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Celeste de Jager

Senior lecturer in clinical neurosciences, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences,, University of Cape Town

Celeste de Jager obtained a PhD in Medicine from the University of Cape Town and returned to UCT to take up a Senior Lectureship in Clinical Epidemiology. She joined the Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing (OPTIMA) at the University of Oxford in 1998 to do neuropsychological research, initially with a cohort of cognitively healthy volunteers. Her primary research interests lie in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and in Mild Cognitive Impairment and associated risk factors for cognitive decline. She held a British Academy award for a small project on community screening for cognitive impairment in India and was the Principal Investigator in studies with Merck, plc to identify neuropsychological tests that might be more sensitive to change in AD treatment trials than those currently in use. She is also the Oxford Principal Investigator for the Cognitive Archaeology collaborative study with Dr Peter Garrard from St George’s University, London, a study on linguistic markers to predict dementia. She was responsible for the cognitive and clinical assessment aspects of the VITACOG trial of B vitamins for those with MCI; results presented at the International Alzheimer’s Disease Conference (ICAD) in Hawaii, the Clinical Trials in AD (CtAD) conference in Toulouse, 2010 and the British Science Festival, 2011. Celeste represented OPTIMA as a member of the European Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium (EADC) and is an academic expert on the Nutrition and Mental Performance task force with the Institute of Life Sciences-Europe. She has been appointed by the WHO on the advisory group for the revision of the ICD-10 criteria for Neurocognitive disorders. In January 2013 she won an award from the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) to study nutrient intake in Xhosa elderly to determine if B vitamin deficiency/elevated homocysteine contribute to cognitive impairment and low mood in rural SA. Dr de Jager is the Principal Investigator of a large study on dementia prevalence being conducted in the Eastern Cape in collaboration with the Donald Woods Foundation and Dementia-SA. This will be a landmark study as to date there are no published data on dementia prevalence for South Africa. She has an h-index of 22 with over 2000 citations from 80 publications and recently co-authored two chapters for the book “Nutrition for Brain Health and Cognitive Performance” Edited by Talitha Best and Louise Dye
CRC Press 2015.


  • –present
    Senior lecturer in clinical epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Family Medicine., University of Cape Town

Grants and Contracts

  • 2018
    Senior lecturer in clinical neurosciences, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences,
    Funding Source:
    National Research Foundation