Announcing the Isadore & Margaret Mezey Junior Investigator Conference Award Recipients

We are committed to promoting the advancement of dementia research skills in junior faculty through the provision of training resources. Established with the generous support of the Chawla family, the Isadore & Margaret Mezey Junior Investigator Conference Award funds travel and conference expenses associated with selected junior investigator’s participation in national or international conferences focused on the latest discoveries in neurodegenerative research and clinical practices. Awardees have a keen interest in advancing their careers in the dementia field and use the award for participation in annual meetings associated with major brain-related associations or societies.

The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center is pleased to announce Amanda Leggett, PhD and Harihar Milaganur Mohan, MS as this year’s recipients of the Isadore & Margaret Mezey Award.

Dr. Amanda Leggett is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Gerontology and Department of Psychology at Wayne State University and an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. She received her BA in Psychology from Queens University of Charlotte, her MS and PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. Her research program focuses on the dementia caregiver stress process and mental health in late life. She recently completed a K01 career development award from the National Institute on Aging and currently has associated funding from the Alzheimer’s Association to develop a taxonomy of dementia care management styles and aims to determine how classifying one’s caregiving style might be used to target interventions and optimize care.

She will present, “Iterative refinement: Developing items to build an assessment of dementia caregivers’ caregiving style” at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Amsterdam in July.

“I am so honored and grateful to receive the Mezey Junior Investigator Conference Award and to attend AAIC in Amsterdam this July. After several years of virtual conferencing due to COVID, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to network and share my research with international colleagues and so thankful for the support this award provides to be able to do so,” said Dr. Leggett upon receiving this award. 

Harihar Milaganur Mohan is a fourth-year graduate student interested in understanding disease mechanisms underlying age-related neurodegeneration, in particular frontotemporal dementia. He is a PhD candidate in Cellular & Molecular Biology. His current work focuses on understanding how the protein quality control factor, UBQLN2, is regulated in healthy, stressed and disease states. His goal is to identify molecular pathways that lead to neurodegeneration in dementia.

He will present, “Endogenous retrovirus-like proteins modulate stress response of the protein quality control factor Ubiquilin-2” at the Gordon Research Conference in Lucca, Italy in July.

Upon receiving this award, Mohan shared, “I am really grateful to the MADC for selecting me to receive the Mezey Junior Investigator Conference Award. I wish to thank the donors for their generous donation and my mentors and mentees for helping me get the award. The funds from the Mezey Award will enable me to learn about the latest research advancements in neurodegeneration and dementia and share my findings internationally. I hope that collectively we will find meaningful cures for these terrible diseases in the near future.”