Job: Professor and director, N. Bud Grossman Center for Memory Research and Care, University of Minnesota.

Education: B.A. in chemistry and physics, Harvard; M.D. from Harvard; Ph.D. in psychology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Family: Husband, Dr. James Ashe. Daughter, Sorcha Ashe, 11. Sons, Philip Dong, 25, and William Dong, 23.

Favorite quote: "I'd rather regret the things I've done than the things I haven't done." -- Lucille Ball, comedian.

Favorite movie: "Lord of the Rings."

Favorite book: Anything by Jane Austen.

Favorite piano piece: Brahms' Second Piano Concerto.

Personal memory-saving strategies: Exercise and take omega-3 DHA supplements.

What others say about her:

"She's like E.F. Hutton. When she speaks, everyone listens." -- Dr. James C. Morris, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Washington University in St. Louis

"She did everything better than I did, but I got used to it. I've been a very humble person all my life." -- Caroline Van, Ashe's sister

Major awards: Alzheimer's Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2010), Potamkin Prize (known as the Nobel Prize of neurology, 2006), MetLife Foundation $250,000 award for Alzheimer's research (2005).