BUSM Research Intern Awarded Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

Max Wallack, a research intern in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics in the Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Aging at Boston University School of Medicine, has been awarded the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes .

Max Wallack
Max Wallack, research intern

According to their website:

“Max founded Puzzles to Remember, a non-profit organization that has distributed over 14,600 puzzles to facilities that care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. His puzzles have reached patients at 1,470 care-giving facilities in all 50 states, as well as in several other countries. Max began his work at age 11, inspired by his great-grandmother, who lived with Alzheimer’s for many years. He observed that Alzheimer’s patients seemed calmer and more themselves while working jigsaw puzzles. He also noticed that the most effective puzzles seemed to be brightly colored, with fewer, larger pieces and peaceful images, and that most puzzles of this sort were made for kids, not adults.

Backed by research that supported what he’d seen, Max approached leading puzzle manufacturer Springbok, and worked with them to develop a line of puzzles made specifically for Alzheimer’s patients. Springbok introduced their “Puzzles to Remember” line in 2010, and several large corporations, including American Express, jumped on board to help with the cost of shipping the puzzles to Alzheimer’s care facilities. Max is now working with groups in Portugal and Australia to set up similar programs. He is also volunteering year-round at Boston University Medical Center, researching biomarkers for Alzheimer’s. He plans to spend his life continuing to help Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. “I believe that passionate, hard work can make a difference in the world,” says Max. “Anyone who has the ability to help another person has the responsibility to do so.”

Please visit here to learn more about Max’s non-profit organization, Puzzles to Remember.

Submitted by Christina Cherel, pharm2@bu.edu