Abraham Fisher: Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Tel Aviv Univ, Israel), M.Sc (Organic Chemistry; Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem, Israel), and B.Sc. (Chemistry; Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem, Israel). Prof. Fisher was an Adjunct Professor at i) Dept. Chemistry, Bar-Ilan Univ., Israel; ii) Depts. Pharmacology & Psychiatry. Southern Illinois Univ., Springfield, USA; and iii) Univ. Miami, Dept. Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology, Miami, U.S.A. He was Visiting Research Scientist (Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, WPIC, Univ. Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA). Visiting Professor (Univ. Miami, Miami, USA) and Visiting Professor, Dept. Neurobiology. Weizmann Institute for Science (WIS), Rehovot, Israel]; presently Academic Consultant (Dept. Brain Sciences. WIS) and Lecturer on Translation R&D in Neuroscience (Feinberg Graduate School, WIS). Awards: E.D. Bergmann, Alexander Cohen, and Landau-Miphal Hapais.
Dr. Fisher is the Founder and President of the 17 groundbreaking International congresses on Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Diseases (AD & PD), the ADPDTM INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES ON AD & PD.
With over 45 years of experience in drug design and discovery, Dr. Fisher is an accomplished leader of complex, multicenter and multidisciplinary R&D projects of novel ethical drugs. Dr. Fisher’s research is focused on innovative treatment strategies in related CNS diseases with particular emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Dr. Fisher has published over 170 peer-reviewed papers; book chapters & is the editor of several AD&PD books and proceedings and is an invited speaker at over 140 scientific meetings (mostly international). He is the first inventor of >25 worldwide patents on cholinergic treatments for AD and PD. He pioneered the therapeutic potential of M1 selective muscarinic agonists and invented novel CNS compounds, e.g. "AF series" (e.g. M1 selective agonists: AF102B, AF150(S), AF267B, AF292; M1 allosteric/sigma-1 agonist: AF710B). Notably, AF102B decreased beta-amyloid in the CSF of AD patients, indicating that AF102B may also reduce the beta-amyloids in the AD brains. AF102B (Cevimeline, EVOXACTM) is the first-reported and only M1 selective muscarinic agonist, approved so far by the FDA (2000) and in Japan (2001) for the treatment of dry mouth in Sjogren’s Syndrome.
University of Montreal, Canada
Dr. Di Polo is a Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Ophthalmology at the University of Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and currently holds a Canada Research Chair in glaucoma and age-related neurodegeneration. She completed her Bachelor of Science in biology from the Universidad Central de Venezuela (Caracas, Venezuela) and her PhD in physiology from the University of California (Los Angeles, USA; Supervisor: Dr. Deborah Farber). Dr. Di Polo then pursued postdoctoral training at the Center for Research in Neuroscience at McGill University (Quebec, Canada; Supervisor: Dr. Albert Aguayo).
Dr. Di Polo’s research program focuses on understanding the mechanisms of neuronal, glial, and vascular deficits in glaucoma. The ultimate goal of her laboratory is to develop regenerative therapies to restore retinal ganglion cell function and, ultimately, vision in patients affected by glaucoma. She has received continuous research funding throughout her career and is presently Principal Investigator on grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense USA, and other competitive grants and awards from non-profit organizations as well as industry.
Dr. Di Polo serves on numerous national and international committees. She is the current Director of the Retina and Posterior Segment Group of the Quebec Vision Health Research Network, was recently elected Vice-President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN) and will serve as CAN President in 2023. She is an ARVO Gold Fellow since 2015. Recent accomplishments include the 2019 Shaffer Prize from the Glaucoma Research Foundation and the Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Research Prize awarded in 2020.
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Dr Agneta Nordberg obtained her MD, PhD at Uppsala University, Sweden and is professor in Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet and Senior Physician, Theme Inflammation and Aging, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm. The Nordberg Translational Molecular imaging lab at KI , Center for Alzheimer Research has a major focus on in vitro / in vivo molecular brain imaging, characterising the complex pathophysiology of AD and other proteinopathies, in order to develop early diagnostic markers and new targets for early treatment interventions. She has pioneered in field of cholinergic neurotransmission , nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, in development of amyloid PET imaging, introducing multi-tracer PET concept, and visualising astrogliosis and tau pathology in AD continuum and other dementia diseases. Her frontline research findings have been published in leading journal ( ≈ 600 scientific original articles and reviews (h index 82) and being PI for more than 15 clinical PET trials. She has supervised PhD student thesis 27 competed and 26 post docs completed. Member of the Nobel Assembly 2010-2015. Elected member of the Academia Europaea 2016- .She has received several prizes and rewards as 2022 Henry Wisniewski Life Time Achievement Award in Alzheimer Research, AAIC, 2021 Bengt Winblad´s Prize in Outstanding Alzheimer Research,2020 Foundation for Research on Alzheimer /European Grand Prix , 2016 Grand Silver Medal Karolinska Institutet, 2014 Queen Silvia Prize, 2013 Wailet and Eric Forsgren Prize, 2006 Alois Alzheimer Award, 2004 Imaging Award Alz org, 2002 Life Achievement Award, ADRD conference , 2002 Inga Sandeborg AD Prize, 2001 Luigi Amaducci Award.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA
Alison M. Goate, DPhil, is the Jean C and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics and Chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and the Director of the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She has worked on the genetics of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) since 1987.
Over the last three decades, Dr. Goate has been part of many gene finding teams that have successfully identified disease-causing variants for both AD and FTD. While working at Imperial College in London, she reported the first mutation to cause familial Alzheimer’s disease, and her early studies at Washington University in St. Louis identified a genetic mutation in Colombian families that are now part of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative clinical trial. Her lab was also part of the team that first reported MAPT mutations in FTD and a TDP43 mutation in ALS.
Dr. Goate is also a leader in the study of late onset AD genetics using integrative genomic approaches to identify novel genetic risk factors. Her work led to the identification of Trem2 as a risk factor for AD and has highlighted the enrichment of AD risk variants in microglial enhancers. Dr. Goate is now building upon these insights using genome editing in induced pluripotent stem cells to understand the molecular mechanisms of disease and to develop novel therapeutics.
Dr. Goate has received the Potamkin Award, the Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alzheimer’s Association, the MetLife Award and most recently the Rainwater Prize for her research on AD. She was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012, and a fellow of the National Academy of Medicine in 2016.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA
Biography: Dr. Zhang is currently the Willard T.C. Johnson Research Professor of Neurogenetics at the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and the Director of the Mount Sinai Center for Transformative Disease Modeling, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA. His expertise lies in bioinformatics, systems biology and artificial intelligence with applications to disease modeling and drug discovery. His team has developed a series of influential gene network inference algorithms which have been extensively used for identification of novel pathways and key targets, as well as development of drugs for a variety of complex diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, obesity, diabetes and infectious diseases. His current research is focused on developing mechanistic molecular models of complex diseases by integrating large-scale multi-Omics data and novel therapeutics for treating such diseases using artificial intelligence and deep machine learning approaches. His work on predicting genetic interactions was identified by Nature Biotechnology as one of the breakthroughs in the field of computational biology in 2010. His research that uncovered an immune/microglia gene network causally linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was published in Cell and selected by Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease as one of the top 50 most influential papers on AD published from 2013 to 2017. His recent work on the multiscale network modeling of AD systematically uncovered multiple neuronal gene subnetworks as the most dysregulated in AD and successfully validated the functional relevance of a top driver gene in different model systems. His latest research systematically uncovered and characterized five molecular subtypes in AD. As a prolific researcher, he has published over 200 papers including a number of high profile papers in the top scientific journals.
Amsterdam UMC, the Netherlands
Charlotte Teunissen’s drive is to improve care of patients with neurological diseases by developing body fluid biomarkers for diagnosis, stratification, prognosis and monitoring treatment responses. Studies of her research group span the entire spectrum of biomarker development, starting with biomarker identification, often by –omics methods, followed by biomarker assay development and analytical validation, and lastly, extensive clinical validation and implementation of novel biomarkers in clinical practice.
She has extensive expertise with assay development on state of the art technologies, such as mass spectrometry and antibody-based arrays for biomarker discovery, ultrasensitive immunoassays, and in in implementation of vitro diagnostic technologies for clinical routine lab analysis. She is responsible for the large well-characterised biobank of the Amsterdam Dementia cohort, containing >6000 paired CSF and serum samples of individuals visiting the memory clinical of the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam (a.o. controls, patients with Alzheimer, Frontotemporal, Lewy Bodies).To ensure the quality of the biosamples, the group studies pre-analytical effects, which are key to implementation. Charlotte is leading several collaborative international biomarkernetworks, such as the Society for Neurochemistry and routine CSF analysis and the Alzheimer Association-Global Biomarker Standardization and Blood Based Biomarkers and the Body fluid Biomarkers PIA, , and the recently founded Coral proteomics consortium. She is the coordinator of the Marie Curie MIRIADE project, aiming to train 15 novel researchers into innovative strategies to develop dementia biomarkers (10 academic centers + 10 non-academic centers), and the JPND bPRIDE project, that aims to develop targeted blood based biomarker panels for early differential diagnoses of specific dementias and is a collaborative project between 7 European and 1 Australian centers.
University of British Columbia, Canada
Dr. Cheryl Wellington is Professor and Vice Chair Research for the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Full Member of Djavad Mowafaghian Center for Brain Health at the University of British Columbia, Principal Investigator at the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries at Vancouver General Hospital and Associate Member of the UBC School of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Wellington’s multidisciplinary research interests focus on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and neurology blood biomarkers. Her work on AD uses animal models and tissue engineered in vitro platforms to understand how lipoproteins including apolipoprotein E affect AD pathogenesis. Along with Dr. Peter Cripton, a Mechanical Engineer, Dr. Wellington founded the CHIMERA (Closed Head Model of Engineered Rotational Acceleration) animal model of TBI that is a leading model of concussion. Dr. Wellington is also leading major efforts to understand the neurological consequences of COVID-19. Dr. Wellington holds multiple leadership and executive positions in the dementia and neurotrauma communities, including the Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium, the Canadian Concussion Network, the International Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium, the Canadian Consortium for Neurodegeneration in Aging, and the Cure Alzheimer Fund Research Leaders Group.
Washington University in St. Louis, USA
David Holtzman received his BS (1983) and MD (1985) from Northwestern University followed by a Neurology residency at UCSF from 1985-1989. He did post-doctoral research at UCSF from 1989-1994. He moved to Washington University in 1994 as an Assistant Professor and was Chair of Neurology at Washington University from 2003-2021. He is currently Professor of Neurology, scientific director of the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders, and Associate Director of the Knight ADRC. Some of his lab’s accomplishments include showing in part how APOE contributes to AD, development of biomarkers for AD, demonstration that synaptic activity and sleep affect Aβ and tau levels in vivo, describing the effects of APOE, TREM2, and microglia on tau-mediated neurodegeneration, and development of an anti-Aβ antibody in a phase III secondary prevention trial for AD (A4) and an anti-ApoE antibody being developed for human trials. Several of his honors include being a recipient of the Potamkin prize and MetLife award for research on Alzheimer’s disease, Rainwater Prize for outstanding innovation in neurodegenerative disease research, election to the National Academy of Medicine, election to the National Academy of Inventors, being appointed to the National Advisory council of the NINDS and NIA, the Chancellor’s award for innovation and entrepreneurship and the Carl and Gerty Cori award from Washington University, elected Fellow of the AAAS, and being past president of the American Neurological Association. Holtzman has trained over 70 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and physician-scientists, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry.
Mayo Clinic Florida, USA
University of South Florida, USA
Gopal Thinakaran, Ph.D., is a Professor and Associate Dean for Neuroscience Research at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and the CEO of Byrd Alzheimer’s Center and Research Institute. Dr. Thinakaran graduated in 1992 with a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph, Canada. He then trained as a post-doctoral fellow at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He held faculty positions in the Department of Pathology at Hopkins (1997-1999) and the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Chicago (1999-2019) before joining the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Research Institute in 2019. Dr. Thinakaran enjoys International recognition as an excellent cell biologist in the field of Alzheimer’s disease. He was the recipient of a Zenith Fellows Award in 2002 (Alzheimer’s Association) and gave a Plenary Lecture at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders in 2008.
Research in Thinakaran lab focuses on the cellular and cellular mechanisms central to Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology, including molecular characterization of Alzheimer’s amyloid and tau pathology and investigation of the late-onset Alzheimer’s disease risk factor BIN1. Dr. Thinakaran’s lab uses an integrated approach that combines molecular neuropathology analyses, biochemical characterization, detailed subcellular localization, advanced microscopy and live-cell imaging, RNAseq and spatial transcriptomics, electrophysiology, and behavioral tests to accomplish our goals. Cultured primary hippocampal neurons, microglia, oligodendrocytes, established cell lines, hiPSC lines, transgenic mice, and conditional knockout mice serve as experimental models in Dr. Thinakaran’s investigations. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, BrightFocus Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, Illinois Public Department of Health, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Molecular Neurodegeneration, USA
Dr. Guojun Bu holds the academic rank of Mary Lowell Leary Professor of Medicine and Professor of Neuroscience. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic in 2010, he was a Professor of Cell Biology and Neuroscience at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Bu is a world leader in the field of apoE and apoE receptors, which play critical roles in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. His primary interest is to understand why APOE4 is a strong genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and how this pathway can be targeted for therapy by studying animal and stem cell-based cellular and organoid models. His research also includes interests in addressing the pathobiology of TREM2 and its risk variants in microglial functions and pathological development. Dr. Bu has received numerous honors and awards including the Zenith Fellows Award from the Alzheimer’s Association, the Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association, the Investigator of the Year award from the Mayo Clinic, and the MetLife Foundation Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s disease. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an Associate Editor for Science Advances, and a Co-Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Neurodegeneration.
Baylor College of Medicine, USA
Dr. Zheng obtained her Ph.D. degree from Baylor College of Medicine in 1990. After brief postdoctoral training at Baylor, she joined Merck & Co. where she began her research on Alzheimer’s disease and continued after her return to Baylor in 1999. Dr. Zheng’s expertise in mouse genetics and she is a pioneer in utilizing sophisticated mouse models to probe the biology and pathophysiology of the amyloid precursor protein and presenilins. Dr. Zheng’s current research is focused on the investigation of the autophagy-lysosomal pathway and neuron-immune interaction in AD and related disorders.
Dr. Zheng has published over 100 papers. She is a recipient of the New Scholar Award from the Ellison Medical Foundation and the Zenith Award from the Alzheimer’s Association. She served on the Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Advisory Council from 2011 to 2018. Currently, she is a member of the Tau Consortium Scientific Advisory Board and a co-Chair of the Scientific Review Committee of the BrightFocus Foundation.
Institute of Biosciences & Applications, NCSR "Demokritos", Greece
Dr. Ioannis Sotiropoulos is a Researcher C - Group leader at Institute of Biosciences & Applications, NCSR "Demokritos", Greece. His research work focuses on understanding the orchestrating role of environmental risk factors (e.g., chronic stress) on the onset of Alzheimer´s disease (AD) with a specific focus on the relationship between AD and depression, a stress-related disorder. Combining cell-, animal- and human-based studies, Dr. Sotiropoulos’ innovative work aims to clarify the diverse factors that regulate the cellular role of Tau as a key molecule of neuroplasticity and neuropathology in brain pathology. He has previously trained and worked at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry (Germany), Columbia University (USA), RIKEN-Brain Science Institute (Japan), University College London (UCL) & MRC Center for Synaptic Plasticity (UK), and Medical School of University of Minho (Portugal). His scientific achievements are internationally recognized in the form of prizes & awards e.g., Hirnliga Alzheimer Award 2009, AD/PD Young Faculty 2014 Award, Jerome Lejeune 2017 Award, Janssen Innovation Award 2017, Alzheimer Association Award for Best Mentor in Neuroscience 2021.
Amsterdam UMC, the Netherlands
Dr. Hoozemans is associate professor and principal investigator at the department of pathology Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands. With a background in medical biology he closely works together with a group of neuropathologists investigating disease mechanisms and clinicopathological correlations in neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Hoozemans is specifically interested in the regulation of protein folding in neurodegenerative diseases and how brain cells respond to the presence of misfolded proteins. His lab was one of the first to show that the unfolded protein response is activated in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Because of the close collaboration with the Netherlands Brain Bank his lab is one of the few labs in the world being capable of isolating and culturing human primary adult microglia. Using an extensively characterized cohort of post mortem brain tissue and primary human microglia his lab is currently investigating the role of microglia in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. His lab is especially interested in how microglia respond to the presence of aggregated proteins during disease progression as well as in healthy aging.
Dr. Hoozemans is a member of the scientific advisory board of the national public fund Alzheimer Nederland and Editor-in-Chief of Acta Neuropathologica Communications.
From 1994 till 1998 I studied Medical Biology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. In 1998 I started my PhD training in the group of Piet Eikelenboom on the role of inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease and especially on how nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. I was one of first to discover that the enzyme cyclooxygenase 1, a primary target of NSAIDs, is expressed in microglia in the human brain. As postdoc researcher I visited the lab of Thomas Arendt at the Paul Flechsig Institute for Brain Research in Leipzig where I was involved in several studies investigating the molecular mechanism of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. After my return in Amsterdam in 2004, I
Currently I am supervising the neuropathology research lab at Amsterdam UMC. I am heading a group of 12 researchers in the field molecular and cellular neuropathology. My work is centered around the understanding of disease mechanisms in the human brain in relation to neurological and psychiatric diseases. I am using an integrated set of novel screening assays for neuropathology, high-content image analysis, quantitative proteomics technologies, and unique cellular assays.
In particular, digital and quantitative neuropathology has been instrumental in the studying brain pathology and disease mechanisms. These datasets are used for studying the progression of the disease and its correlation with clinical features like cognitive impairment and behavioral changes. In addition, the in-depth characterization of these human tissue samples are instrumental for identifying new disease markers using techniques like proteomics, interactome approaches and high-resolution label-free imaging. Altogether my work resulted in more than 120 peer-reviewed publications. With my expertise on neuropathology, my leadership and training skills, and my motivation I successfully carry out various research projects.
My experience with these projects showed me the importance of frequent communication among project members and of constructing a realistic research plans, timelines, and budget.
Since 2006 I am leading my own research group at the neuropathology research lab of the University Medical Centers in Amsterdam. My research projects mainly involve the use of post mortem brain tissue derived from donors. These projects are aimed to resolve the clinicopathological correlations in neurodegenerative diseases, identify new potential drug targets as well as early disease mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases. Due to our close collaboration with the Netherlands Brain Bank my lab is one of the few labs in the world being capable of isolating and culturing human primary adult microglia. Using our extensively characterized cohort of post mortem brain tissue and primary human microglia we are currently investigating the role of microglia in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. My lab is especially interested in how microglia respond to the presence of aggregated proteins during disease progression as well as during healthy aging.
Dr. Hoozemans is a member of the scientific advisory board of the national public fund Alzheimer Nederland and Editor-in-Chief of Acta Neuropathologica Communications.
Mayo Clinic Arizona, USA
John Fryer received a BS in microbiology from the University of Arizona, followed by a PhD in neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis and postdoctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. In 2011, he started his lab at Mayo Clinic in Florida but moved his research program to Mayo Clinic in Arizona in 2019. He is currently a Professor of Neuroscience, the Associate Dean of the Mayo graduate school, and the inaugural Director of the Mayo Clinic Arizona MD/PhD program. His research focuses on understanding how apolipoprotein E (APOE) and clusterin (CLU, aka apoJ) influence Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis. His lab found that CLU plays a surprising role shifting amyloid deposition from parenchymal plaques to the cerebrovasculature (cerebral amyloid angiopathy or CAA). Recently, his lab has found that, like apoE, CLU also plays an important role in tau pathology. He is also interested in understanding how immune activation impacts disease progression, particularly how microglia are involved in pathogenesis in Alzheimer’s disease as well as Lewy body dementia (LBD) and frontotemporal dementia-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FTD-ALS). His lab is also pursuing how acute immune activation states such as sepsis can have long-lasting effects on the brain in the form of cognitive and behavioral impairment. Most of his studies rely on in vivo models or leveraging omics analysis of human postmortem tissues.
Institute for Basic Science, South Korea
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Kiavash Movahedi is a tenure-track professor at the University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) in Belgium. His group is focused on brain immunology and neuro-immune interactions, with a deep interest in brain macrophages. More specifically, the Movahedi lab studies the heterogeneity and functions of microglia and non-parenchymal brain macrophages and seeks to understand their role in homeostasis and disease. To do so, the lab continuously invests in cutting-edge technologies, including single-cell multi-omic analysis, genome engineering and stem cell technology. The goal is to develop new therapies for neurodegenerative disease and brain cancer, by modulating or enhancing macrophages and neuroinflammatory responses. Dr. Movahedi graduated as a Bioengineer and obtained his PhD in Bioscience Engineering at the University of Brussels in 2010, supported by a fellowship from Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). Subsequently, Dr. Movahedi performed postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Germany as an Alexander Von Humboldt fellow. In 2015 he returned to Belgium via the Attract Brains to Brussels program from Innoviris and started his independent research unit at the VUB. In 2020 Dr. Movahedi transitioned into a tenure-track position and was named a Collen-Francqui research professor at the Brussels Health Campus in the department of biomedical sciences
University of California, San Francisco, USA
Dr. Lea Tenenholz Grinberg is a neuropathologist specializing in brain aging and associated disorders, most notably, Alzheimer’s and neurological basis of sleep disturbances in neurodegenerative diseases. Currently, she is a Full Professor and a John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation Endowed Professor at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, part of the Executive Board of the Global Brain Health Institute and member of the Medical Scientific Advisory Group for the Alzheimer Association. She is also a Professor of Pathology at the University of Sao Paulo.
In 2003, Dr. Grinberg was among the founders of a brain bank in São Paulo, focusing on brain aging. This brain bank which she had since developed into an extremely prolific and highly-regarded institution, helped Dr. Grinberg prove that, contrary to what has been accepted previously, the brainstem and not the cortex, harbors the first detectable neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. In 2009, she was the recipient of the UNESCO-L’Oréal Award "For Women
in Science," and in 2010 she received the John Douglas French Alzheimer Foundation "Distinguished Research Scholar Award." Currently, Dr. Grinberg is the Co-Leader of the
UCSF/Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank, where she conducts neuropathological diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. She also directs the Human Biology Validation Core for the NIH/U54 Tau Centers Without Walls, is a principal investigator from the Tau Consortium and co-lead the Neuropathology Core for the LEADS project
The Grinberg Lab
The Grinberg Lab at UCSF, which was established in 2009, is now home to almost 20 researchers, students and staff. The Grinberg Lab follows up on Dr. Grinberg’s initial discoveries to provide an integrated picture of brainstem vulnerability in AD and FTLD, including extensive studies on the neurobiological basis of sleep disturbances in these diseases aiming to provide personalized symptomatic treatment and improve the patient quality of life. The Grinberg Lab also investigates the factors influencing the clinical expression of Alzheimer’s pathology to lead to better diagnostic tools, the identification of risk factors for accelerated decline, and the therapeutic targets that minimize clinical decline in AD. The Lab combines classical quantitative neuropathological techniques with advanced computer vision tools and multiplex molecular probing in postmortem human tissue and neurons derived from induced pluripotent cells.
Mayo Clinic Florida, USA
Weill Cornell Medicine, USA
Dr. Li Gan is director of the Helen and Robert Appel Alzheimer’s Disease Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine, where she is also the Burton P. and Judith B. Resnick Distinguished Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases.
Dr. Gan received a Bachelor of Science degree in physiology from Peking University, in Beijing, and a doctorate in cellular and molecular physiology from Yale University School of Medicine. She completed postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she was a senior investigator at Gladstone and professor of Neurology at UCSF before joining Weill Cornell Medicine in July 2018.
Dr. Gan’s research focuses on innate immunity and proteostasis--the converging and interconnected pathways in such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. Her lab discovered acetylation of tau as a new posttranslational mechanism underlying tau toxicity, identified maladaptive microglial mechanisms in neurodegeneration, and developed scalable neural iPSC-derived models widely used in the scientific community.
National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA
Dr. Cookson received his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Salford, United Kingdom (UK), in 1995. His career with the NIH began in 2002 as a Senior Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Neurogenetics (LNG). From 2004-2009, Dr. Cookson served as a Tenure-Track Investigator, until he received tenure in 2009, and became a Senior Investigator and Chief of the Cell Biology and Gene Expression Section (CBGES), in LNG. From 2020, Dr. Cookson served as the Acting Chief of LNG and was promoted to Chief of LNG in 2022. Dr Cookson’s research interests are focused on molecular effects of mutations associated with age-related neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson’s disease.
University of California, Irvine,
Dr. Matt Blurton-Jones is a Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of California, Irvine and Director of the UCI ADRC iPS cell core and the UCI Stem Cell CRISPR core. His current research utilizes human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and chimeric mouse models to examine the underlying molecular mechanisms that drive the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). His earlier studies were among the first to show that neural stem cells can improve cognitive and motor function in transgenic models of neurodegeneration by elevating levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and enhancing plasticity. His lab also demonstrated that the adaptive immune system restrains the development of AD pathology by modulating microglial activation states. In 2017, his group developed one of the most widely adopted approaches to differentiate patient-derived iPSCs into microglia (Abud et. al., Neuron, 2017). To further examine the potential interactions between human microglia and AD pathologies in vivo and the impact of AD risk genes on microglial function, Dr. Blurton-Jones and his colleagues recently developed novel chimeric mouse models of amyloid and tau pathology (Hasselmann et. al., Neuron, 2019). Ongoing work in the Blurton-Jones lab is now combining iPSC-microglia, CRISPR gene editing, and chimeric modeling to examine the impact of AD risk genes on human microglial function (McQuade et al., Nat Comm, 2020). In addition, recent studies have begun to examine the potential therapeutic application of iPSC-microglial transplantation.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
Dr. Heiman’s expertise is in the development of genetic and biochemical methods for the study of the mammalian nervous system, as well as the study of basal ganglia circuits and their dysfunction in disease. She received a B.A. in molecular biology from Princeton University, a Ph.D. in cell biology from the Johns Hopkins University, and post-doctoral training at the Rockefeller University. The focus of her research group is to understand the molecular basis of nerve cell function and dysfunction in CNS diseases and disorders, seeking to understand what combination of cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms leads to vulnerability in these diseases and disorders, as well as which cell types are most important in considering the actions of CNS-acting drugs such as antipsychotic drugs and drugs involved in substance use disorders.
Emory University School of Medicine, USA
Dr. Seyfried is a Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Neurology and member of the Emory Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). He also serves as Co-Director of the Emory ADRC Biomarker Core. His group utilizes integrated proteomic approaches for basic and translational research discoveries in neurodegenerative diseases. He currently serves as a principal investigator of the Accelerating Medicine Partnership for Alzheimer’s Disease (AMP-AD) grant at Emory, where his research team has developed network-based approaches to quantify specific classes of proteins that reflect early mechanisms and biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease and related neurodegenerative diseases.
Brigham and Women’s and Harvard Medical School, USA
Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School,
Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Dr. Butovsky’s laboratory is recognized for redefining microglia and their interplay with peripheral innate immunity in homeostasis, aging and neurodegeneration. Dr. Butovsky’s group identified a unique microglial signature and the mechanism of regulation in mice and humans and are elucidating the relationship of microglia to CNS disease including AD, multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and eye diseases such as glaucoma. Recent discoveries include the identification of the TGFß-dependent homeostatic M0-microglia and the second major microglia phenotype, neurodegenerative MGnD-microglia which is regulated by TREM2-APOE pathway. These series of investigations led to the generation of novel tools to study microglial biology in health and disease and prompted investigate the crosstalk between microglia and peripheral innate immunity in AD. These findings led to the establishment of national and international collaborations to develop microglial targets to treat neurodegenerative diseases. This has led to the investigation of APOE in microglia regulation during disease progression in AD and TAU mice in collaboration with leading experts in the field. Dr. Butovsky’s interest and expertise in APOE signaling in microglia regulation subsequently led his laboratory to extensive investigations of APOE in AD models and the preliminary data pointing to a new role of APOE in regulation of peripheral innate immunity. With the new knowledge gained, he hopes to address fundamental questions of the role of microglia in neurodegenerative conditions and apply this knowledge towards the development of novel immune-based targeting therapies for AD.
Mayo Clinic Florida, USA
Dr. McLean is a Professor of Neuroscience at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.
Dr. McLean received her Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Boston University School of Medicine. She received post-doctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She has been at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville since 2012.
Dr. McLean’s research interests revolve around understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and related neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, her research group studies the role of alpha-synuclein, a protein that misfolds and aggregates in brain regions that are critically involved in these diseases.
Johns Hopkins University, USA
Dr. Philip Wong, Professor of Pathology and Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins Medicine, developed major programs over the past three decades in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. His work focuses on molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) and on defining molecular pathways amenable to therapeutic interventions using molecular approaches. Dr. Wong’s work on AD has been recognized by a Zenith Fellow Award in 2004 from the Alzheimer’s Association and in 2007 by an Award for Medical Research from the MetLife Foundation. More recently, Dr. Wong is the recipient of the Daniel Nathans Scholar award from the Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dr. Wong has developed novel tools, including mouse models of AD and ALS-FTD, to examine the pathophysiology of these neurodegenerative diseases with the goal of identifying therapeutic targets that would ultimately lead to effective therapies for these devastating diseases of the elderly. Dr. Wong has mentored numerous graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty, many of whom are women or minorities; many of his trainees have gone on to establish their own independent research programs in academic institutions. His recent efforts are designed to clarify the biology and pathobiology of TDP-43, particularly the loss of TDP-43 splicing repression in ALS-FTD, Inclusion Body Myositis, and in AD-related dementia, as well as the identification of functional fluid biomarkers and development of an AAV gene therapeutic strategy for these human disorders.
University of Connecticut School of Medicine, USA
Dr. Riqiang Yan discovered BACE1 and published this seminal finding in Nature in 1999. He is recognized as the leading investigator in the functional study of BACE1, and reported multiple new findings in Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Cell Report and Science Advances etc. Dr. Yan received his BS from Shanghai Medical University, PhD from University of Kentucky, and postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. James Darnell at the Rockefeller University. He was a principal investigator at Pharmacia and Upjohn Company and Pfizer between 1997 and 2003. He joined Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute in 2002 as an Associate Professor, and quickly promoted to Professor, Morris R and Ruth V. Graham Endowed Professor and Vice Chair of Neuroscience Department. In early 2018, he was appointed to be the Chair of Department of Neuroscience and William Beecher Scoville Endowed Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He is the recipient of 2014 MetLife Award in Medical Research. His recent studies revealed a critical role of BACE1 in the transition of homeostatic microglia to DAM-1 and C-terminal CX3CL1 in the control of neurogenesis through a back signaling pathway.
Northwestern University Medical School, USA
Mayo Clinic Florida, USA
Dr. Da Mesquita obtained a PhD in Health Sciences at the University of Minho School of Medicine, in Portugal, and later joined the Kipnis lab at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, to perform his postdoctoral studies. He was recruited to the Department of Neuroscience at Mayo Clinic in Florida as a Senior Associate Consultant in September 2020 and became an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the MCGSBS in January 2021. Dr. Da Mesquita’s latest publications have provided singular insights about the effects of impaired brain drainage by the meningeal lymphatic vasculature on different aspects of brain function, as well as on different neuropathological hallmarks of Multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. At Mayo Clinic, Dr. Da Mesquita and his team members are focused on further exploring the role of the meningeal lymphatic system in brain physiology, aging and degeneration. Using distinct genetically modified mouse models, post-mortem collected human brain/meningeal tissue samples and state-of-the-art techniques, like in vivo fluorescence stereomicroscopy, acoustic flow cytometry, mass cytometry, and single-cell/nuclei RNA sequencing, the Da Mesquita lab aims at testing the hypotheses that certain environmental (e.g., diet or infection) and/or genetic (e.g., APOE4 or ABCA7 in Alzheimer’s disease) factors increase the risk for neurological diseases by mediating long-lasting changes in the meningeal lymphatic vasculature and in brain/meningeal immunity. Dr. Da Mesquita is also fully dedicated to the recruitment and training of researchers at different career stages ranging from undergraduate to postdoctoral.
The University of Chicago, USA
Dr. Sisodia’s research has focused on understanding the cellular and molecular biology of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilins (PS1 and PS2), polypeptides that are mutated in pedigrees with familial Alzheimer’s Disease (FAD). His most notable contributions include the generation and characterization of mouse models that exhibit amyloid plaques in the brain. These models have been invaluable for understanding the impact of environmental enrichment and exercise in modulating amyloid deposition and adult neurogenesis. More recent studies have focused on the impact of the microbiome on the modulation of Ab amyloidosis and neuroinflammation in mouse models. He has published 188 peer-reviewed manuscripts.
Dr. Sisodia has received several awards, including: the Potamkin Prize for Alzheimer’s Disease Research from the American Academy of Neurology and the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award for Medical Research. He was inducted as a Fellow of AAAS, and Foreign Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India, and the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences. He has also organized, or co-organized several Adler Symposia on Alzheimer’s Disease at the Salk Institute, two Keystone Symposia, and was the co-director of the Cold Spring Harbor Neurobiology of Disease course. Dr.Sisodia has served on the Editorial Boards of eight journals, including Neuron and Cell, and is a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.
Hanyang University Hospital, South Korea
University of Kentucky, USA
Steven Estus earned his PhD in Pharmacology from Case Western Reserve University in 1989. After post-doctoral training with Steven Younkin that focused on amyloid protein precursor catabolism, he trained further with Eugene Johnson, focusing on mechanisms mediating neuronal apoptosis. Since arriving at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging in 1994, his research has evolved with the AD field. Overall, he has contributed to our understanding of Aß generation, neuronal apoptosis, Aß clearance, and, most recently, AD molecular genetics. The current focus reflects that genetics drive the majority of AD risk such that agents that amplify the actions of protective alleles are predicted to reduce AD risk. To elucidate these genetic mechanisms, the lab is fortunate to be associated with the University of Kentucky Alzheimer’s Disease Center which has provided hundreds of DNA samples from well-characterized AD and non-AD individuals, as well as autopsy-derived CSF and brain samples. Overall, this has allowed the lab to identify mRNA isoforms for genes linked to genetics, and quantify these isoforms as a function of AD genetic risk factors and neuropathology. By studying the actions of implicated isoforms in vitro and in murine models, the lab seeks to identify molecular mechanisms that modulate AD risk and thereby identify AD pharmacologic agents.
Johns Hopkins University, USA
Dr. Ted Dawson received his medical degree and Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Utah School of Medicine. He then completed an internship in medicine at the University of Utah Affiliated Hospitals before going to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for a neurology residency. Next, he came to The Johns Hopkins where he completed a fellowship in neuroscience and senior clinical fellowship in movement disorders. Dr. Dawson’s honors include the Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Scholar Award, the Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholar Award, and the Santiago Grisolia Medal and a Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award. He was elected to the Association of American Physicians and he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Dawson laboratory focuses on neurodegenerative diseases. He pioneered the role of nitric oxide in neuronal injury in stroke and glutamate excitotoxicity. He elucidated the molecular mechanisms by which NO kills neurons through the actions of poly (ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymerase and discovered a unique cell death pathway designated parthanatos. His laboratory has made important discoveries on how neurons die in genetic and sporadic models of Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Dawson’s discoveries are enabling clinical strategies for disease modifying therapies for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease as well as other neurodegenerative diseases.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA
Dr. X. William Yang completed his undergraduate education at Yale University, obtaining combined B.S./M.S. degrees from the Department of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry in 1991. He then pursued M.D./Ph.D. training at Rockefeller University (Ph.D., 1998) and Weill Medical College of Cornell University (M.D., 2000). He completed his internship at New York Hospital and is a licensed physician. Dr. Yang co-invented a powerful mouse genetic technology to engineer Bacterial Artificial Chromosomes (BACs) and generate BAC transgenic mice. His laboratory at UCLA has made significant contributions to developing a series of BAC transgenic mouse models for human neurodegenerative disorders, including Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases, and using such models to dissect disease mechanisms and identify therapeutic targets. The Yang lab has also applied novel genetic and systems biology approaches to study brain gene expression and decipher molecular networks for HD and AD. They investigate the role of basal ganglia circuitry in the generation of normal and pathological behaviors. The Yang lab invented a new mouse genetic tool (MORF mice) for the sparse and bright labeling of thousands of neurons and glial cells to illuminate their exquisite morphology. Dr. Yang received the NIH’s BRAIN Initiative awards, the McKnight Foundation’s Brain Disorder Award, and the HDF’s 2014 Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and serves as Vice-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Hereditary Disease Foundation.
Case Western Reserve University, USA
Dr. Xiongwei Zhu received his B.S. in 1995 and M.S. in 1998 from the Department of Biochemistry at Wuhan University in China. He received his Ph.D. in 2002 from the Department of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University. He was appointed to faculty in the Department of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University in 2003 and promoted to Professor in 2015. His research focuses on the neurodegenerative mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases with a focus on mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA
Dr. Yueming Li is Member and Professor of Chemical Biology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Professor of Pharmacology and Neurosciences, Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley and postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. Prior to coming to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 2002, Dr. Li spent five years at Merck Research Laboratories, where he was involved with the ins-and-outs of drug development. His lab studies on aging-related human disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and cancer. His research interests focus on the function and regulation γ-secretase, autophagy and neuroinflammation ranging from the disease mechanism to therapeutic development. Dr. Li has pioneered our understanding of the function and regulation of γ‐secretase in AD. He has been honored by the MetLife Foundation Awards for Medical Research in Alzheimer ’s disease. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and received the Weill Cornell Graduate School Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award that recognizes his distinguished contribution teaching and mentoring of students, postdocs, and faculty.
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