July 12, 2016

About Us

  • 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 disorders;
    • 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.

    Our Center goals are guided by an Internal Advisory Board and a Community Advisory Board.  To reach our goals, we

    • Support recruitment for memory and aging research.
    • Connect interested volunteers to research opportunities.
    • Provide programs focusing on whole-body health and well-being through our Wellness Initiative.
    • Collaborate with three local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association to enhance our community outreach through education programs.

    Please view a video from Center Director, Henry Paulson, MD, PhD here.

  • A portion of the larger Center is dedicated to research, funded by the National Institutes of Health. 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 30 other National Institutes of Health-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers across the country.

    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 Director Hank Paulson, MD, PhD, the administrative core is responsible for creating and implementing structural improvements within the center while managing staffing, financial and research related resources. This core helps to sustain the wide range of research studies and programs supported by the Center.

    Clinical Core

    The clinical core, led by Benjamin Hampstead, PhD, Judy Heidebrink, MD, and Bruno Giordani, PhD, oversees the wide range of research studies supported by the Center and creates new opportunities for innovative and cutting edge research. A full list of supported research can be found under the Research tab. The clinical core works with the data management and statistical core and the outreach and recruitment core to develop materials for research dissemination into everyday patient care.

    Data Management and Statistical Core

    The data management and statistical core, led by Kelly Bakulski, PhD, helps maintain the academic and research productivity of the Center by integrating data and helping to disseminate data to supported research investigators. This core focuses on predictive Big Data analytics, taking advantage of the unique investigators and infrastructures available at the University of Michigan.

    Neuropathology Core

    The neuropathology core helps to maintain the University of Michigan Brain Bank and the Protein Folding Diseases Initiative. Resources from the neuropathology core foster studies of the underlying proteinopathies of dementias with the goal of translating discoveries into new therapeutic strategies. Andrew Leiberman, MD, PhD serves as core leader of the neuropathology core, with Scott Counts, PhD, as the Michigan State University liaison for building Brain Bank resources in western Michigan.

    Outreach and Recruitment Core 

    The outreach and recruitment core leads education and outreach efforts in order to promote community participation in Center research and educational activities. This core, led by Scott Roberts, PhD, helps to maintain successful relationships with community partners across the state.

    Research Education Component

    Led by Roger Albin, MD, and Co-led by Peter Lichtenberg, PhD, ABPP, the research education component is dedicated to training and mentoring junior investigators. This component hopes to foster career development in interdisciplinary dementia research and has developed a curriculum to educate junior investigators on dementia and dementia research.

  • Staff

    Arijit K. Bhaumik, BA, CCRP - Research Administrator

    Arijit Bhaumik, BA, 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. 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.
    Kristen Brasington - Imaging Assistant
    Kristen Brasington - Research Assistant  Contact: kbrasing@med.umich.edu or 734-615-3421 For nearly the last decade, Kristen has been a proud and active member of the Michigan Medicine community, taking pride in providing advanced clinical care and ground breaking research.  Witnessing the powerful and life changing impact Michigan Medicine brought to her family is what inspired Kristen to initially seek becoming a member of Michigan Medicine. Now, since specializing in medical imaging, during her time here, Kristen has become more passionate about the positive impact that can come from the clinical innovation, research and education cultivated by the Michigan Medicine community. She now wishes to continue pursuing this passion as a Research Assistant for our Center, specializing in participant imaging that will help increase dementia awareness by connecting interested volunteers to research opportunities.
    Holly Bunker, MS - 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.
    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.
    Olivia Cross - Michigan Brain Bank Research Technician
    Olivia Cross - Michigan Brain Bank Research Technician  Contact: ocabedi@med.umich.edu or 734-647-7648 Olivia is a research technician at the Michigan Brain Bank and a recent graduate of the University of Michigan. Olivia earned her Bachelor’s in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and hopes to continue her education in Biochemistry while preparing for medical school. As a Brain Bank research technician Olivia plays a critical role in tissue collection via autopsy services and distribution to researchers throughout the country. Prior to the Brain Bank Olivia’s research included use of animal models to study the role of abnormalities in the cortical cholinergic system leading to attentional deficits that characterize a variety of both neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Olivia is very excited to converge her research of animals to translational clinical research in humans and to further develop an understanding of the intricacies of clinico-pathologic diagnoses in neuro and psychopathology.
    Danielle Davis, BA - Community Outreach & Recruitment Coordinator
    Danielle Davis, BA - Community Outreach & Recruitment 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.
    Katrail Davis, BS - Research Assistant
    Katrail Davis, BS - Research Assistant  Contact: dkatrail@med.umich.edu or 734-615-7421 Katrail Davis is a Wayne State University graduate, having earned a BS degree in psychology. She joined the Center in 2019 as a Research Assistant. At the Center, Katrail helps to administer neuropsychological assessments. She is currently preparing to apply to graduate schools with the goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.
    Erin Fox, BA - Communications Specialist
    Erin Fox, BA - 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 and Education Program Manager
    Renee Gadwa, MBA - Outreach & Education 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 nearly 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 - Research Coordinator
    Theresa Gierzynski, LLMSW - Research Coordinator  Contact: gierzyns@med.umich.edu or 734-615-0612 Theresa Gierzynski joined the Center in 2018 as a Research Coordinator. Her role includes administering and scoring neuropsychology assessments, study coordination, and training new staff. 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.
    Kate Hanson, MA - Recruitment Coordinator
    Kate Hanson, MA - 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.
    Stephanie Jimenez - Imaging Assistant
    Stephanie Jimenez - Research Assistant  Contact: jimenest@med.umich.edu or 734-615-3346 Stephanie Jimenez joined Center as a Research Assistant as of January 2020. She is a political science student who feels passionate about promoting equality, diversity and inclusion through research and has a deep yearning to make a difference. Previously, Stephanie has volunteered abroad in countries such as Argentina and Mexico in order to help create societies that are more informed and accepting about mental health related issues. Stephanie is excited to work for our Center and is currently preparing to pursue a graduate career in which she may be able to continuously promote the importance of human rights, equality, and mental health by promoting education and awareness.
    Marisa Kelly, BA - Research Assistant
    Marisa Kelly, BA - Research Assistant  Contact: mbkelly@med.umich.edu or 734-764-0212 Marisa Kelly joined the Center as a Research Assistant in June 2018. Her role primarily includes administering neuropsychological assessments to participants and training new staff to administer these assessments. She also occasionally serves as an IRB/Regulatory Affairs support for the Center. Marisa earned her BA degree in Psychology from Michigan State University in May 2014. She also completed the University of Michigan Medical School's Premedical Postbaccalaureate MEDPREP program in May 2019.  Marisa is excited to join the entering class of 2020 at the Medical College of Wisconsin in August 2020.
    Nancy Laracey, BA - Center Administrator
    Nancy Laracey, BA - Center 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 - Support Group Facilitator
    Kelly Mattingly, LMSW - Support Group Facilitator Contact: mattingke@med.umich.edu Kelly joined the Center in 2017 as a support group facilitator for care partners of people living with Lewy body dementia. 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.
    Shehroz Malik - Brain Bank Laboratory Technician
    Shehroz Malik - Brain Bank Laboratory Technician  Contact: samalik@med.umich.edu Shehroz Malik joined the Center as the Michigan Brain Bank Laboratory Technician in 2017. Shehroz plays an important role in distributing samples to Michigan Brain Bank collaborators across the University of Michigan campus and throughout the United States. He is earning a Bachelor’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology & Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan with an expected graduation date in 2021. He is interested in learning about the brain anatomy and investigating the crucial factors of neurodegenerative pathology. Shehroz intends to attend medical school and one day become a neurosurgeon.
    Nicolas May, MS - Data Systems Manager
    Nicolas May, MS - Data Systems Manager Contact: ldmay@med.umich.edu or 734-232-2358 Nic joined the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center in 2018 as a database specialist working most closely with the Data Core and Clinical Core. His role expanded to lead the Data Core in 2020. He designs and builds automated data integration systems using multiple ETL and reporting tools, and generally uses technology to help speed things up, answer questions, and solve problems. He earned a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
    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 the MADC in 2018. She joined the MADC 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 at the MADC, please feel free to reach out to her!
    Rebecca Pantis, BS - Research Coordinator
    Rebecca Pantis, BS - 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, BS - Data Entry Assistant
    Alexis Passamani, BS - Data Entry Assistant  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, BS - Michigan Brain Bank Coordinator
    Matthew Perkins, BS - 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 Practitioner
    Betsy Posby, NP Contact: blwar@med.umich.edu Betsy Posby joined the Center in 2018. Her role includes administering neurological assessments, recruiting for studies, and providing education to research participants. Betsy completed her undergraduate nursing degree at the University of Michigan. She spent six years as a research Registered Nurse at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center in Chicago. She spent the second half of those six years completing her Doctorate in Nursing Practice at Rush University, studying to be an Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. As a nurse practitioner, Betsy has worked in palliative care, long-term care and home health.
    Jonathan Reader, MS - Programmer/Data Analyst
    Jonathan Reader, MS - Database Administrator Associate  Contact: readerj@med.umich.edu or 734-936-9048 Jonathan joined the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center in July 2019 as a database administrator associate. 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).
    Marie Robinson, BSN - Research Assistant
    Marie Robinson, BSN - Research Assistant  Contact: pmar@med.umich.edu Marie Robinson joined the Center in August 2018. Prior to joining us, Marie worked as Community-Based Research Nurse and Outreach Liaison for the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research’s Clinical Research Unit (MICHR/MCRU). Her role includes performing phlebotomy and/or collecting saliva, and processing the biospecimen samples for research repositories. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from the University of Michigan.
    Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW - Wellness Initiative

    Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW - Wellness Initiative 

    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 (at the MADC) 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 - Minority Outreach Specialist
    Edna Rose,PhD, MSW, RN-BC - Minority 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 minority communities. She has successfully enhanced minority inclusion in Center-supported studies through linkages at local churches, sororities, fraternities and other social organizations. 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 Research Coordinator

    Sarah Shair, MS - Research 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.
    Sherry Teboe - Database Administrator Associate

    Sherry Teboe - Data 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, BA - Data Entry Specialist
    Louann Walch, BA - 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.

     

  • Faculty & Investigators

    Roger Albin, MD

    Roger AlbinAssociated with the MADC 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.

    Neil Alexander, MD, MS

    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.

    Kelly Bakulski, PhD

    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.

    Nancy Barbas, MD, MSW

    nancy_barbas-e1364239437708Associated with the MADC for many years, Dr. Barbas is Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the Cognitive Disorders Clinic at the University of Michigan Health System. She has been on the faculty of University of Michigan Medical School and Health System since 1991. Dr. Barbas’s clinical interests include cognitive disorders in adults, such as Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and general geriatric neurology. She is active in clinical trial research for treatment development for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. She actively trains the next generation of professionals, teaching them state-of-art dementia care techniques and research skills. She has published articles and chapters on dementia topics. Nan has spent the majority of her years in higher education in Ann Arbor, Michigan obtaining Bachelors of Arts (BA), Masters in Social Work (MSW), and Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degrees from the University of Michigan. She continued her training at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston completing a Neurology Residency and a Neuro-ophthalmology Fellowship.

    Sami Barmada, MD, PhD

    Dr. Barmada currently serves as Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan. He was recruited from UCSF to the University of Michigan in 2013. Dr. Barmada divides his time between the laboratory, Cognitive Disorders Program, and the classroom. In his investigations of molecular mechanisms in FTD including TDP43 proteinopathies, Dr. Barmada employs automated microscopy. He treats patients in the Cognitive Disorders Program, with an emphasis on individuals with dementia and motor neuron disease. Dr. Barmada is also an Assistant Professor of Neurology.

    Andrea Bozoki, MD

    andreabozokiDr. Andrea Bozoki is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and Department of Radiology at Michigan State University. The focus of her individual scholarship has been the exploration of cognitive function during the transition between healthy aging and early dementia. In particular, she is interested in the structure-function relationships underlying the evolution of de novo Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as understanding what factors can prevent or allay cognitive decline during aging. Her work has utilized primarily neuropsychometric testing along with functional and structural MR imaging. More recently, she has included amyloid and FDG-PET data to examine the relative advantages of using a broader multi-modal imaging approach to biomarker development.

    Charles Burant, MD, PhD

    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

    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.

    Sandra Camelo-Piragua, MD

    Dr. Camelo-Piragua is a Clinical Assistant professor in the Neuropathology Division at the University of Michigan. She received her M.D. from the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, and did her post-doctoral research fellowship at the Center for Neurologic Disease, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, where she was involved in the study of molecular signature of multiple sclerosis and analyzing the effects of histone deacetylase inhibitors on murine models of multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. She received further training in Neuropathology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, from 2008-2010. In addition to her clinical and research interests, Dr. Camelo-Piragua enjoys teaching of neuroanatomy and neuropathology to medical students, residents and fellows. Dr. Camelo-Piragua is interested in developing information technology tools that help brings the teaching of neuropathology to a broader audience. Dr. Camelo-Piragua is member of American Association of Neuropathologists, European Confederation of Neuropathological Societies, United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, the College of American Pathologists and is board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and in Neuropathology.

    Scott Counts, PhD

    scott-countsDr. Counts is an Associate Professor of Translational Science & Molecular Medicine at Michigan State University. The goal of his research is to understand the molecular pathogenic mechanisms of selective neuronal vulnerability in the preclinical and prodromal stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). His pre-doctoral training with Dr. Allan Levey at Emory emphasized the importance of combining carefully controlled human tissue research with cellular and molecular modeling to reveal potential pathways underlying AD progression. He is the MSU liaison for the UM ADC Neuropathology Core and Brain Bank. His duties include generating awareness and providing training to MSU investigators in the procurement and use of postmortem tissue and bio-specimens from UM for dementia research. He also serves as the MSU representative to the Brain Bank Tissue Request Committee.

    Ivo Dinov, PhD

    port-dinov-ivo-2013Ivo Dinov, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Health Systems and Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan. He is also the Director of the National Statistics Online Computational Resource (SOCR). Dr. Dinov is an expert on statistical computing, high-throughput data analytics, analysis of high dimensional imaging datasets, and health science and STEM education. At the MADC, Dr. Dinov will assist in data analytics and statistical modeling efforts. He will also provide expertise in fusion of neuroimaging, clinical, phenotypic and genetics data.

    Hiroko Dodge, PhD

    hiroko4Dr. Dodge is the Milton and Carolyn Kevreson Research Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan. She is a Fellow in the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). She serves as a statistical editor for Alzheimer’s & Dementia (the official journal of the Alzheimer’s Association) and a senior associate editor for Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Advancements, a sister journal of Alzheimer’s & Dementia. She also serves on the statistical editorial board for International Psychogeriatrics. Dr. Dodge joined the MADC as the Data Core Leader in 2010. She has been successfully directing two Alzheimer’s Disease Centers’ Biostatistics and Data Cores: the Michigan ADC and the NIA-funded Layton Aging ADC at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon. These dual positions allow her to facilitate collaborations between the two centers. Dr. Dodge’s research interests are diverse and include a) distinguishing normal cognitive aging from pathological cognitive decline, b) testing whether stimulation through social interactions can improve cognitive functions, c) clinical trial methods, and d) examining lifestyle and environmental factors that lead to healthy cognitive aging. A native of Japan, she has a longitudinal cohort in Okinawa, Japan and collaborates with the Okinawa Centenarian Study group.

    For more information about Hiroko, visit her webpage here.

    Bruno Giordani, PhD

    giordaniDr. Giordani is a Chief of Psychology, and a tenured Professor in the Psychiatry, Neurology, and Psychology Departments as well as the School of Nursing. He is a University Faculty Ombuds at the University of Michigan. Associated with the MADC 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 Alzheimer’s Association, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter (MGLC) since 2007 and has been both its Board Chair and National Representative, as well as a Steering Committee being 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.

    Yuangfang Guan, PhD

    yuanfang_guanDr. Guan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD training in functional genomics at Princeton University followed by a brief postdoctoral fellowship, also at Princeton. In 2011, she joined the University of Michigan where her research as an independent investigator focused on developing generic, first-principle computational solutions to large-scale biomedical data. She has created seven best-performing algorithms in the past three years, breaking the record of DREAM’s (Dialogue of Reverse Engineering and Methods) 10 years of history. She has best-performing algorithms in areas such as population genetics, DNA variation, transcriptome data, proteomic data, medical imaging, biochemical structures, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and most notably, Alzheimer’s Disease and cognitive impairment.

    Mark Haacke, PhD

    markDr. Haacke is an original pioneer of MR angiographic imaging, fast imaging and cardiovascular imaging, and more recently has developed a powerful new method for imaging veins, micro-hemorrhaging and iron called Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI). His research has focused on studying the role of magnetic field variations in the human body and applying the results to clinical translational research. SWI may in fact become an important biomarker not just for different forms of iron but in investigating the etiology of a number of key diseases such as aging, multiple sclerosis, stroke and trauma. More recently his work has focused on extending SWI to quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) as a means to map iron and oxygen saturation.

    Benjamin Hampstead, PhD, ABPP/CN

    bhampste-1

    Dr. Hampstead joined the U-M faculty in September 2014 as an Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Staff Neuropsychologist in the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System. He is the Clinical Core Leader at the MADC. 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.

    Judy Heidebrink, MD, MS

    judy_heidebrink-e1366663002363Dr. 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

    joanDr. Ilardo is the Director of the Research Initiatives at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine’s Office of Research and the Co-Director of the Geriatric Education Center of Michigan. As the Executive Director of the Michigan Aging Education Collaborative she interacts with all the major players in the aging network throughout Michigan on a regular basis. She currently has a leadership role in several statewide initiatives related to sustaining and scaling up evidenced-based educational programs in self-management (Stanford CDSMP model), caregiver training (dementia), and advance care planning. As a member of the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging, she serves on a 15-member commission that oversees Michigan’s implementation of the Older Americans Act through the state aging unit (Michigan Aging and Adult Services Agency) and has access to government officials and legislators involved in aging policy and services in Michigan.

    Robert Koeppe, PhD

    rad_koeppe_bobDr. 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

    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.

    Peter Lichtenberg, PhD

    Dr. Lichtenberg is the Research Education Component Co-Leader of the MADC, 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 MADC REC Co-Leader, Peter has been instrumental in the MADC’s success with recruiting underrepresented minorities in Detroit.

    Andrew Lieberman, MD, PhD

    andy_liebermanDr. Lieberman is MADC Neuropathology Core Leader, 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.

    Gulin Oz, PhD

    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.

    Henry Paulson, MD, PhD

    henry_paulsonDr. Paulson directs the MADC, working closely with MADC staff to define and implement the diverse initiatives through which we fulfill our three-part mission. Dr. Paulson is also a Lucile Groff Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan. He joined the Center as Associate Director in 2009 and assumed Directorship in 2011. He has worked for more than 20 years on degenerative brain diseases, both inherited and acquired. As a neurologist and neuroscientist, Dr. Paulson is deeply committed to translating findings from the research bench to the patient bedside. Toward that goal, he is focused on building connections between scientists, clinicians and the public, not only across the U-M campus but also across the state of Michigan. He received his MD and PhD degrees from Yale University School of Medicine and his Neurology training at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Carol Persad, PhD

    persad-600w-webDr. Persad is the Director of the Neuropsychology Clinic at the University of Michigan. This clinic conducts neuropsychological assessments on over 3,000 patents a year with a range of medical, psychiatric and neurological disorders across the lifespan, and houses a large accredited postdoctoral fellowship training program.

    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.

    Scott Roberts, PhD

    scott_robertsScott 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 MADC Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core.

    Vikram Shakkottai, MD, PhD

    Dr. Vikram Shakkottai is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He is currently the director of the Michigan Brain Bank. He received his MBBS from Christian Medical College in Vellor, Tamil Nadu, India and completed his residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. His interests include investigating changes in cerebellar physiology in ataxic disorders and determining whether ion channel modulators have a role in the treatment of movement disorders.

    Peter K Todd, MD, PhD

    Location portraits of Roman Giger, Dr. Ken Casey, Dr. Peter Todd, Dr. William Dauer, Sokol Todi, Dr. Tiffany Braley, Dr. Daniel Leventhal, Dr. Vikram Shokkotai, and Edgar Rodriguez in the BSRB (atrium and fourth floor Paulson lab) on 12/16/09.

    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.

    Irving Vega, PhD

    imgresIrving 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.

    Sriram Venneti, MD

    Dr. Venneti is a clinician-scientist who expertise is in Neuropathology and the biology of brain cancer. Dr. Venneti completed his residency in Anatomic Pathology and fellowship in Neuropathology at the University of Pennsylvania followed by postdoctoral work at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Venneti was recruited as a faculty member to the University of Michigan in November 2014. Dr. Venneti’s research interests lie in understanding the biology of brain tumors in adults and children. The projects in the lab are highly translational and focus on integrating epigenetics, cancer metabolism and in vivo imaging techniques to investigate pathogenic mechanisms in adult and pediatric brain tumors. These studies are based on Dr. Venneti’s clinical and research expertise enabling successful translation from the bench top to the bedside. He serves on the editorial board of Brain Pathology and the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. Dr. Venneti is committed to teaching, mentoring and training graduate and medical students and serves as course director for the Neuropathology microscopy course held in the fall of every year.

    Jenna Wiens, PhD

    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.

    Jieping Ye, PhD

    ye2Dr. Ye is an Associate Professor of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan. For the last thirteen years, he has been conducting fundamental research in machine learning and data mining, developing computational methods for biomedical data analysis, and building informatics software. He leads the development of the SLEP (Sparse Learning with Efficient Projections) package, which includes implementations of large-scale sparse learning models, and the MALSAR (Multi-tAsk Learning via StructurAl Regularization) package, which includes implementations of state-of-the-art multi-task learning models. Currently, there are about 4,500 active users from over 25 different countries. With close collaboration with researchers at the biomedical field, he has successfully applied these methods for analyzing biomedical data, including clinical image data and genotype data from Alzheimer’s patients.

    Deborah Levine, MD, MPH

    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.

    Navid Seraji-Bozorgzad, MD

    After completing his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Michigan, Navid Seraji joined the Wayne State community as a research assistant in the Brain Imaging Laboratory in 1998. He was accepted into the Neuroscience graduate program and continued work on high field Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. He graduated from WSU medical school in 2007, and after completing his Internal Medicine and Neurology residency he joined the Neurology department as a neurohospitalist in 2013. As a neurohospitalist, his clinical duties include hospital care of neurology patients. He is also involved in quality control measures, and whole patient care both in the hospital, and after discharge. The interaction of body and brain in disease state are of particular interest to him, both in terms of neurological manifestations of systemic disease, and effect of neurological disease on other systems. His research experience is in the field of MR imaging. He is interested in biomarkers of brain injury and repair, as it applies to various degenerative disorders, including Alzheimers disease. Dr. Seraji is involved in the resident education programs, including development of interactive curriculum suited to adult learning. He also instructs the residents in evidence-based medicine, and runs the resident journal club.

    Kevin Jones, PhD

    Dr. Jones received his PhD from Duke University Medical School and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Ramon y Cajal Institute, Department of Neural Plasticity in Madrid, Spain. He was also an Assistant Professor at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Department of Basic Medical Sciences and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Neuroscience in the Children’s Research Institute, Wash, DC. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Biology at Howard University in Washington, DC.

    The goal of the Jones Lab is to identify novel therapeutic approaches to improve iGluR dysfunction. Dysfunctional neurotransmission through iGluRs contribute to the pathophysiology of many psychiatric and neurological disorders. Recent evidence suggests expression of the iGluR subunit, GluA4, may be dramatically reduced in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) patients (Xiao et al., 2017). The Jones lab is interested in replicating the findings of Xiao et al. Specifically, they wish to compare the expression of GluA4 in tissue samples of controls and AD patients from the University of Michigan Brain Bank.

     

  • Internal Advisory Board

    Cathleen Connell, PhD

    University of Michigan

    cathleen_connellDr. Cathleen Connell is a Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.  Her graduate training is in human development and families studies with a focus on adult development and aging; her post-doctoral training from Washington University in St. Louis is in chronic illness risk reduction.  She currently serves as Associate Director of the Center for Managing Chronic Disease.  Her research focuses broadly on families facing dementia, including community-based approaches to improve dementia service delivery, strategies to increase physical activity among spouse caregivers, attitudes and beliefs about dementia and diagnosis, and assessing the role of pets as a source of support and companionship.

    Christina Chan, PhD, MS

     Michigan State University

    christina_chan2Dr. Chan, the George W. Bissel Professor of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, focuses on systems biology and bioinformatics, metabolic engineering, nanoparticles and drug delivery systems, cellular and tissue engineering, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases.Her group has been studying liver and neuronal/astrocyte metabolism, signaling and function, as well as the signaling and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells.

    William Dauer, MD

    University of Michigan

    dauer_1677The central goal of Dr. Dauer’s studies is to unravel the molecular and cellular mechanisms of diseases that disrupt the motor system. His primary focus is on Parkinson’s disease and DYT1 dystonia. For each of these projects, he focuses  efforts on disease genes that cause these disorders, employing a range of molecular, cellular, and whole animal studies to dissect the normal role of disease proteins, and how pathogenic mutations lead to disease. His team currently has many studies on novel models of Parkinson’s and dystonia both in whole animals and at the cell and molecular level. They are interested in key molecular events that drive these processes, and in understanding the mechanisms underlying the selective vulnerability of certain cell types (e.g., dopamine neurons).

    Eva Feldman, MD, PhD

    Group shots and head shots of Dr. Eva Feldman and her lab staff in the BSRB on 10/2/09.Dr. Feldman’s laboratory is interested in the role of growth factors in the pathogenesis and treatment of neurologic disorders. Their research focuses on growth factor signaling mechanisms responsible for neuronal survival and differentiation. They are particularly interested in insulin-like growth I IGF-I and its receptor (IGF-IR). IGF-I and IGF-II are potent neurotrophic factors for motor and sensory neurons and glia. Dr. Feldman’s laboratory is currently investigating the role of IGF-I:IGF-IR in protecting neurons from oxidative and toxic stressors and preventing cell death in models of diabetic neuropathy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer’s disease. Their in vitro model systems include primary motor, sensory and cortical neurons and transformed neuronal cell lines. Animal models include wild type and transgenic mice and zebrafish. The Feldman laboratory uses a wide range of techniques including transient and stable neuronal transfection, message knock down using siRNA, injection of morpholinos into zebrafish, protein analyses including western immunoblotting, dot blotting and ELISA, biochemistry and oxidative adduct measures including substrate analyses and enzyme activity and anatomical assays including immunohistochemistry, histochemistry and transmission electron microscopy. The laboratory currently includes clinician and basic scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students and technicians all of whom are actively engaged as research teams focused on a particular aspect of neurological disease.

    Kirk Frey, MD

    freyDr. Frey is internationally recognized for his use of brain imaging techniques to understand and diagnose cognitive and movement disorders.  He oversees multiple studies that use PET imaging to improve our ability to diagnose different forms of dementia.

    Vincent Groppi, PhD

    University of Michigan

    vincent-groppiVincent Groppi, a leader in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, has assumed the position of director of the University of Michigan’s Center for the Discovery of New Medicines.

    James Jackson, PhD

    University of Michigan

    jackson_james_150James S. Jackson is the Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, professor of health behavior and health education in the School of Public Health, and director and research professor of the Institute for Social Research. He is the past chair of the social psychology training program and director of the Research Center for Group Dynamics, the Program for Research on Black Americans, and the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, all at the University of Michigan.

    Helen Kales, MD, PPA

    University of Michigan

    kales-websiteHelen Kales, MD PPA, is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Program for Positive Aging at the University of Michigan. She is also Associate Director for Mental Health and Aging Research, the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center, Research Scientist, VA Center for Clinical Management Research, and Research Scientist, Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.Dr. Kales is recognized as an expert in outcomes related to depression in later life as well as those associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia, and in pharmacoepidemiology research related to the use of antipsychotics in the elderly. Her research program is directly informed by her clinical work and experiences with patients, families, providers and systems to diminish the barriers to effective and quality care for older patients with mental health issues.

    Susan Maixner, MD

    Susan Maixner, MD, is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, and directs both the Geriatric Psychiatry Program and the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program.  Dr. Maixner’s interests include geriatric mental health issues, geriatric dual diagnosis, dementia, and behavioral disturbances in dementia.  She graduated from medical school from the University of Nebraska in 1993.  Dr. Maixner works closely with the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center in research and on Rinne LBD Initiative activities.

    Carlos Mendes de Leon, PhD

    University of Michigan

    mendesdeleon_carlos_150Dr. Mendes de Leon is a social epidemiologist with a primary interest in the major health problems and health disparities in late life. His work focuses on a broad array of social and psychological determinants that affect the development and progression of disability, cognitive decline and other common, age-associated health conditions. Specific areas of interest include the role of neighborhood-level social processes and environments in late-life health, and the complex interplay between life-course social conditions and biological processes and their functional consequences in older age. His current studies focus on the role of neighborhood contexts and inflammatory processes in social disparities in late-life disability and cognitive impairment. In other research, he is investigating the cumulative and interactive effects of racial background and life-course socio-economic disadvantage in subclinical disease and disability in older adults.

    Naftali Raz, PhD

    Wayne State University

    sept-2015-269Dr. Raz completed his undergraduate studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1979. He was trained in psychology and human neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin, and received his Ph.D. in 1985. Dr. Raz’s research focuses on the neural correlates and modifiers of cognitive aging. His research has been continuously supported since 1993 by the National Institute on Aging.

    Raymond Yung, MB, ChB

    University of Michigan

    Dr. Raymond Yung is a professor of Internal Medicine and a research scientist at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center. He obtained his medical school training from the University of Liverpool in England (1986). After completing an internal medicine residency at Sinai Hospital in Detroit, he received further clinical and research fellowship training in Rheumatology (1994) and Geriatric Medicine (1996) at the University of Michigan, where he has since remained a faculty member. Dr. Yung is a recipient of the NIH Individual National Research Service Award (1994-1996) and Clinical Investigator Award (1997-2002), and the American Federation for Aging Research Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholars in Aging Research Award (1998-2001). In addition, he has received the American College of Rheumatology Senior Rheumatology Scholar Award (1994). He is currently funded by the NIH in his research effort on the effects of aging on T cell chemokine function. In addition to his research endeavor, Dr. Yung is also the Director of the Musculoskeletal Sequence in the Medical School curriculum. Dr. Yung was named chief, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine and co-director, Geriatrics Center in 2011.

    Julia Bynum, MD, MPH (Chair)

    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.

    Donovan Maust, MD, MS

    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.

    Toni Antonucci, PhD

    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.

    Keith Whitfield, PhD

    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.

    Jack Lipton, PhD

    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.

    F. DuBois Bowman, PhD

    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.

    Dawn Kleindorfer, MD - Future Chair

    Dawn Kleindorfer, MD, is a Professor of Neurology and Vascular Neurology Division Director in the Department of Neurology at the University of Cincinnati.  She completed her medical degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and her neurology residency training at the University of Michigan where she was named chief resident.  She then completed her fellowship in vascular neurology at the University of Cincinnati, where she remains a clinical research faculty member.  In her faculty position, she is active in the clinical care of stroke patients, teaching of students, residents and fellows as the vascular neurology fellowship director, and clinical research.  Her research interests include health disparities in stroke with regards to race, socioeconomic status and gender, epidemiology and public awareness of stroke, stroke prevention clinical trials, and acute stroke care treatment utilization.

    Dr. Kleindorfer has been presented several clinical research grant awards, including the Hazel K. Goddess Stroke Research for Women Scholarship for an innovative project to educate African American women, the “Beautyshop Project”, as well as awards from the National Institutes of Health, the National Stroke Association, and the Centers for Disease Control.  She is an author on 96 peer-reviewed publications and over 200 abstract presentations to national scientific conferences.  Recently, she was awarded the Derek Denny-Brown Neurological Clinical Scholar Award by the American Neurological Association for outstanding clinical research.

    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.

    Consultants

    David Burke, PhD

    Clinical Core Consultant — 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.
    Gulin Oz, PhD

    Clinical Core Consultant — 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.

    Charles Burant, MD, PhD

    Clinical Core Consultant — 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.

    Irving Vega, PhD

    Research Education Core Consultant — Michigan State University

    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.

    Neil Alexander, MD, MS

    Research Education Core Consultant — 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.

    Jenna Wiens, PhD

    Data Management and Statistical Core Consultant — 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.

    Robert Koeppe, PhD

    Data Management and Statistical Core Consultant - 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.

    Peter Todd, MD, PhD

    Neuropathology Core Consultant - 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.

    Peter Lichtenberg, PhD

    Outreach and Recruitment Core Consultant - Wayne State University

    Dr. Lichtenberg is the Research Education Component Core Co-Leader of the MADC, 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 MADC Clinical Core Co-Leader, Peter has been instrumental in the MADC’s success with recruiting underrepresented minorities in Detroit.

    Detroit Advisory Group

    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 minorities in research.  We are pleased to have launched a Detroit Advisory Group to promote success in recruitment of African Americans 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 African American male recruitment, and develop educational sessions and materials tailored to underrepresented minorities in research.

    James Bridgforth, MA - Community Consultant

    James Bridgforth, MA, Retired - Community Consultant 

    Contact: jbridgf766@aol.com or 313-770-4994

    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.

    Robert A. Chapman, MD - Community Consultant

    Robert A. Chapman, MD, Retired - Community Consultant 

    Contact: rchapma7@gmail.com

    Robert A. Chapman is a retired member of the Detroit community. Prior to his retirement, Chapman attained his undergraduate degree from Haverford College before graduating from Cornell University Medical College. After graduating from the medical program, Chapman studied both Internal Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital and Medical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He later moved on to work for Henry Ford Medical Center where we worked as the Head of the Division of Oncology for 30 years while serving as the Director for the Josephine Ford Cancer Institute for 13 years. Today, Chapman interacts with the community through his memberships in both the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

    Gwendolyn Graddy-Dansby, MD - Community Consultant

    Gwendolyn Graddy-Dansby, MD, Henry Ford Hospital 

    Contact: dr.graddy@pacesemi.org or 313-543-6200

    Dr. Grady-Dansby currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer of PACE in Southfield, Michigan. She obtained her medical degree from Wayne State University before pursuing internal medicine at both Michigan State University and William Beaumont Hospital. In 2015, Dr. Grady-Dansy was the recipient of both the Crain’s Healthcare Hero Award and the Henry Ford Health Systems Diversity Hero Award. She interacts with her community through her continued memberships in the Wayne State University Christian Medical Society, the American Geriatric Society, the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the Wayne County Medical Association.

    Lenette Jones, PhD, RN - Community Adviser

    Lenette Jones, PhD, RN, University of Michigan School of Nursing 

    Contact: lenettew@umich.edu or 734-763-1371

    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.

    Patricia Mullin, BA - Community Consultant

    Patricia Mullin, BA, Wayne State University - Community Consultant 

    Contact: gl9441@wayne.edu or 313-664-2616

    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.

    Nutrena Tate, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC - Community Adviser

    Nutrena Tate, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, University of Detroit Mercy - Community Adviser 

    Contact: tatenu@udmercy.edu or 313-993-3297

    Dr. Tate is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Detroit Mercy. Dr. Tate is the Regional Director of the Middlewest Region of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Incorporated, which has a significant membership of African American nurses in the Detroit area. In this position, Dr. Tate provides oversight of operations across 16 chapters in 12 different states. Examples of activities she has coordinated include: planning and executing a nursing conference for over 300 members, chairing monthly board meetings via teleconference, and creating strategic plans for the regional organization. Adept in engaging members of the sorority and community, she also understands the research process. In fact, she has an active program of research addressing obesity and dietary patterns in African American youth. In addition to her prominent position in the Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. organization, Dr. Tate holds leadership positions in the following organizations (the Great Lakes Chapter of the Links, another organization of African American women) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Detroit Alumnae Chapter.

  • Key Links at the University of Michigan

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