July 12, 2016

About Us

  • Image above: The Center faculty and staff in 2018.

    Established at Michigan Medicine and based in the Department of Neurology, the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center aims to:

    • Conduct and support research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias
    • Promote state-of-the-art care and wellness for individuals and families affected by memory loss
    • Increase dementia awareness through collaborative education and outreach efforts
    • Work to address racial and ethnic disparities in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias
    • Provide training and support to the next generation of clinicians and scientists

  • A portion of the larger Center is dedicated to research funded by the National Institute on Aging within the National Institutes of Health (P30AG053760 and P30AG072931). Taking advantage of the University of Michigan’s deep infrastructure in dementia and aging research, the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center fosters and enhances innovative research in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias toward better understanding of, and eventual preventive treatment for, these devastating diseases. Our Center is one of 33 National Institutes of Health-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers (ADRCs) across the country. We focus on bringing a non-beta amyloid approach to the larger ADRC research network, while also putting emphasis on the recruitment of underrepresented groups into dementia research. More information about the ADRC network is available here, and a registry of the centers is here.

    The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is a truly regional Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center linking three universities across the state of Michigan – University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Wayne State University in Detroit, and Michigan State University in Lansing and Grand Rapids. The regional presence of our Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center formally links efforts at all three major Michigan universities providing a critically important statewide resource for researchers, trainees, health care professionals and the broader public.To support research efforts, our Center is structured in the following way:

    Administrative Core

    Led by Henry Paulson, MD, PhD, and Bruno Giordani, PhD, our administrative core is responsible for creating and implementing structural improvements within our center while managing staffing, finances, and research-related resources. This core helps to administratively sustain the many research studies and programs we support.

    Clinical Core

    The clinical core, led by Benjamin Hampstead, PhD and Judith Heidebrink, MD, MS oversees the many research studies we support and creates new opportunities for innovative and cutting-edge research. This core also conducts U-M Memory and Aging Project (UM-MAP) visits. We have many research coordinators who conduct UM-MAP visits, as well as clinicians, phlebotomists, and imaging coordinators who manage the many other components.

    Data Management and Statistical Core

    The data management and statistical core, led by Kelly Bakulski, PhD, helps maintain the academic and research productivity of our center by integrating and disseminating data to our research investigators. The data core manages our data privacy, analyzes our data for specific research projects, and facilitates our data sharing nationally with the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center.

    Neuropathology Core

    The neuropathology core facilitates our brain donation program. Andrew Lieberman, MD, PhD serves as core lead with Scott Counts, PhD, as co-investigator at Michigan State University. They work in partnership with the University of Michigan Brain Bank to provide autopsy services to participating families at death, and also store and disseminate brain tissue resources to investigators across the nation.

    Outreach, Recruitment, & Engagement Core 

    The outreach, recruitment, and engagement core leads education and outreach efforts across the state. This core, led by Scott Roberts, PhD, helps to maintain successful relationships with community partners including patients, families, research participants, and a variety of professional and lay community groups. They work to promote community participation in our research, as well as provide a variety of support, education, and wellness-based programs.

    Neuroimaging Core

    The neuroimaging core, led by Douglas Noll, PhD and Benjamin Hampstead, PhD, manages our center’s MRI and PET scan efforts. The core works to characterize and share our imaging with investigators nationally and gather new vascular health measures to benefit the field.

    Biomarker Core

    The biomarker core, housed at Michigan State University in Grand Rapids, is led by Nicholas Kanaan, PhD and David Morgan, PhD. It focuses on providing measurements of established blood-based biomarkers and developing and implementing new biomarker measurements to identify Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

    Research Education Component

    Led by Roger Albin, MD, Peter Lichtenberg, PhD, ABPP and Irving Vega, PhD, our research education component is dedicated to supporting the next generation of dementia researchers. This component works to provide resources that support career development in interdisciplinary dementia research and provides enhanced mentoring and education events that support junior investigators.

  • Image above: Director and Associate Director, Drs. Henry Paulson and Bruno Giordani with faculty leadership at Michigan State University for the annual Beyond Amyloid Research Symposium in 2019. Left to right: Drs. David Morgan, Henry Paulson, Marcia Gordon, Linda Van Eldik and Russell Swerdlow (symposium keynote presenters), Irving Vega, Bruno Giordani, Scott Counts, and Nicholas Kanaan. 

    You can follow our Center Director, Dr. Henry Paulson on Twitter here 

    Executive Committee 

    Henry Paulson, MD, PhD - Principal Investigator and Director

    Henry L. Paulson, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator and Director

    Henry L. Paulson, MD, PhD, is the Lucile Groff Professor of Neurology for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders in the Department of Neurology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Paulson joined the University of Michigan faculty in 2007, and currently serves as director of the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center and co-director of the Michigan Neuroscience Institute.

    Dr. Paulson received his medical degree and doctorate in Cell Biology from Yale University in 1990. He then completed a neurology residency and neurogenetics/movement disorders fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1997, he joined the Neurology faculty at the University of Iowa, where he remained until he moved to Michigan in 2007.

    Dr. Paulson's research and clinical interests concern the causes and treatment of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, with an emphasis on repeat expansion diseases, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. In 1997, his lab described abnormal protein aggregates in the polyglutamine diseases, which now are recognized as a pathological hallmark in this important class of inherited diseases. Using a variety of model systems, he has contributed to advances in the understanding of various neurodegenerative diseases. His lab also has pioneered the use of gene silencing methods as potential therapy for the many neurological disorders caused by "toxic" mutant genes.

    Nationally, Dr. Paulson has served on the scientific advisory boards of numerous disease-related organizations, and was a past Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health.

    Among his awards, Dr. Paulson is an elected Member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2020, he received the Movement Disorders Research Award from the American Academy of Neurology. He is particularly most proud of having mentored many successful physicians and scientists in the neurodegenerative disease field. In recognition of his mentoring, he was awarded the NIH/NINDS Landis Outstanding Mentor Award in 2020.

    Bruno Giordani, PhD - Associate Director and Administrative Core Co-Lead

    Bruno Giordani, PhD - Associate Director and Administrative Core Co-Lead

    Dr. Giordani serves as the Chief of Psychology, and is a tenured Professor in the departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Psychology as well as the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan. Dr. Giordani is the Associate Director of our Center. Associated with the Center for over 25 years, Dr. Giordani has a longstanding history of connecting with the community to promote a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions. He has served on the Executive Board of the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter since 2007 and has been both its Board Chair and National Representative, as well as a member of the national Association’s Assembly Steering Committee. His research initiatives focus on a cross-cultural perspective on the early assessment of cognitive and behavioral changes associated with medical illness and the interaction of cognition and mobility across the life-span. Dr. Giordani completed his MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Virginia and received his postdoctoral training in Clinical and Research Neuropsychology at the University of Michigan.

    Roger Albin, MD - Research Education Component Lead

    Roger Albin, MD - Research Education Component Lead

    Associated with the center as the Research Education Component Leader, Dr. Albin is a Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan. He held the title of Brain Bank Director at the University of Michigan from 1998 through January of 2016. In addition to caring for patients with cognitive disorders, he studies basic disease mechanisms and participates in human imaging studies seeking to improve our diagnosis of dementing disorders. He also performs research on brain chemical factors that influence the production of beta-amyloid, a key disease protein in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Albin is passionate about advancing disease knowledge so that we can treat patients better. He attended medical school at the University of Pittsburgh and received his Neurology training at the University of Michigan.

    Kelly Bakulski, PhD - Data Management and Statistical Core Lead

    Kelly Bakulski, PhD - Data Management and Statistical Core Lead

    Dr. Bakulski is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and our Center's Data Core leader.  She joined the U-M faculty in the Department of Epidemiology in 2016.  Dr. Bakulski is an environmental and genetic epidemiologist with expertise in epigenetic epidemiology.  She is interested in applying these tools to understand the combined genetic and environmental etiology of neurological disorders throughout the life course. She has worked on mental health issues such as autism spectrum disorder, substance abuse, and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Scott Counts, PhD - Neuropathology Core Co-Investigator

    Scott Counts, PhD - Neuropathology Core Co-Investigator

    Scott grew up in Virginia and South Carolina and received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College, concentrating in History and English. After working for several years as a chemist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, he went on to earn his PhD in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2000, studying under Dr. Allan I. Levey in the Department of Neurology to understand the metabolic regulation of presenilin-1, a key protein involved in familial forms of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). That same year, he joined Dr. Elliott J. Mufson’s lab at Rush University Medical Center as an Instructor of Neurological Sciences, studying cholinergic mechanisms of AD and its prodromal stage, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), as part of Rush’s NIA-funded Training Program in Age-related Neurodegenerative Disorders. Dr. Counts was appointed to an Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences at Rush in 2003 based on his expertise in using functional genomic technologies to compare and contrast postmortem brain samples from people who died within the clinical spectrum of no cognitive impairment (NCI) to MCI to AD. In 2013, Dr. Counts was recruited to Michigan State University as an Associate Professor of Translational Neuroscience (primary) and Family Medicine (secondary) at the Grand Rapids campus. His research has been continuously funded since 1998 and he is an author of over 75 papers and book chapters on the molecular pathogenesis of dementia. When not in the lab, Scott has enjoyed exploring Grand Rapids and western Michigan with his family.

    Benjamin Hampstead, PhD, ABPP/CN - Clinical Core Lead and Neuroimaging Core Co-Lead

    Benjamin Hampstead, PhD, ABPP/CN - Clinical Core Lead and Neuroimaging Core Co-Lead

    Dr. Hampstead joined the U-M faculty in September 2014 and was named the Stanley Berent, PhD Collegiate Professor of Psychiatry in 2021. He is the Clinical Core Lead. Dr. Hampstead is an expert in functional imaging and nonpharmacological approaches to enhance age-related memory function (e.g., cognitive rehabilitation and direct brain stimulation). Through his appointment in the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System, he is well-positioned to ensure that our older veterans have access to cutting-edge research and clinical procedures.

    Judith Heidebrink, MD, MS - Clinical Core Co-Lead

    Judith Heidebrink, MD, MS - Clinical Core Co-Lead

    Dr. Heidebrink is a Richard D. and Katherine M. O’Connor Research Professor and has been affiliated with the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center since 1995, when she began her fellowship training in Geriatric Neurology. She is also the Director of the Cognitive Disorders Clinic at the University of Michigan. Her clinical and research interests focus on improving the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Dr. Heidebrink leads the University of Michigan’s participation in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). This landmark study uses brain imaging and other biomarkers to evaluate the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. ADNI data support the belief that brain changes occur many years before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease emerge. ADNI techniques will soon be used to identify persons with very early Alzheimer’s pathology in order to study therapies that might halt the disease even before symptoms appear. Judy attended medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern and received her Neurology training at the University of Michigan.

    Joan Ilardo, PhD - Outreach, Recruitment, and Engagement Core Co-Investigator

    Joan Ilardo, PhD - Outreach, Recruitment, and Engagement Core Co-Investigator

    Joan Ilardo is the Director of Research Initiatives for the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Human Medicine where she facilitates collaborations in health services research. Dr. Ilardo’s research includes systems of care, especially the intersection of health systems and community-based resources; patient-provider partnerships; evidenced-based self-management programs in chronic disease; and caregiver services and supports. She serves as the Principal Investigator on the Caring for Patients with Chronic Conditions Project, is Co-Investigator on the Geriatric Rural Extension of Expertise through Tele-geriatric Services project, and the evaluator for the Caregiver Resource Collaborative all funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. She is a member of the evaluation team for the Flint Medicaid Expansion 1115 Waiver. She is a Co-PI on the Executive Committee of the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center and the MSU PI for the Michigan Center for African American Aging Research both of which are NIA P30 Centers with joint participation among MSU, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. She was the Co-PI of the HRSA-funded Geriatric Education Center of Michigan from 2010 to 2015. Dr. Ilardo is active with several statewide and local coalitions that address patient self-management of chronic conditions, advanced care planning, and care coordination.

    Prior to joining the College of Human Medicine in 2009, Dr. Ilardo directed the MSU School of Social Work’s MSW program and taught graduate courses in Research Methods and Administrative Practice Skills. She was a Senior Consultant at Health Management Associates for 12 years where her activities included designing and conducting program evaluations of public health, mental health, human services, and managed care pilot projects. She served as the Director of Patient Information at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

    Dr. Ilardo is a member of the steering committee of the Michigan Dementia Coalition and co-chairs its Healthcare System and Provider Education Committee. She is serving her first term on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education. She served two terms on the 15-member Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging. Dr. Ilardo earned a Bachelor’s in Finance from the University of Illinois, a Master’s of Social Work from Michigan State University, and a PhD in Social Work from Michigan State University.

    Nicholas Kanaan, PhD - Biomarker Core Lead

    Nicholas Kanaan, PhD - Biomarker Core Co-Lead

    Dr. Kanaan grew up in Canton, MI and obtained a BS in Neuroscience, Psychology, and Sociology from Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant, MI). He then went to Chicago, IL to obtain a PhD in Neurological Sciences from Rush University Medical Center, and then stayed in Chicago for his postdoctoral training with Dr. Lester Binder at Northwestern University. His interests outside of the lab include photography, woodworking and fishing.

    Dr. Kanaan’s laboratory researches neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease as well as the role of aging-related changes in neurodegenerative disease.  Studies in the Kanaan lab focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying degenerative diseases and exploring therapeutic strategies.  The Kanaan lab uses a combination of experimental approaches, including in vitro and in vivo model systems, to tackle scientific questions. Regardless of his specific basic science endeavors, one of Dr. Kanaan’s fundamental aims is to conduct research that will ultimately translate into improvements in the lives of the people affected by these devastating diseases. Please visit Dr. Kanaan’s laboratory web site to learn more.

    Peter Lichtenberg, PhD - Research Education Component Co-Lead

    Peter Lichtenberg, PhD - Research Education Component Co-Lead 

    Dr. Lichtenberg is the Research Education Component Co-Lead, the director of the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology, and Co-Director of the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR). He is an expert in Geriatric Psychology and a national leader in addressing health disparities in elderly minority populations. In his role at Wayne State University, Dr. Lichtenberg has founded the IOG pre-doctoral training program in aging and urban health, was the Principle Investigator on a National Institute of Aging training grant from 2001-2012, and has helped train nearly fifty doctoral students in an intensive aging research program. As the REC Co-Lead, Peter has been instrumental in our success with recruiting underrepresented minorities in Detroit.

    Andrew Lieberman, MD, PhD - Neuropathology Core Lead

    Andrew Lieberman, MD, PhD - Neuropathology Core Lead 

    Dr. Lieberman is Neuropathology Core Lead, Abrams Collegiate Professor of Pathology, and Director of Neuropathology at the University of Michigan. He is internationally known for his research on the mechanism of inherited degenerative brain disorders. He is passionate about understanding how brain cells “handle” the abnormal proteins that accumulate in so many brain diseases including the dementias, so that we can design rational approaches to therapy. Dr. Lieberman received his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Maryland Medical School, and completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology and fellowship training in Neuropathology at the University of Pennsylvania.

    David Morgan, PhD - Biomarker Core Co-Lead

    David Morgan, PhD - Biomarker Core Co-Lead

    David Morgan is a Professor in the Department of Translational Neuroscience. He received his training at Northwestern University. His doctoral research at Northwestern University was with Aryeh Routtenberg where they investigated the neurochemistry of memory, resulting in a publication of part of his dissertation in Science. Dr. Morgan’s postdoctoral studies addressed aging-related changes in rodent and human brain in the laboratory of Caleb “Tuck” Finch.  Morgan became a faculty member at the University of Southern California in 1986 where his research projects focused on astrocytes and microglia in aged brain, including Alzheimer's tissues. After moving to South Florida in 1992, Morgan participated with John Hardy and Karen Duff in the development of a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (APP+PS1). He has developed methods to measure the damage that occurs in the brains of these mice and studied how this damage causes memory deficits in the mice. Morgan was the first to show that immunotherapy against the amyloid peptide rescued the memory deficits in APP mouse models of amyloid deposition.

    Dr. Morgan has over 200 peer-reviewed publications and his H factor is 57. He has participated in 20 NIH funded research grants totaling over 80 grant-years of research support as Principal investigator or Co-Investigator over the last 25 years.  His research program has received $16 million in support from multiple agencies. In addition to his research activities, Morgan has consulted with major pharmaceutical companies and small biotechnology companies regarding the development of therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease. He has also advised capital investment organizations regarding the most promising therapeutic approaches to curing Alzheimer’s disease.

    Douglas Noll, PhD - Neuroimaging Core Lead

    Douglas Noll, PhD - Neuroimaging Core Lead

    Doug Noll is the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Professor of Biomedical Engineering, a Professor Radiology, and Co-Director of the Functional MRI Laboratory. Dr. Noll's research is focused on the data acquisition and processing for imaging brain function using magnetic resonance imaging (functional MRI or fMRI). Projects include development of rapid image acquisition techniques, post-processing and analysis methods, methods for elimination of movement and other artifacts, characterization and quantification of the fMRI response through physiological modeling, development of systems and methods for parallel excitation in MRI, and development of image reconstruction methods. As part of Functional MRI Laboratory, this group collaborates with a broad range of neuroscientists to develop an understanding of the organization and functioning of the normal and diseased brain and to apply the technological advances to quantitative imaging of brain function in a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Recent collaborations include work to use MRI to guide and monitor focused ultrasound therapy (e.g. histotripsy).

    Scott Roberts, PhD - Outreach, Recruitment & Engagement Core Lead

    Scott Roberts, PhD - Outreach, Recruitment & Engagement Core Lead

    Scott Roberts, PhD, is a Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the U-M School of Public Health, where he directs its certificate program in Public Health Genetics and co-directs a dual master’s degree program in Public Health and Genetic Counseling. Dr. Roberts conducts research related to health education and support services in AD and has served since 2001 as Co-PI of the NIH-funded REVEAL Study, a NIH-funded series of randomized clinical trials evaluating the impact of disclosing genetic risk information to individuals with a family history of AD. Prior to coming to U-M, Dr. Roberts served as Co-Director of the Education Core in the NIA-funded Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center. He now directs the Outreach, Recruitment and Engagement Core.

    Irving Vega, PhD - Research Education Component Co-Lead

    imgresIrving Vega, PhD - Research Education Component Co-Lead 

    Irving E. Vega obtained his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Campus, where he was a NIH-Minority Access for Research Careers (MARC) Fellow. Then, he continued his research training in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience at the Graduate School of New Brunswick, Rutgers University, earning his PhD. Dr. Vega proceeded to a postdoctoral fellowship in the Neuroscience Department at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, where he developed his research career focusing on the identification of proteome changes associated with the accumulation of pathological tau proteins in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. As graduate student and postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Vega was supported by different fellowships including NIH-NRSA F31 and F32. In 2005, Dr. Vega established a research team as faculty member in the Department of Biology at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus. In 2014, Dr. Vega transferred his research program to the Department of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine at Michigan State University. In addition to mentor graduate students that successfully completed their PhD, Dr. Vega also has dedicated his career to develop training programs for undergraduate students in order to increase diversity in the field of neuroscience. His dedication and commitment to mentor the next generation of researchers, especially those from underrepresented ethnic groups in science, is based on his own experiences and serve as the basis for a productive research career.

    John Woodard, PhD

    John L. Woodard, PhD 

    John L. Woodard, PhD is a professor of psychology, clinical neuropsychologist, and statistician at Wayne State University. His research focuses on evaluating early changes in relational and semantic memory as leading indicators of incipient Alzheimer’s disease, as well as identification of behavioral, fluid, and imaging biomarkers for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. He also studies cognitive, personality, and biological aspects of exceptional longevity and was a co-project leader on the Georgia Centenarian Study. Since 2016, he has collaborated with European colleagues at the Université catholique de Louvain and the Institute of Neuroscience at the Saint Luc University Clinics in Brussels, Belgium, to investigate optimal biomarker combinations of for predicting risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Woodard is currently a co-investigator on a $8.8 million grant from the NIH to investigate how changes in immune functioning brought on by physical activity could prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to being PI or Co-I on several independent federal and foundation grants using longitudinal imaging with healthy older adults and persons with Alzheimer’s disease, he has served as a statistician on a number of federal, foundation, and intramural projects and is experienced with a wide range of complex longitudinal and cross-sectional statistical techniques.  He is an associate editor of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society and is on the editorial boards of American Psychologist and three additional journals on neuropsychology and aging.


    Luis Hernandez-Garcia, PhD - Neuroimaging Core Co-Investigator

    Luis Hernandez-Garcia, PhD - Neuroimaging Core Co-Investigator

    Dr. Hernandez's research interests are focused on developing and integrating techniques for the study of brain function.

    He has been involved in BOLD (Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent) and ASL (Arterial Spin Labeling) Functional MRI research for a number of years. Primarily, he has been developing ASL methods for quantitatively imaging cerebral perfusion. Perfusion is an indicator of brain function and therefore a very valuable tool, not just for the clinician, but also for the neuroscientist and psychologist. He is currently working on kinetic models for quantifying the ASL signal, and techniques that will improve the SNR and temporal resolution of perfusion measurements.

    Dr. Hernandez is also working on developing methods for non-invasive brain stimulation techniques. He has worked on the design and analysis of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) devices, and is also active in the development of focused ultrasound neuromodulation technology.

    Finally, he has collaborated tightly with research groups in psychology and neurology in the study of attention, memory, pain and depression.

    Jian Kang, PhD - Data Management and Statistical Core Co-Investigator

    Jian Kang, PhD - Data Management and Statistical Core Co-Investigator

    Jian Kang is a Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and is a faculty member of the Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center (KECC) at the University of Michigan. He received his PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan in 2011. He was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Emory University from 2011 - 2015. He was a core faculty member in the Center for Biomedical Imaging Statistics (CBIS) at Emory University. His primary research interests are in developing statistical methods for large-scale complex biomedical data with application in precision medicine, imaging, epidemiology and genetics.

    Jon-Fredrik Nielsen, PhD - Neuroimaging Core Co-Investigator

    Jon-Fredrik Nielsen, PhD - Neuroimaging Core Co-Investigator

    Dr. Nielsen is an Associate Research Scientist at the University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering. His research focuses on Biomedical Imaging.

    Scott Peltier, PhD - Neuroimaging Core Co-Investigator

    Scott Peltier, PhD - Neuroimaging Core Co-Investigator

    Dr. Peltier's research deals with functional MRI data acquisition and analysis. Current areas of interest include resting-state functional connectivity, real-time fMRI, multivariate and data-driven analysis techniques, and multimodal imaging. Dr. Peltier is the Technical Director of the Functional MRI Laboratory at the University of Michigan and a Research Scientist in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

    Navid Seraji-Bozorgzad, MD - Clinical Core Co-Investigator

    Navid Seraji-Bozorgzad, MD - Clinical Core Co-Investigator

    Navid Seraji-Bozorgzad, MD, is an associate professor of neurology in the University of Michigan Medical School.

    Dr. Seraji-Bozorgzad began work in the area of medical imaging in 1990 as a research assistant during his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan. He became familiar and developed a fundamental understanding of image acquisition and processing from his work on solid-state imaging arrays. After undergraduate work, he worked in the private sector as a software engineer, designing databases for various companies, including Ford Motor Company, and Liberty Mutual Insurance. The work provided him with experience in data-mining and manipulation of large datasets.

    His passion for medicine eventually led him to medical school. During the application process he worked in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, and eventually enrolled in graduate school in neuroscience. While in the Department of Psychiatry, he participated in the use of various MR imaging techniques, including magnetic resonance spectroscopy and functional MRI for diagnosis and disease progression in mood disorders, including bipolar disorder. It was during his graduate studies that he developed an interest in the field of neurodegeneration, regeneration and neuroprotection.

    Dr. Seraji-Bozorgzad's research interest is primarily with non-invasive methods of monitoring disease progression in neurodegenerative disorders, with the ultimate goal of developing a tool set to monitor the efficacy of therapies early on in neurodegenerative disorders.

    Peter Tessier, PhD - Biomarker Core Co-Investigator

    Peter Tessier, PhD - Biomarker Core Co-Investigator

    Peter Tessier is the Albert M. Mattocks Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. The Tessier lab aims to develop next generation technologies for designing, discovering, engineering, characterizing, formulating and delivering biologics ranging from small affinity peptides to large monoclonal antibodies for molecular imaging, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. This interdisciplinary research program involves the use of experimental and computational approaches to generate new fundamental insights related to protein structure and function, molecular origins of protein-protein interactions, and sequence and structural determinants of key protein properties (stability, solubility, specificity and affinity). With an eye toward applications, the Tessier lab also develops novel high-throughput screening tools for discovering new biologics and identifying rare variants with drug-like properties for therapeutic applications.

    Leaders Initiative

    Sami Barmada, MD, PhD - University of Michigan - Neuropathology Core

    Sami Barmada, MD, PhD 

    Dr. Barmada received his PhD in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Washington University in St. Louis, where he investigated prion diseases with Dr. David Harris, now chair of Biochemistry at Boston University. His neurology residency, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), gave him the opportunity to train with some of the premier clinicians and scientists in neurodegenerative diseases, including Dr. Bruce Miller, head of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, and Dr. Cathy Lomen-Hoerth, Director of the UCSF ALS Center. During residency and continuing in a postdoctoral fellowship, he worked with Dr. Steve Finkbeiner at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, where he established faithful model systems for the study of ALS and FTD pathogenesis, including one of the first human neuronal models of familial ALS and FTD. Dr. Barmada arrived at the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor of Neurology in 2013, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2020.

    Dr. Barmada’s research takes advantage of a broad toolkit of innovative technologies and methods involving fluorescence microscopy, computer science and engineering, bioinformatics, genome engineering and molecular biology to investigate important yet unanswered questions in neurodegenerative diseases. His work, centering on critical abnormalities in RNA and protein metabolism in ALS and FTD, combines basic biology with translational research and technology development. Dr. Barmada serves on the executive advisory board of the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research, and acts on the scientific advisory boards of the Live Like Lou Foundation and Synapticure, Inc. He has taken an active role in their efforts to raise awareness of ALS in the community, and participates in several local and national fundraising efforts. In recognition of the impact and promise of his original research, Dr. Barmada was awarded the Young Physician Scientist Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2014, and he received the distinguished Angela Dobson and Lyndon Welch Research Professorship at the University of Michigan in 2015.

    Andrew Bender, PhD - Michigan State University - Neuroimaging Core

    Andrew Bender, PhD

    Dr. Bender earned his PhD in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience from the Department of Psychology at Wayne State University in 2014, followed by a year-long postdoctoral appointment with the Institute of Gerontology. In 2018, he completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in Lifespan Development at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, before joining the departments of Epidemiology-Biostatistics and Neurology-Ophthalmology at MSU. Trained as a cognitive neuroscientist, with a broad focus on lifespan development and aging, quantitative methods, Dr. Bender’s work seeks to understand how individual differences in vascular, metabolic, and lifestyle risk factors contribute to changes in the brain’s structure and function in normal aging and in dementia.

    Benjamin Combs, PhD - Michigan State University - Biomarker Core

    Benjamin Combs, PhD

    Dr. Benjamin Combs is a Research Assistant Professor of Translation Science & Molecular Medicine in the Kanaan Lab at Michigan State University. He was also a past junior investigator mentee in our Research Education Component.

    Jessica Damoiseaux, PhD - Wayne State University - Neuroimaging Core

    Jessica Damoiseaux, PhD

    Jessica Damoiseaux, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Gerontology and the Department of Psychology. Dr. Damoiseaux' main research goal is to understand the changes in brain function and cognition that accompany normal and abnormal aging. She is particularly interested in examining the influence of biological and cognitive predisposition on cognitive and brain network connectivity changes in healthy older adults. The primary approach Dr. Damoiseaux uses to study brain network connectivity is functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In addition, she uses other neuroimaging techniques, such as structural MRI and diffusion imaging to study brain structure and structural brain connectivity.

    Ana Daugherty, PhD - Wayne State University - Data Management & Statistical and Neuroimaging Cores

    Ana Daugherty, PhD 

    Dr. Daugherty directs the Healthy Brain Aging Laboratory that studies health factors and behaviors that shape changes in brain structures and functions across the lifespan. She has a particular interest in metabolic and vascular health, and studies both risk (e.g., hypertension, metabolic syndrome) and protective (e.g., aerobic exercise) factors. Towards this end, her studies include measures of brain structure from MRI, cognitive ability, blood serum biomarkers, genetics, and lifestyle behaviors. She works with adults of all ages, and in collaboration with other laboratories at the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology, she studies the breadth of the human lifespan from childhood to late adulthood.

    Sean Ferris, PhD - University of Michigan - Neuropathology Core

    Sean Ferris, PhD

    Dr. Sean Ferris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Division of Neuropathology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Ferris received his BA from Brown University and his MD/PhD from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology and fellowship training in Neuropathology at the University of California San Francisco.

    At University of Michigan, Dr. Ferris serves on the clinical surgical neuropathology, muscle and nerve, and Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) autopsy services.

    Lenette Jones, PhD, RN - University of Michigan - Administrative Core

    Lenette Jones, PhD, RN 

    Dr. Jones is a behavioral nurse scientist interested in eliminating the health disparities affecting African-American women with hypertension. Her program of research is focused on uncovering the mechanisms – biological, psychological, social, and physical – of self-management interventions. She uses neuroimaging (fMRI) to explore the neuroprocesses associated with self-management behaviors, such as diet, exercise, and medication-taking. She also examines how health information behavior (seeking, sharing, and use) can be enhanced to support blood pressure self-management. In her current studies, Dr. Jones is designing and pilot-testing interventions to improve self-management of blood pressure among African American women.

    Amanda Leggett, PhD - University of Michigan - Clinical Core

    Amanda Leggett, PhD

    Dr. Leggett is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Dr. Leggett’s research focuses on the development of a taxonomy of dementia caregiving care management styles and determining how style might be used to target interventions and optimize care. She is also interested in depression and sleep problems in caregivers and older adults more broadly.

    Courtney Polenick, PhD - University of Michigan - Outreach, Recruitment and Engagement Core

    Courtney Polenick, PhD

    Courtney A. Polenick, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Faculty Associate in the Aging & Biopsychosocial Innovations Program of the Survey Research Center at the U-M Institute for Social Research. Dr. Polenick’s research focuses on later-life family relationships and caregiving in the context of complex care needs including dementia and multimorbidity. She is particularly interested in understanding mutual influences within older couples managing chronic conditions that inform targeted dyadic interventions to maintain the well-being of both partners.

    Annalise Rahman-Filipiak - University of Michigan - Clinical Core

    Annalise Rahman-Filipiak, PhD

    Dr. Annalise Rahman-Filipiak is a Clinical Lecturer in the Neuropsychology Section of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School. She earned her Bachelor's of Science in Psychology, Biology, and Neuroscience from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, followed by Master's and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. She was a predoctoral trainee at the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology. Dr. Rahman-Filipiak completed a residency in Neuropsychology at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System/University of Michigan consortium before joining the UM faculty in October 2018. Dr. Rahman-Filipiak's research focuses on the development of novel measures for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD), metacognition in aging, and culturally-sensitive protocols for the disclosure of diagnosis of or biomarker-based risk for ADRD.

    Sheria Robinson-Lane, PhD, RN - University of Michigan - Outreach, Recruitment and Engagement Core

    Sheria Robinson-Lane, PhD, RN  

    Dr. Sheria Robinson-Lane is a gerontologist with expertise in palliative care, long-term care, and nursing administration. She has focused her career on the care and support of older adults with cognitive and/or functional disabilities. Dr. Robinson-Lane is interested in the ways that older adults adapt to changes in health, and particularly how adaptive coping strategies effect health outcomes. Her research is focused on reducing health disparities for minority older adults with cognitive impairments and their informal caregivers. Prior to coming to coming to the University of Michigan School of Nursing, Dr. Robinson-Lane completed an NIH-funded advanced research rehabilitation training program in community living and participation with the University of Michigan Medical School.

  • Staff

    Arijit K. Bhaumik, CCRP - Research Administrator

    Arijit Bhaumik, CCRP - Research Administrator 

    Contact: arijit@med.umich.edu or 734-936-8281

    Arijit has worked at the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center since 2007, managing neurodegenerative clinical trials and longitudinal research projects. He has been the Center's Research Administrator since 2016. Ari's expertise lies in clinical research protocol management and working with cross-generation populations. He has a deep understanding of highly intricate grants that involve multiple investigators at multiple universities, complex budgets, and multiple sub-awards. Ari possesses all of these skills and is recognized by his peers for his ability to bridge the gap between research budgeting, research operations planning and execution of the research strategy. He is an excellent communicator, emphasizing creative and dynamic strategies for multicultural, cross-generational and multipurpose understanding of research within our Center. In 2018, Ari joined the MICH STEP.up program (previously RISE), which is a formal mentorship program for research professional staff at U-M. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology and Counseling at Richmond University, London, UK, and studied Cognitive Psychology at the post-baccalaureate level at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is also a Certified Clinical Research Professional (SoCRA). In 2018 he was awarded the Camille Mrozowski Award for Service and Excellence in Research sponsored by the University of Michigan Medical School Office of Research.

    Makayla Brunt, MS - Research Area Specialist

    Makayla Brunt, MS - Research Area Specialist

    Contact: mbrunt@med.umich.edu

    Makayla is a research specialist who works at the Michigan Brain Bank as well as in the Paulson Laboratory. Her research is focused on studying the role of tau in neurodegenerative diseases. She earned her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry in 2018 and Master’s in Chemistry in 2019 from the University of Michigan. In her spare time, she enjoys running and spending time with her family.

    Holly Bunker, MA - Research Engagement Coordinator

    Holly Bunker, MA - Research Engagement Coordinator

    Contact: hlbunker@med.umich.edu or 734-615-5319

    Holly Bunker joined the Center in 2018 as the Research Engagement Coordinator. Holly has a BA in Psychology from Michigan State University and a master's degree in Health Education from Wayne State University. Holly is responsible for enrolling participants into the Center's primary research study, the University of Michigan Memory and Aging Project (UM-MAP), and is our research participants’ main point of contact throughout their participation in this longitudinal study. In addition to managing the UM-MAP study, Holly works closely with study coordinators for other Center-supported studies.

    Alicia Burgei - Research Coordinator

    Alicia Burgei – Research Coordinator

    Contact: aburgei@med.umich.edu or 734-615-7421

    Alicia joined the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center in June 2021 where she works with the Clinical Core on the University of Michigan Memory and Aging Project (UM-MAP). Her role at the Center is to administer neuropsychological examinations to research participants. Alicia is an Ohio State University graduate, having earned a BS degree in psychology and a minor in neuroscience. She is interested in getting to know more about neurocognition and neurodegenerative diseases as she pursues neuropsychology in the future.

    Stephen Campbell, LMSW - Research Projects Manager

    Stephen Campbell, LMSW - Research Projects Manager 

    Contact: stepcamp@umich.edu or 734-763-2361

    Stephen is responsible for a variety of activities within the Clinical Core. He manages the Center's core study, the University of Michigan Memory and Aging Project (UM-MAP) which includes direction of study related activities and regulatory issues. Stephen also manages collaborative efforts between the University of Michigan and other research institutions. Stephen received Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Eastern Michigan University.

    Kiren Chaudry - Research Area Specialist

    Kiren Chaudry - Research Area Specialist 

    Contact: chaudhki@med.umich.edu

    Kiren graduated from Wayne State University in 2015 with dual degrees in Psychology and Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies. Prior to arriving at the Center, her work focused on children and adolescents through a developmental psychology lens. She joined the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center in June 2021 to expand her skill set across the developmental lifespan. Kiren's role consists of helping with the U-M Memory & Aging Project, ALLFTD study and Neighborhood study.

    Danielle Davis - Clinical Research Coordinator

    Danielle Davis - Clinical Research Coordinator 

    Contact: daviscd@med.umich.edu

    Danielle Davis joined the Center in April 2020 as a Community Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator. Her role includes planning outreach events in Detroit churches, sororities, fraternities and other organizations as well as coordinating recruitment of potential research participants, especially from underrepresented minorities. Danielle is a Michigan State University graduate, with a BA degree in Family Community Services with over twelve years of Community Outreach experience. Prior to joining the Center, Danielle worked for the Alzheimer’s Association - Greater Michigan Chapter as a Coordinator of their Detroit minority outreach initiative.

    Erin Fox - Communications Specialist

    Erin Fox - Communications Specialist

    Contact: eefox@med.umich.edu or 734-232-2459

    Erin Fox is the Center's Communications Specialist. She is responsible for coordinating the Center's communications channels including the website, newsletters, e-newsletters, social media, flyers, presentations and more. She also markets and advertises Center activities and programs in the community and to professionals. Erin plans events for the Center including health fairs, symposiums, and fundraisers. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA degree in Communication Studies.

    Renee Gadwa, MBA - Outreach, Recruitment, & Engagement Program Manager
    Renee Gadwa, MBA - Outreach, Recruitment, & Engagement Program Manager 

    Contact: rgadwa@med.umich.edu or 734-764-5137

    Renee is responsible for the management, performance and completion of outreach and recruitment activities at the Center and in the community. She leads a wide range of educational events, including health fairs, lectures and community presentations and oversees recruitment into Center supported research studies. Renee’s job also focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of all activities and programs of the Carl Rinne Lewy Body Dementia Initiative. Renee has over ten years of experience in dementia care, education, and support in the long term care setting and has been at the Center since 2015. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Science with a minor in Psychology from Grand Valley State University and her MBA in Healthcare Management from Southern New Hampshire University.

    Theresa Gierzynski, LLMSW - Clinical Subjects Coordinator

    Theresa Gierzynski, LLMSW - Clinical Subjects Coordinator 

    Contact: gierzyns@med.umich.edu or 734-615-0612

    Theresa Gierzynski joined the Center in 2018 as a Clinical Subjects Coordinator. Her role includes administering and scoring neuropsychological assessments, study coordination, and training new staff. She also delivers neuropsychological feedback to our research participants. Theresa has been a professional in the field of aging and dementia for nearly a decade. She has formerly worked as a Research Technician at Wayne State University’s Institute of Gerontology on several research projects and was a lead author on a peer-reviewed publication. Theresa was also employed as a Program Coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Michigan Chapter and provided education and outreach to healthcare professionals, family caregivers, and those living with dementia. Theresa Gierzynski earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Madonna University in 2011 and her Master of Social Work degree from Wayne State University in 2018.

    Allyson Gregoire, MPH - Data Analyst

    Allyson Gregoire, MPH - Data Analyst 

    Contact: allygreg@med.umich.edu

    Allyson joined the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center in the summer of 2021 as a member of the data core team as a Data Analyst/Programmer. She earned her BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Michigan State University in 2016 and an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan in 2019. Allyson’s role in the data core includes working with center collaborators to perform analyses and disseminate data with the ultimate goal of enhancing the understanding of disease and improving quality of life.

    Kate Hanson, MA - Research Recruitment Coordinator

    Kate Hanson, MA - Research Recruitment Coordinator 

    Contact: katsch@med.umich.edu or 734-936-8332

    Kate joined the Center in 2018, working for the Date Core team in Research Support. In 2019 she joined the Outreach & Recruitment Core where she acts as a liaison between the Data, Clinical and Outreach Cores. Kate works with the Clinical Core to process and initiate new studies affiliated with the Center and with the Data Core to provide study teams with the data requests particular to each study. Kate works to keep our growing registry of research participants active and up-to-date, matching volunteers with appropriate studies that meet the needs of volunteers and study teams alike. She earned both a BA in Psychology and an MA in Education at the University of Michigan.

    Nahla R. Khobeir – Clinical Research Coordinator

    Nahla R. Khobeir – Clinical Research Coordinator

    Contact: khobeirn@med.umich.edu or 734-764-0212

    Nahla joined the Center in June 2021.  She coordinates and facilitates blood draws for all our research participants.  She processes and distributes the specimens to our various research facilities. Nahla has a BA from the University of Toledo with a focus in Healthcare.  She is the Director and Instructor or the phlebotomy program at Monroe County Community College and an ASCP certified phlebotomist.

    Nancy Laracey - Center Business Administrator

    Nancy Laracey - Center Business Administrator 

    Contact: laracey@med.umich.edu or 734-936-8764

    Nancy oversees the Center's daily operations and is responsible for administrative, financial and human resources activities. Nancy earned her BA degree from Michigan State University. She has an outstanding record of service, having dedicated over thirty years of her career to the University of Michigan in various positions in the Medical School.

    Kelly Mattingly, LMSW - Research Coordinator & Support Group Facilitator

    Kelly Mattingly, LMSW - Research Coordinator & Support Group Facilitator

    Contact: mattinke@med.umich.edu

    Kelly joined the Center in 2017 as a support group facilitator for care partners of people living with Lewy body dementia. In 2021, Kelly also took on the coordination of the PACE-DLB study. With a background in hospice, home health, and long term care settings, Kelly has nearly ten years of experience in dementia care. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Western Michigan University and her masters from the Denver University School of Social Work in 2009.  Kelly currently supports the Rinne Lewy Body Dementia Initiative’s Ann Arbor, Brighton, Lansing, and West Bloomfield Lewy body dementia support groups.

    Ashley Miller, MPH - Wellness Coordinator

    Ashley Miller, MPH - Wellness Coordinator 

    Contact: acmil@med.umich.edu or 734-615-8293

    Ashley received her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and her Master’s degree in Public Health, Health Behavior and Health Education in 2016 and 2018 respectively, both at the University of Michigan. As a part of her Master’s degree program, she interned at our center in 2018. She joined the center full time in 2019 as their Wellness Coordinator. As the Wellness Coordinator, Ashley assists with all Wellness Programming for both care partners and individuals with dementia in addition to assisting with community outreach and education for the center. She is passionate about connecting art and health to improve wellness. If you have any questions about wellness programming, please feel free to reach out to her!

    Stephanie Nava, MA - Education and Events Coordinator

    Stephanie Nava, MA - Research Assistant 

    Contact: senava@med.umich.edu

    Stephanie Nava is the center’s Education and Events Coordinator. She leads the planning of various Center-hosted community events including the monthly Speaker Series, annual Appreciation Luncheon, and various special events throughout the year. She rejoined the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center as a Research Assistant in January 2021. Where she oversaw the scheduling and administration of MRI and PET scans for UMMAP and other center affiliated studies. Stephanie has a master’s degree in medical anthropology from Wayne State University and has many years of experience working in geriatric research and event programming.

    Rebecca Pantis - Research Coordinator

    Rebecca Pantis - Research Coordinator 

    Contact: repantis@med.umich.edu or 734-764-4416

    Rebecca joined the Center as a Research Coordinator in 2018. She works with the Clinical Core on the University of Michigan Memory and Aging Project (UM-MAP). Her role in the Clinical Core is to educate participants about the UM-MAP study, collect demographic information, and administer neuropsychological assessments. Rebecca graduated from the University of Michigan with her BS degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. Rebecca is interested in getting to know more about neurodegenerative diseases and hopes to continue doing more research after she attends medical school.

    Alexis Passamani - Data Entry Specialist

    Alexis Passamani - Data Entry Specialist

    Contact: alexispp@med.umich.edu

    Alexis Passamani joined the Center in December 2019. She completed her Bachelors of Science degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from Grand Valley State University in the fall of 2019. She loves to work with data and researchers to get a better understanding of how research is conducted as well as look into various degenerative diseases. She is currently preparing for graduate/medical school in order to gain her MD/PhD in Neuroscience and one day conduct her own research.

    Matthew Perkins - Michigan Brain Bank Coordinator

    Matthew Perkins - Michigan Brain Bank Coordinator 

    Contact: perkmd@med.umich.edu or 734-647-7648

    For autopsy assistance: 734-936-6267 (pager #9198)

    Matthew Perkins is the coordinator of the Michigan Brain Bank. He has been involved in research at the University of Michigan since 2012. Matthew coordinates the Center's brain autopsy services and collaborates with research groups across the University of Michigan campus. He is passionate about improving clinical care and research through his involvement in autopsy services. Matthew earned his BS degree in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science from the University of Michigan. For more information about the Michigan Brain Bank, visit the website here.

    Betsy Posby, NP - Nurse Clinician

    Betsy Posby, NP - Nurse Clinician 

    Contact: blwar@med.umich.edu

    Betsy works as a nurse clinician. She works with multiple studies conducting neurological exams, obtaining health histories and documenting the history of dementia onset and progression, as applicable. Betsy received her Bachelors in Nursing from the University of Michigan and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Rush University. She has been working with the geriatric and dementia population for over 10 years. Betsy has worked as a research RN at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, IL. As a nurse practitioner she has worked in palliative care, long term care and home health.

    Jonathan Reader, MS - Data Systems Manager

    Jonathan Reader, MS - Data Systems Manager

    Contact: readerj@med.umich.edu or 734-936-9048

    Jon joined the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center in July 2019 as a Programmer/Data Analyst. He was promoted to Data Systems Manager in 2021. He earned his master's degree in Human Development & Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University. He is interested in using technology to improve the efficiency of the research process as a whole. This includes working with data from collection to publication with the ultimate goal of improving individuals’ lives via policy-level impact. In his spare time, he enjoys Netflix, reading, and spending time with his friends and family (including his cat, Albany).

    Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW - Wellness Initiative Managing Director

    Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW - Managing Director, Wellness Initiative Managing Director

    Contact: lerice@umich.edu or 734-615-8210

    Since 2012, Laura has led the Wellness Initiative at the Center where she designs, implements, and evaluates wellbeing and self-care programming for family caregivers. Moved by family experiences with long-term illness and memory loss, Laura has worked in dementia care since 1996 in a variety of capacities. She was the first Director of Michigan Medicine’s Silver Club Memory Loss Programs prior to serving as the clinical manager for the Early Stage Initiative at the Los Angeles regional Alzheimer’s Association. Laura is a national and state presenter on memory loss and caregiver wellbeing, has advanced professional training in mindfulness-based interventions and holds professional certifications in aging, dementia and contemplative clinical care.  Laura is the lead teacher and trainer of the Mindfulness-based Dementia Care (MBDC) program, the first to launch this program in a community-based setting and the co-creator of the MBDC professional training program.  Laura continues to train clinicians nationally and around the world in MBDC in collaboration with colleagues through the Presence Care Project.  She works closely with other organizations to bring wellness education to caregivers in the state of Michigan through the THRIVE Network project. Laura is an Anthony V. DeVito II Memorial Award recipient. This award is presented annually by the U-M Geriatrics Center to recognize outstanding service, dedication and commitment to excellence in geriatrics education in Michigan. She received her MSW from the University of Michigan School of Social Work in 1997.

    Edna Rose, PhD, MSW, RN-BC - Clinician & Outreach Specialist

    Edna Rose, PhD, MSW, RN-BC - Clinician & Outreach Specialist 

    Contact: ednarose@med.umich.edu or 734-936-8329

    Since 2008, Dr. Edna Rose has provided education about the risk factors associated with dementia and the benefits of participating in research to underrepresented communities. She has successfully enhanced minority inclusion in Center-supported studies through linkages at local churches, sororities, fraternities and other social organizations. She is also a nurse clinician that assesses many of our research participants in the U-M Memory & Aging Project. Dr. Rose received her MSW and PhD from Clark Atlanta University in Social Work Planning and Administration, and her undergraduate nursing degree from Kennesaw University in Atlanta.

    Sarah Shair, MS - ELECTRA Study Coordinator

    Sarah Shair, MS - ELECTRA Study Coordinator 

    Contact: sshair@med.umich.edu or 313-577-1276

    Sarah joined the Center in 2013 as a Research Assistant. Beginning in May 2019, she has been based at Wayne State University managing a joint research study between their Institute of Gerontology and the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center. The study, called ELECTRA for short, is examining the role of electroencephalogram (EEG) and computerized testing in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease in at-risk African Americans. Her role involves coordination of the study and joint-enrollment of participants at both universities, management of the research team, maintenance of regulatory documents and approvals, assisting with the publication and presentation of study results, presenting at outreach events, recruiting and enrolling participants, and administering informed consent and neuropsychological examinations. Sarah has nearly 15 years of research experience. She earned her Bachelor’s degree with High Honors in Psychology from the University of Michigan and her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Wayne State.

    Kyra Strachan - Michigan Brain Bank Technician

    Kyra Strachan - Michigan Brain Bank Technician

    Contact: kstrach@umich.edu

    Kyra is a laboratory technician for the Michigan Brain Bank. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Biopsychology Cognition Neuroscience and has been involved with research at the university since 2019.

    Yvonne Sturt, CCRP - Regulatory Specialist

    Yvonne Sturt, BS, CCRP - Regulatory Specialist 

    Contact: ysturt@med.umich.edu

    Yvonne joined the Center in 2021 and serves as its Regulatory Specialist, helping to manage the Center’s numerous clinical trials and longitudinal research projects. She earned her BS degree in Health Sciences from Georgia Southern University and is also a Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) through the Society of Clinical Research Administrators (SOCRA). Yvonne has held various positions in both Michigan Medicine and the Office of Research over the past twenty five years. She has expertise in research administration, project and program management, regulatory oversight, human resources, financial management, and pre/post-award grants management.

    Yewande Taiwo, MS - Imaging Coordinator

    Yewande Taiwo, MS - Imaging Coordinator

    Contact: ytaiwo@med.umich.edu or 734-615-3421

    Yewande joined the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center in March 2021. She is responsible for the acquisition, management, analysis and transfer of imaging files. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and Washington University in St. Louis, respectively. In her spare time, she enjoys watching tv, reading, and playing ultimate frisbee.

    Sherry Teboe - Database Manager

    Sherry Teboe - Database Manager

    Contact: steboe@med.umich.edu or 734-936-0836

    Sherry has made her career at the University of Michigan for over forty years and has been a vital member of the Center for more than thirty of those years.  Sherry is involved in creating the secure data entry system. She ensures that all data collected from Center-supported studies remain confidential and ready for analysis by research investigators who are interested in enhancing our understanding of memory loss and dementia. She is very interested in spending time with the elderly to grow from their years of wisdom and their wonderful sense of humor.

    Louann Walch - Data Entry Specialist

    Louann Walch - Data Entry Specialist 

    Contact: louann@med.umich.edu or 734-615-3593

    Louann has been at the University of Michigan for over ten years and became a member of the Center in 2019. She works as a Data Entry Specialist in the Data Core. She obtained her Bachelors of Business Management Healthcare in 2012 at Cleary University. She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and her two dogs.

  • Internal Advisory Board

    Julia Bynum, MD, MPH (Chair) - University of Michigan

    Julie Bynum, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatric & Palliative Medicine, earned her BS from Union College, an MPH from The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene & Public Health, and an MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. One of Bynum’s contributions to the field has been to develop a method of creating “virtual” physician-hospital networks that allows the measurement of care delivered and its outcomes for a population served by a specific group of providers. These networks were used in the conceptual development of the Accountable Care Organization(ACO) legislation. Dr. Bynum joins us from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (TDI), Geisel Medical School at Dartmouth, Lebanon, NH.

    Toni Antonucci, PhD - University of Michigan

    Dr. Toni Antonucci is the Elizabeth M. Douvan Collegiate Professor of Psychology in the University of Michigan Department of Psychology and a Senior Research Scientist at the U-M Institute of Social Research Life Course. Her research focuses on social relations and health across the life span, including multigenerational studies of the family and comparative studies of social relations across the life span in the United States, Europe and Japan. We are currently collecting a second wave of data on the Social Relations and Health across the Life Span study. She also co-leads the Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer's Disease (MCCFAD) which focuses on the education and enrollment into dementia research for Arab Americans and Hispanics.

    F. DuBois Bowman, PhD - University of Michigan

    Dr. Bowman is the Dean of the School of Public Health. He earned a B.S. degree in mathematics from Morehouse College, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He earned a master's in biostatistics from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Bowman's areas of study include Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, depression, schizophrenia, and substance addiction. His research has helped to reveal brain patterns that reflect disruption from psychiatric diseases, detect biomarkers for neurological diseases, and determine more individualized therapeutic treatments. Additionally, his work seeks to determine threats to brain health from environmental exposures and to optimize brain health in aging populations.

    Jack Lipton, PhD - Michigan State University

    Jack W. Lipton, PhD is the Chair and Professor of Translational Neuroscience at Michigan State University in Grand Rapids. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988 in Psychology. He went on to earn his PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience at UCLA in 1993 with Dr. Michael J. Fanselow. After finishing a postdoctoral fellowship at Rush Children's Hospital in Chicago with Dr. Paul M. Carvey, Dr. Lipton was offered an assistant professorship at Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) in the Department of Pharmacology in 1996 where he established a research program examining the consequences of fetal exposure to cocaine and ecstasy on the developing brain. He was promoted to Associate Professor of Neurological Sciences in 2002. In 2004, Dr. Lipton and a team of his colleagues from RUMC relocated to the University of Cincinnati (UC). He was promoted to full professor in 2004 and became the Director of the Division of Neuropharmacology in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Lipton joined the MSU College of Human Medicine in July of 2009 and is currently Chair of the Department of Translational Neuroscience. Dr. Lipton and his colleagues Dr. Timothy Collier, Dr. Kathy Steece-Collier and Dr. Caryl Sortwell, have been designated a Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research. Dr. Lipton has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1993 through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. He is the author of over 50 papers and book chapters on the pharmacology and toxicology of drugs of abuse and the neurobiology of Parkinson's disease. In his spare time, he can often be found tinkering on old motorcycles in his backyard.

    Donovan Maust, MD, MS - University of Michigan

    Donovan T. Maust, M.D., M.S., is a geriatric psychiatrist and health services researcher. He has two primary areas of research interest. First, he is interested in understanding both the drivers and consequences of potentially inappropriate psychotropic use among older adults, focusing on benzodiazepines and antipsychotics. In addition, his research explores the factors that drive the potentially inappropriate healthcare utilization of patients with dementia.

    Dr. Maust earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University. He completed his psychiatry residency and geriatric psychiatry fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, with further training in health services research at the University of Michigan. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a research scientist in the Center for Clinical Management Research of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

    Keith Whitfield, PhD - Wayne State University

    Keith E. Whitfield became provost of Wayne State University on June 1, 2016. Previously, he was vice provost for academic affairs at Duke University, and held appointments as professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, research professor in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, and senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. He also was the co-director of the Center on Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research.

    An expert on aging among African Americans, Dr. Whitfield has published 200 articles, books and book chapters on cognition, health, and individual development and aging. He is a longtime member of the advisory board of Wayne State’s Institute on Gerontology, has participated in a number of committees for the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, and has served on several study sections for the National Institutes of Health.

    Dr. Whitfield earned a bachelor’s in psychology from the College of Santa Fe, a PhD in lifespan developmental psychology from Texas Tech University, and received postdoctoral training in quantitative genetics from the University of Colorado Boulder.

    External Advisory Board

    Sanjay Asthana, MD, FACP - Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

    Dr. Sanjay Asthana is chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology within the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin - Madision and the Director of the National Institute of Aging/National Institutes of Health Wisconsin-Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. In these capacities, Dr. Asthana oversees researchers working to translate research advances to improved patient care and potential cures or prevention guidelines. Prior to joining UW-Madison, Dr. Asthana served as Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Disorders Research Program for the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle/Tacoma, Washington. He is an Elected Fellow in the American College of Physicians, the Royal College of Physicians of London, England, and of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. Dr. Asthana received the “Outstanding Physician Award” from the Alzheimer’s Association and has been selected multiple times for the Top Doctors in America list and Top Doctors in Madison list.

    Lisa Barnes, PhD - Rush University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

    Lisa L. Barnes, PhD, the Alla V. and Solomon Jesmer Professor of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, is a cognitive neuropsychologist in the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Her work is focused on the epidemiology of aging and racial differences in chronic diseases of aging. Dr. Barnes received her PhD in biopsychology from the University of Michigan and completed a 3-year NIH post-doctoral fellowship in cognitive neuroscience at the University of California - Davis. She is the Principal Investigator of three community-based cohort studies of older African Americans, and the Director of the Rush Center of Excellence on Disparities in HIV and Aging (CEDHA). Dr. Barnes is internationally recognized for her contributions to minority aging and minority health. She has published extensively on cognitive aging in older African Americans, and has received numerous awards and honors for her work in minority communities.

    Matthew Frosh, MD, PhD - Massachusetts Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

    Dr. Frosh's laboratory is interested in the development and characterization of animal models of human neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases. Dr. Forsh is also the faculty coordinator for the tissue-based activities of the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center (HNDC) which designs the implementation of programs that can support tissue-based research into a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders, as pursued across the Harvard neuroscience community (including basic and clinical investigations). Dr. Frosh also directs the Neuropathology Core of the NIA-supported MA Alzheimer Disease Research Center (MADRC). The Core provides diagnostic and research-oriented neuropathology autopsy services in support of the Clinical Core of the MADRC and provides tissue to a wide range of researchers within the institution, across the country and internationally.

    Joshua Grill, PhD - University of California - Irvine Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

    Dr. Grill leads the Outreach & Recruitment Core at the University of California - Irvine Alzheimer's Disease Center. Dr. Grill has been the recipient of the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center Junior Investigator Award, the Alzheimer’s Association Turken Research Prize, the Community Spirit Award from OPICA Adult Day Services, and the P. Gene and Elaine Smith Term Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research. He has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Hartford Foundation, the American Federation for Aging Research, and the University of California. He serves on the Steering Committee of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study and the Internal Ethics Committee for this national body. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. In 2017, he co-chaired a workgroup as part of the NIH’s Inclusion Across the Lifespan workshop, a congressional mandate in the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255). He is part of a working group sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association charged with creating a national strategy for recruitment to Alzheimer’s disease clinical research.

    Jonathan Mahnken, PhD - University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Center

    Jonathan D. Mahnken, PhD is an associate professor in the department of biostatistics at the University of Kansas and leads the Data & Biostatistics Core at the Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. His research and collaborative experiences include the analysis of censored (survival) data, experimental designs, and power and sample size calculations. Dr. Mahnken also has significant collaborative experience in analyzing data from observational studies, including registry and health claims data that require bias adjustments such as propensity score matching. His role in projects frequently involves leading statistical programmers, data managers/informatics personnel, and other statisticians.

    Dr. Mahnken received his B.A. in mathematics from Concordiia University, and studied Biometry at the University of Nebraska. He holds an M.S. in Preventive Medicine from the University of Texas Medical Branch, and received his Ph.D. in Biometry from the University of Texas-Health Science Center before joining the University of Kansas Medical Center faculty in 2004.

    Nina Silverberg, PhD - NIH/NIA Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program

    Dr. Nina Silverberg is the Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers (ADRC) Program at the National Institute on Aging. She manages and supports the efforts of 30 NIA-funded Centers at major medical institutions across the country. The ADRCs translate research advances into improved diagnosis, care and treatments for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, as well as enhanced support for people who provide care for them.

    In addition, Dr. Silverberg is a program officer overseeing dementia research portfolios covering: research ethics; cognitive, functional and behavioral assessment; clinical care; and technology. She strives to reduce health disparities, with the goal of ensuring that people from underrepresented populations receive access to research opportunities as well as research training. She is also a leader in NIA’s efforts to educate the public and health care providers about the importance of research participation.

    Dr. Silverberg received her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Arizona, Tucson. Before joining NIA in 2005, she was a clinical research scientist at the NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Banner Sun Health Research Institute in Sun City, Az. There, she coordinated the American Indian outreach program and was the principal investigator on a study assessing the usefulness of various neuropsychological assessment tools in an American Indian population.

    Cerise Elliott, PhD - NIH/NIA Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program

    Dr. Cerise Elliott is a program director for the Dementias of Aging Branch of the Division of Neuroscience (DN). She has been a member of the DN staff since January 2008, creating evaluation and management systems for nine research portfolios. She coordinates the health disparities program for Alzheimer’s disease, administers the Alzheimer’s Disease Centers program, and manages Data and Safety Monitoring Boards for Alzheimer’s clinical trials. She previously held positions in the NIH Office of Intramural Research and the Office of Extramural Research in the Office of the NIH Director from 2004 to 2008 where she was the liaison with non-profit organizations, patient advocacy groups, the drug industry, and individuals for dissemination of NIH policies and programs to stakeholders.

    Dr. Elliott received her B.S. in chemistry from Creighton University in Omaha, NE and her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Her scientific research focused on cell apoptosis controlled by peripheral T cells in multiple sclerosis. Her recent programmatic interests are creating new and effective scientific collaborations, facilitating successful mentoring relationships among grantees, and providing effective evaluation of program development. Dr. Elliott has published in journals and served on a number NIA and NIH committees and workgroups.

    Detroit Advisory Council

    Our Center has a longstanding goal of focusing on research that seeks to identify and understand the non-amyloid factors that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, with a strong emphasis on recruiting underrepresented groups in research. We are pleased to have launched a Detroit Advisory Council to promote success in recruitment of underrepresented groups in Detroit. The charges of this group including developing relationships with community organizations in Detroit and identifying community champions, forming close relationships with Chi Eta Phi Sorority to provide education and gain interest in research opportunities, identify men’s organizations and champions to enhance male recruitment, and develop educational sessions and materials tailored to underrepresented groups in research. The Detroit Advisory Council is composed of active members in the Detroit community and oversight is provided by Center Administrative and Outreach, Recruitment, and Engagement Core staff and faculty. 

    Danielle Davis - Detroit Advisory Council Lead

    Danielle Davis joined the Center in April 2020 as a Community Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator. Her role includes planning outreach events in Detroit churches, sororities, fraternities and other organizations as well as coordinating recruitment of potential research participants, especially from underrepresented minorities. Danielle is a Michigan State University graduate, with a BA degree in Family Community Services with over twelve years of Community Outreach experience. Prior to joining the Center, Danielle worked for the Alzheimer’s Association - Greater Michigan Chapter as a Coordinator of their Detroit minority outreach initiative.

    James Bridgforth, MA - Community Consultant

    James Bridgforth is a retired member of the community. He received his BBA from Western Michigan University and his MA in Business from Central Michigan University. He worked for 30 years at Blue Cross Blue Shield as the Claims and Servicing Manager where he managed line operations and performed a variety of internal audits. Today James is the President of 20,000 Rutherford Block Club. He also engages with his community through the Healthy Black Elders Program, the Michigan Alzheimer’s Association, the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center, the Prostate Cancer Research Workgroup, and the Wishing Well Foundation Grief and Loss Program. In his free time James enjoys golfing, reading, traveling, and socializing.

    Patricia Mullin, BA - Community Consultant

    Born and raised on the East Side of Detroit, Ms. Patricia Mullin has a passion for learning and sharing information with others. For 25 years, she worked as a nuclear medicine technician, where she performed exams to determine organ function. She mainly worked in Cardiac Care, but also did scans of the brain, thyroid, lungs, and more. Her strength and endurance to learn led her to join the Urban League Mature Workers Program, which provides skilled training and placement. Patricia asked to be placed in the HBEC Office for her training. During this time, Patricia helped plan Lunch & Learns, resurveyed HBEC members, and helped plan the Annual Health Reception. After the Mature Workers program ended, Patricia earned her realtor license and substitute taught. She even received a Bachelor of Arts degree in applied science with a minor in healthcare administration at age 57. In her downtime Patricia loves to travel, read, and is a caregiver to both of her parents.

    Patricia Rencher, MA, MPA, Gerontology Certificate – Community Consultant

    As a result of Pat’s aging activism/advocacy and eight years of providing community education through the Wayne State University-Institute of Gerontology, she was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder in 2012 to the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging, and later appointed to the Michigan State Advisory Council on Aging where she is currently serving a second, 3-year term. Pat is the past Detroit ambassador for the Greater Michigan Alzheimer’s Association but continues to volunteer with the chapter. She also sits on the community advisory boards of St. Patrick Senior Center and Presbyterian Villages of Michigan senior housing-Oakman Manor residence.

    In May 2015, she launched a free, quarterly publication, Urban Aging News, targeting older adults, their adult children, and caregivers with information on services, programs, tools, and resources to enhance the aging and caregiver experiences in metro Detroit. To complement the paper, ore-Covid, Pat presents the free, annual Aging Matters Education & Expo event where metro-Detroiters learn about home and community-based services, elder legal planning, Medicare, and other resources to facilitate aging with dignity and choice.

    Ronald Taylor, MBA, MA – Community Consultant

    Ronald S. Taylor is a servant-leader who believes in meeting the highest priority needs of others. He sees the common good and works to serve it. He believes in developing the full potential of employees, connecting them to a shared mission, and exceeding the expectations of those participating in the programs of the Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA).

    As President & CEO of DAAA, Taylor leads an agency of 150 staff members with an operating budget of $73 million. DAAA, one of 16 Area Agencies on Aging in Michigan, serves over 90,000 seniors, caregivers, and adults with disabilities annually, including the largest minority population of older adults in the state. He joined the organization in October 2018.

    Taylor has local, state, and national experience in social services, governmental/non-profit and faith-based sectors.

    He has built key coalitions, partnerships, and community networks vital to keeping adults safe and independent in their homes and communities when possible. His business practices are focused on continuous quality improvement, optimizing productivity, program development, and implementation and consensus building.

    Taylor is a native of Toledo, Ohio. He began his career at the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio where he was Director of Program Development and Quality Assurance. While there, he was recognized as one of Ebony magazine’s 30 Leaders of the Future.

    At the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Taylor was the Division Director, Statewide Community Based Services. He led a staff of 240 employees and was responsible for a $330 million budget to administer the federal funding directed to programs of the Older Americans Act, including care management, caregiving, and senior employment and meal programs. Under his leadership, Florida’s Nursing Home Diversion Program became a national model to transition individuals from institutional to community-based settings.

    At the federal level, Taylor was an Aging Services Program Specialist for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Administration for Community Living (ACL). From a regional office in Atlanta, Georgia, he was the liaison for eight different states – interpreting federal regulations, policies, guidelines and instructions for States, Area Agencies on Aging, and other organizations and institutions serving older persons, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers.

    Ron Taylor was a 2005 Fellow in the Re-Balancing Long-Term Care Program of the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and University of Minnesota. Taylor received a Master of Business Administration – Management, Tiffin University, 2001; Master of Arts – Urban Planning, The University of Akron, 1989; Bachelor of Arts – Social Work, The University of Akron, 1988.


    Neil Alexander, MD, MS - University of Michigan

    Dr. Alexander graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis and received a clinical research design and biostatistics master’s degree from University of Michigan. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of New Mexico Affiliated Hospitals and a geriatrics fellowship at the University of Michigan. He is a past research fellow at the University of Michigan Institute of Gerontology. Dr. Alexander is board-certified in internal medicine and geriatrics. He has a special interest in exercise, mobility, falls and rehabilitation in older adults. He is the Director of the VA Ann Arbor Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center.

    Charles Burant, MD, PhD - University of Michigan

    Dr. Burant directs a research program that integrates molecular phenotyping (including metabolomics) with dietary, clinical and behavioral phenotypes to understand the development of obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes. He has a specific interest in intermediary metabolism and he has integrated metabolomics with other technologies to gain a more complete understanding of cellular metabolism. Dr. Burant directs the Michigan Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core (U24), which is one of six NIH-funded metabolomics centers. At the MADC, he provides advice on the use of metabolomics profiling to gain insights into the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and the potential relationship to metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes and other metabolic states.

    David Burke, PhD - University of Michigan

    David Burke, PhD, is a Professor of Human Genetics and a Clinical Core Consultant for the MADC. His research interests include the development of low cost, single nucleotide variant DNA and RNA testing methods which are employed by the MADC in genetic risk factor assessment. The robust methods are currently used in the laboratory to perform over ten thousand human, mouse, viral and bacterial SNP genotypes per year.

    Robert Koeppe, PhD - University of Michigan

    Dr. Koeppe is a Professor of Radiology at the University of Michigan and the Director of the PET Physics Section of the Division of Nuclear Medicine. His research interests center around the quantitative aspects of positron emission tomography (PET). Specific research areas include the development and implementation of tracer kinetic models for new and existing positron labeled radiotracers, development of optimal techniques for estimation of physiological quantities, and development and implementation of automated image analysis routines for use with PET. Another specific area of research is the use of PET cerebral blood flow activation studies to examine various cognitive and neurological functions of the brain. Other research interests include the correlation and comparison of information obtained from PET studies to that obtained from corresponding anatomic imaging procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging.

    Kenneth Langa, MD, PhD - University of Michigan

    Dr. Langa is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Institute for Social Research, a Research Scientist in the Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management Research, and an Associate Director of the Institute of Gerontology, all at the University of Michigan. He is also Associate Director of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a National Institute on Aging funded longitudinal study of 25,000 adults in the United States.

    Dr. Langa received an MD and PhD in Public Policy at the University of Chicago as a Fellow in the Pew Program for Medicine, Arts, and the Social Sciences. He is a board-certified General Internist with an active clinical practice treating adult patients, and he is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

    Dr. Langa’s research focuses on the epidemiology and costs of chronic disease in older adults, with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. He has published more than 175 peer-reviewed articles on these topics. He is currently studying population trends in dementia prevalence, and the relationship of common cardiovascular risk factors, as well as acute illnesses such as sepsis and stroke, to cognitive decline and dementia. In 2007 and 2015, Dr. Langa was a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge, and in 2015 he was also a Visiting Professor at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, where he continued work on cross-national comparisons of the epidemiology and outcomes of dementia in the United States, England, and other countries around the world.

    Deborah Levine, MD, MPH - University of Michigan

    Dr. Levine’s research aims to improve the lives and care of adults with chronic disease. Primary research interests are the epidemiology, prevention, and care of stroke and cognitive impairment, with a focus on vascular risk factors, adherence, and health disparities. Her research includes improving the quality of stroke care; stroke-related dementia and cognitive impairment; and reducing healthcare disparities in cardiovascular disease and stroke. She also focuses on quality improvement program design, implementation and evaluation research, and research on provider behavior. Some of her research is examining cognitive outcomes after stroke, seeking to understand the predictors and long-term trajectory of cognitive decline after stroke.

    Gulin Oz, PhD - University of Minnesota

    Dr. Gülin Öz is an associate professor in the Department of Radiology who specializes in magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Dr. Oz graduated from Bosphorus University in Istanbul, Turkey with BS degrees in Physics and Chemistry and obtained her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota. She continued with postdoctoral training at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) where she joined the faculty as assistant professor in 2006. Here she also served as the MR Core Director of the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) from 2005-2009.

    Kevin Park, PhD - Central Michigan University

    Dr. Kevin Park is an associate professor in the department of psychology and neuroscience program at Central Michigan University. His research experience spans the fields of Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington’s disease. His studies have demonstrated that aberrant cell cycle re-entry induces numerous Alzheimer’s disease-related neuropathological features. His research program focuses on exploring the pathophysiological process of aberrant neuronal cell cycle re-entry in Alzheimer’s disease.

    Peter Todd, MD, PhD - University of Michigan

    An Assistant Professor of Neurology and the Bucky and Patti Harris Collegiate Professor in Alzheimer’s disease at the University of Michigan, Dr. Todd explores the molecular mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases with a particular interest in repeat expansion diseases such as the recently discovered C9ORF72 expansion underlying frontotemporal dementia. Dr. Todd is also a staff neurologist at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center. He has worked in the field of Fragile X research for almost 20 years.

    Jenna Wiens, PhD - University of Michigan

    Dr. Wiens is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science Engineering (CSE) at the University of Michigan. She currently heads the MLD3 research group. Her primary research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning and healthcare. The overarching goal of her research agenda is to develop the computational methods needed to help organize, process, and transform data into actionable knowledge.

  • Image above: Center Associate Director, Dr. Bruno Giordani, and Research Administrator, Arijit Bhaumik, with leaders of the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter at the annual Advocacy Day at the state capitol. 

    Key Links at the University of Michigan