SCIENTIST PIONEERS: Dr. Yaisa Andrews-Zwilling


Alzheimer’s disease has remained an unsurmountable challenge to the lives of many. Dr. Yaisa Andrews-Zwilling has spent her career attempting to turn the tables in our favour, and give humanity a chance at overcoming these devastating neurological diseases.

Early Life

Dr. Yaisa Andrews-Zwilling was born in Laventille, Trinidad and Tobago on 3rd December 1977. For primary education, she went to Arouca Government primary school then joined St Joseph’s Convent.

Right from the tentative learning stages, Dr. Yaisa had a strong grasp on science and her parents were particularly supportive in helping her realize her interests in school. She had a passion to pursue neuroscience from quite a young age. Her inspiration to go down this road was drawn from the way she saw her sister grow up. Initially her passion was to become a medical doctor, but this changed later in the university.


Dr. Andrews-Zwilling studied neuroscience from the International Max Planck Research School of Neuroscience at the University of the West Indies. She has a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Biochemistry and Chemistry, a Master of Science in Neuroscience, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.


Dr Andrews-Zwilling has collected quite a few awards during her work as a neuroscientist. She is a holder of the prestigious Frank Rampersad Award for Junior Scientist (Silver) and the NIHEST (Trinidad And Tobago’s National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology) award for Excellence in Science and Technology. Dr. Yaisa was also awarded the Exemplary leadership award by the J. David Gladstone Institute in 2011. She also has the Alzheimer’s Association Award for young scientists that she received in 2009.


Dr. Andrews-Zwilling is a co-inventor of methods for treating apolipoprotein E4-Associated Neurological Disorders. This invention is patented in the United States under patent number 20110135613A1.


Currently she is working at Annexon Biosciences as a research director to develop disease-modifying therapeutics for patients suffering from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and the Huntington’s disease.

Previously she has worked as a consulting professor for Stanford University and as associate director of research at SanBio. Dr. Andrews-Zwilling also served at the Gladstone Institute for 7 years under different capacities but mostly as a research scientist.


Dr. Yaisa Andrews-Zwilling has already achieved more than most scientists twice her age. She has a patent to her name, her contributions to medical research are far-reaching, and most importantly, she is still moving forward. With researchers like her the future is quite promising despite the scary statistics about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease.


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