-time position but will continue working part-time on select projects.

Dr. Tariot has served as Director for the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute since its inception in 2006 in addition to roles as a clinician, researcher, and leader. He served as co-director of the international Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative, which is credited with helping launch a new era in Alzheimer’s prevention research. Dr. Tariot also lead Banner’s Dementia Care Partners, a program designed to demonstrate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of standardized care for persons with dementia in a large health care system, and is a Research Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Pierre and his wife, Laura Jakimovich, an accomplished geriatric nurse practitioner and clinical trials manager, left the University of Rochester to move to Phoenix and be a part of the opening of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute. The timing of the endeavor was significant, as it took place 100 years after German physician Alois Alzheimer’s landmark report on the first clinically and neuropathologically characterized patient with a type of neurodegenerative disorder that would later become known as Alzheimer’s disease.

“Pierre has played critical leadership roles in just about everything we have been able to accomplish at BAI, and his decision to join me in this awfully ambitious high-risk adventure was one of the best things to happen in my own career,” says Eric. M. Reiman, MD, executive director, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, and CEO, Banner Research. “I could not be more grateful for who he is and what he has done for all of us.”

In late summer, Dr. Tariot was awarded the 2023 Health Care Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award by the Phoenix Business Journal.

“No one could be more deserving of this recognition than Pierre,” said Peter S. Fine, CEO of Banner Health. “He is a local, national and international luminary in Alzheimer’s disease research and care who has made enormous contributions to the field, and his impact on the people of Arizona and across the world will reverberate for years. I extend my wholehearted congratulations to him for this honor.” Recently, the Banner Health Foundation received a $1.5 million matching gift from an anonymous donor to create and fund in perpetuity the Dr. Pierre Tariot Endowed Director position at the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute. Endowed leadership positions are a hallmark of great institutions and are one of the most prestigious honors bestowed upon a physician. They help to attract and retain the most talented physician and research leaders and provide an important source of sustainable funding for physician leaders to advance their specialties. Endowing a leadership position represents one of the most meaningful and permanent forms of philanthropy. To discuss giving options in support of this endowment, contact Kristie Leshinskie, 480-215-7433.

Watch a touching video tribute to this trailblazing leader in the complex field of Alzheimer’s disease prevention and research below.