Howard Fillit, MD
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Howard Fillit, MD, a geriatrician, neuroscientist and a leading expert in Alzheimer’s disease, is the founding Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF). The ADDF’s mission is to accelerate the discovery and development of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease, related dementias and cognitive aging.
Dr. Fillit has had a distinguished academic medicine career at The Rockefeller University and The Mount Sinai School of Medicine where he is a clinical professor of geriatrics and medicine and professor of neurobiology. He is a co-author of more than 300 scientific and clinical publications, and is the senior editor of the leading international Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology.
Previously, Dr. Fillit was the Corporate Medical Director for Medicare at New York Life, responsible for over 125,000 Medicare managed care members in five regional markets. Dr. Fillit has received several awards and honors including the Rita Hayworth Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also serves as a consultant to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, health care organizations and philanthropies. Throughout his career, he has maintained a limited private practice in consultative geriatric medicine with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
Dirk Beher, PhD
Dirk Beher, PhD, is the Chief Executive Officer, a Founder and member of the Board of Directors of Asceneuron SA. Under his leadership, Asceneuron has raised CHF 36 million from leading venture capital firms besides from securing alternative funding. Since its inception, he has strategically positioned the company as an emerging leader in the field of orally bioavailable drugs for treating orphan tauopathies and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Beher brings more than 24 years of experience in the field of Alzheimer’s disease/neurodegeneration and spent over 18 years in drug discovery in pharma and biotech. Prior to Asceneuron, he has held various positions with increasing responsibilities at major pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies such as Merck Sharp & Dohme (Merck & Co.), Amgen and Merck KGaA in locations around the globe.
Dr. Beher holds a PhD and an MS in Biology from the Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg, Germany. He holds seven patents and currently authors 49 peer-reviewed publications and reviews.
Elizabeth Bradshaw, PhD
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Elizabeth Bradshaw, PhD, obtained her doctorate from Tufts University, Department of Biochemistry. She then joined the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School as a Research Fellow. In 2014, she was promoted to the rank of Assistant Professor.
A main focus of Dr. Bradshaw’s work has been understanding the role of the innate immune system in complex diseases. Interestingly, the genome-wide association studies for Alzheimer’s disease implicated the involvement of the innate immune system in this disease. Currently, one of Dr. Bradshaw’s major research interests is the translation of findings from genome-wide association studies in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, to molecular outcomes and potentially therapeutically targetable molecules.
Carol Colton, PhD
Duke University Medical Center
Carol A. Colton, PhD, is a Research Professor in the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center.
The Colton Lab has been actively involved in studying the brain’s immune response in the initiation and progression of brain disease. In particular, they have contributed and continue to contribute important data and concepts to the field by exploring the varied roles of microglia in neuroinflammation. Dr. Colton and her team were among the first to show that microglia are part of the brain’s immune system. The group’s studies helped to define the secretory and functional profile of microglia and demonstrated the importance of microglia to the local redox regulation of the brain environment. Importantly, Dr. Colton’s early studies using human microglia provided evidence for their similarity and for their differences to rodent microglia, leading to a better appreciation of immune differences when modeling human disease.
The Colton lab’s more recent work has focused on understanding immune changes and their impact during chronic inflammatory diseases in the brain such as in Alzheimer’s disease. This direction for their work stresses 2 basic principles; 1) the critical requirement for considering the temporal changes in inflammation that occur in chronic disease and 2) that immunosuppression is a major factor in the disease process. Using the dual concepts of immunosuppression and the inherent differences between human and rodent redox immune responses, they have developed a novel and important mouse model of AD that, for the first time, shows complete AD-like disease progression in mice. To date this mouse has yielded valuable and novel insights into the neurodegenerative disease process that leads to AD. Most importantly, the Colton Lab has now shown that key amino acid metabolic pathways in the brain are immune regulated in our mouse model of AD, and when activated during disease, lead to amino acid deprivation and subsequent cell death in neurons.
The group’s newest studies explore the mechanisms of onset of these immune changes that lead to brain deterioration.
Penny Dacks, PhD
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Penny Dacks, PhD, is the Director for Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention at the ADDF. Dr. Dacks is responsible for all aspects of this program, started in 2012 with the mission to evaluate, communicate and accelerate the development of scientific evidence for proposed strategies to promote health aging and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, related dementias and cognitive aging.
As part of this mission, Cognitive Vitality (www.CognitiveVitality.org) was launched in early 2014 to provide an open resource to the public on the state-of-the-science behind any and all suggested preventative therapies. The program has internal evaluations on more than 120 potential preventative therapies and works to accelerate the development of prevention therapies with strategic grant funding, conferences, advisory panels and peer-reviewed scientific papers. Active areas of interest include epidemiological evidence on potential preventative treatments, validation of preventative treatments with short-term biomarker-based randomized trials, computational modeling and big-data approaches to predict therapeutic efficacy, crowd-sourcing of data and data analytics and the application of aging biology to therapeutic development.
Dr. Dacks trained in neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the University of Arizona, and Queen’s University (Canada) with individual fellowships from the National Institute of Health, the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Foundation, the ARCS Foundation and the Hilda and Preston Davis Foundation. She has authored over 18 peer-reviewed scientific articles and is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Gerontological Society of America, the Endocrine Society and the Association for Women in Science.
Mary DeMarco, PhD, DAABCC, FACB
University of British Columbia
Mary DeMarco, PhD, DAABCC, FACB, is a clinical assistant professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia, a clinical chemist at St Paul’s Hospital, and an investigator with the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, in Vancouver, Canada. She received her PhD from the University of Washington, and completed her clinical chemistry fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine.
She is the recipient of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement by a Young Investigator and has been named as a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. With a strong interest in bridging biomedical science, analytical chemistry and laboratory medicine, her research group specializes in new methodological approaches for quantitation protein biomarkers with an emphasis on advancing clinical diagnostics for neurodegenerative disorders.
Pontus Forsell, PhD
Pontus Forsell, PhD, is Project Leader at AlzeCure, responsibile for driving the in vitro pharmacology related questions and related studies.
Dr. Forsell is an in vitro pharmacologist by training with a special interest in neurodegeneration and inflammation. This was further strengthened by his postdoctoral studies at Merck (Montreal, Canada). In addition to this, Dr. Forsell also has more than 17 years of experience in drug discovery research within both, small biotech and large pharmaceutical companies (Merck and AstraZeneca).
Dr. Forsell has worked with external partners as well as with internal drug discovery projects. He has an extensive experience in management and laboratory work. He believes that the daily work in the laboratory is of high importance to all researchers and thus remains a principal scientist active in the lab.
The current project builds logically on his prior work on NGF/TrkA and BDNF/TrkB performed at AstraZeneca. He had worked for 3 years on drug discovery research focusing on ways to intervene with or enhance neurotrophin signaling. In parallel with that, he was responsible for assay development within Neuroscience at AstraZeneca as well as the part of the project generation team.
Lauren Friedman, PhD
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Lauren Friedman, PhD, is the Associate Director of Scientific Programs at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) where she supports the management of the ADDF’s drug discovery portfolio by providing scientific and strategic review of preclinical drug discovery proposals and tracking program progress. Additionally, she manages the ADDF ACCESS program, which provides a virtual network of contract research organizations (CRO) and consultants, and offers educational resources on drug discovery and CRO selection and management.
Dr. Friedman completed her postdoctoral training at Columbia University where she studied modulators of autophagy in Alzheimer’s disease. She earned a PhD in Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where she studied molecular mechanisms underlying the development and degeneration of brain circuits involved in autism and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Friedman received a BS in Biopsychology from Tufts University. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, New York Academy of Sciences and the Association for Women in Science.
Michael Gold, PhD
Michael Gold, MS, MD, has spent the last 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry and most recently, joined PPD as vice president of global product development.
Most recently, he spent two years as UCB Bioscience and Allon Therapeutics, respectively. At UCB, he served as vice president of and head of CNS practice, and at Allon Therapeutics, he served as chief medical officer. From 2005-2011, Dr. Gold was with GSK, where he served as medicines development leader for Alzheimer’s disease and vice president of neurosciences, medicines development center. Among his many responsibilities at GSK, he was accountable for all aspects of the execution of the clinical development plans for two late stage assets in the area of Alzheimer’s disease. Earlier in his career, he held positions of increasing responsibility within clinical research at J&J and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Gold was assistant professor at the University of South Florida College of Medicine and director of the University of South Florida Memory Disorders Clinic. He is board-certified in neurology and psychiatry and currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor in the department of medicine of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, he is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and serves on the scientific advisory panels for several companies and patient advocacy organizations.
Atticus Hainsworth, PhD
St George’s University of London
Atticus Hainsworth, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Cerebrovascular Disease at St George’s University of London, UK.
He is an expert in the pathology of cerebral small vessel disease, the primary cause of vascular cognitive impairment. His interests are in the pathological processes that underlie small vessel disease and associated white matter lesions. He has explored pathogenic mechanisms of small vessel disease in human brain tissue derived from large cohorts (primarily the OPTIMA and MRC-CFAS cohorts). He has also provided systematic reviews of animal models relevant to VCID (most recently for Stroke, Madigan et al. 2016).
Dr Hainsworth received his undergraduate training in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and his PhD in Physiology & Biophysics from Rush Medical Center, Chicago. He is Chief Investigator on the PASTIS trial, jointly-funded by ADDF and the UK Alzheimers Society, testing tadalafil for repurposing in vascular cognitive impairment.
Ihab Hajjar, MD
Dr. Ihab Hajjar is a geriatrician and clinical investigator with a focus on the link between hypertension and vascular disease with Alzheimer’s disease.
He is studying the effects of antihypertensive medications that modulate the renin angiotensin system on both prevention of cognitive decline and as potential therapeutic modalities for early dementia.
Dr. Hajjar has published more than 50 scientific articles and book chapters and has been funded by grants from National Institute of Health and other governmental and private organizations since 2001. Dr. Hajjar sees patients with cognitive disorders and/or vascular risk factors at the Memory Disorder Clinic at Emory University.
Mansuo Hayashi, PhD
Eli Lilly & Co., Inc.
Mansuo Hayashi, PhD, focuses on discovering novel therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. During a decade of industrial experience at Merck Research Laboratories, Chugai/Roche Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, she has led several disease-modifying (tau) and symptomatic discovery programs through stages from target validation to preclinical candidate selection, and established extensive expertise in managing both small and large molecule discovery programs.
Dr. Hayashi obtained her PhD in Molecular Biology at Princeton University, and conducted postdoctoral research at the laboratory Dr. Susumu Tonegawa (1987 Nobel Laureate) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Lawrence Honig, MD, PhD
Lawrence Honig, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology in the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain, and in the Department of Neurology, Division of Aging and Dementia. He is the Director of the Clinical Core of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia University. He is also an Associate Attending in Neurology at New York Presbyterian Hospital and holds appointments at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Isabella Geriatric Center.
Dr. Honig his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Berkeley (California). He subsequently obtained his MD from the University of Miami (Florida). His postgraduate medical training included internship in Medicine, followed by residency training in Neurology, both at Stanford University Medical Center (California).
Dr. Honig’s major interests are in dementia and neurodegenerative disease, including molecular, genetic, geriatric, epidemiologic, and behavioral aspects of neurology. His activities include patient care, clinical research, and laboratory-based research addressing aging and nervous system degeneration. Dr. Honig’s laboratory-based research principally concerns developing biomarkers for neurodegenerative disease, and using molecular biological tools to analyze gene expression and tissue changes in aging and human brain diseases. Two major areas of interest are and assessing regional and molecular variation in gene expression in different neurodegenerative diseases, and determining the role of chromosomal telomere length as a marker for biological aging.
Edward Huey, MD
Edward (Ted) Huey, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (New York, NY), in the Departments of Psychiatry (Division of Geriatric Psychiatry) and Neurology (Division of Aging and Dementia), the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain, and the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center.
Dr. Huey obtained his BA in psychology from Yale University. He received his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1999. He completed an internship and a residency in Adult Psychiatry at the Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, California. He was elected to be the chief resident for the program in his final year of residency. He then completed a clinical research fellowship and was an Assistant Clinical Investigator in the Cognitive Neuroscience Section of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. He was then the Director of Clinical Science of the Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders of the Feinstein Institute, North-Shore / Long Island Jewish Medical Center. He joined the Columbia University faculty in 2010.
Dr. Huey’s research has focused on patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and related disorders. He studies the genetics of FTLD and is interested in the range of phenotypes associated with mutations that can cause FTLD. He also uses imaging in patients with FTLD and brain injury to explore the neuroanatomy of complex behavior, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and emotion in patients with brain dysfunction. A third interest is in the role of the dopamine system in the pathogenesis and treatment of the symptoms of FTLD. He is the recipient of a NIH / NINDS Pathway to Independence Award to research novel medication treatments and imaging biomarkers for FTLD. He sees patients in the Lucy G. Moses Center for Memory and Behavioral Disorders of the Neurological Institute and in the Memory Disorders Center of the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
Andrew Koemeter-Cox, PhD
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Andrew Koemeter-Cox, PhD, works on the ADDF’s scientific initiatives, including the ACCESS program. In this capacity, he assists with reviews of funding proposals and manages the ACCESS website, which connects researchers with CROs and other drug discovery expertise.
Dr. Koemeter-Cox was most recently a postdoctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he studied the epigenetics of axon regeneration in the context of spinal cord injury. From 2007 until 2009, he was a research technician with the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD), assisting with studies on neuroprotection strategies. Dr. Koemeter-Cox earned a doctorate in biomedical science from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Delaware. He is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, where he serves as a mentor for several programs.
Krista Lanctôt, PhD
Sunnybrook Research Institute/University of Toronto
Krista Lanctôt, PhD, is a clinical pharmacologist, having received her PhD from the Department of Pharmacology, University of Toronto in 1998, with additional training in pharmacoepidemiology. She is currently a Senior Scientist in the Brain Sciences Research Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the Head of Neuropsychopharmacology Research and the Executive Director of the Medical Outcomes and Research in Economics (MORE®) Research Centre, a research group focusing on outcomes research. She is a Full Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Lanctôt is an active researcher in clinical pharmacology and pharmacoeconomics and has published over 150 manuscripts. Since coming to Sunnybrook over 20 years ago, her research has focused on Alzheimer’s disease, and depression and cognitive changes in those with coronary artery disease and post-stroke. She also teaches at undergraduate and graduate levels through her appointment at the University of Toronto.
Berkley Lynch, PhD
Berkley Lynch, PhD, has worked in neuroscience drug discovery for over fifteen years, focusing most recently on diseases of neurodegeneration. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from The Rockefeller University in NYC.
Dr. Lynch has expertise in a range of preclinical drug development activities, including biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, and in vitro and in vivo pharmacology. In his career, he has worked at ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, UCB, Link Medicine, and Dotmatics Inc. Dr. Lynch has lead research identifying targets, developing assays, and testing compounds using in vitro and in vivo models of neurological disorders ranging from epilepsy, to Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
He now serves as Senior Director of CNS Research at Rodin Therapeutics, focused on the development of HDAC inhibitors for treating neurodegenerative diseases.
Alexandros Makriyannis, PhD
Northeastern University Center for Drug Discovery
Alexandros Makriyannis, PhD, is the George Behrakis Chair of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at Northeastern University, Boston, MA, and is the Founder and Director of the Center for Drug Discovery. He is a highly successful medicinal chemist and is well recognized nationally and internationally for his important contributions in endocannabinoid research. Inventor of over 50 issued U.S. patents, Makriyannis played an important role in the discovery of this relatively newly characterized biochemical system that regulates many physiological functions including pain, neuroprotection, addiction, immunomodulation and cognition.
Over the past four decades, his laboratory has designed and synthesized some of the key pharmacological endocannabinoid probes that are widely used and serve as leads for the development of new medications. He has also made important contributions aimed at understanding the molecular basis of cannabinoid activity.
He has been a creative pioneer in the field of chemical biology where he combined the use of medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics. His work is recognized for its high level of originality. Some of his compounds are in advanced preclinical trials for the treatment of metabolic disorders and liver function, neuropathic pain, addiction and neurodegenerative diseases.
Nick McKeehan, PhD
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Nick McKeehan, PhD, is a member of the ADDF’s Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention program. He evaluates the scientific evidence for and against therapies to promote brain health and/or prevent Alzheimer’s disease at our website CognitiveVitality.org and contributes regularly to the site’s blog.
Mr. McKeehan previously served as Chief Intern at Mid Atlantic Bio Angels (MABA) and was a research technician at Albert Einstein College of Medicine investigating repair capabilities of the brain. Mr. McKeehan received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Purdue University, where he was awarded a Howard Hughes Scholarship. He also writes about the biotechnology industry for 1st Pitch Life Science.
Yukari Perrella, MBA
Yukari Perrella is President and founder of Yuma Therapeutics.
Ms. Perrella has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare field, including operations, business development, finance and research. Previously, she was vice president at Alseres Pharmaceuticals, a public neuroscience company.
Ms. Perrella held positions of increasing responsibilities at several privately owned and publicly traded biotechnology companies. She worked in research at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health.
Jerri Rook, PhD
Jerri Rook, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University in the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery. Dr. Rook received her PhD degree in Pharmacology from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2008 where she was supported by the KUMC Biomedical Research Training Program Award. She then pursued her postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of P. Jeffrey Conn, PhD, at Vanderbilt University before accepting a faculty position in 2012.
Dr. Rook has served as an author on several primary research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and frequently presents her work at both national and international meetings. She is currently the member of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Society for Neuroscience.
Sharon Rosenzweig-Lipson, PhD
AgeneBio Inc./IVS Pharma Consulting
Sharon Rosenzweig-Lipson, PhD, is AgeneBio’s Vice President of Research and Development. In this position, she provides expertise in screening strategies, in vivo models, translation and early clinical development strategy.
Dr. Rosenzweig-Lipson is also the founder of IVS Pharma Consulting. She has more than 20 years of experience developing compounds for psychiatric and neurologic indications in the pharmaceutical industry, including American Cyanamid, American Home Products, Wyeth and Pfizer.
Dr. Rosenzweig-Lipson has successfully led teams from the earliest exploratory studies through to Phase II Proof of Concept Trials. Prior to her current positions, Dr. Rosenzweig-Lipson held the roles of Head of Translational Neuroscience and In Vivo Head of Psychiatry at Wyeth Research.
Dr. Rosenzweig-Lipson received her BA in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and her PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from Harvard University.
Stephen Salton, MD, PhD
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Stephen Salton, MD, PhD, attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with magna cum laude honors in Biochemistry. He completed the MD/PhD program at New York University School of Medicine, and following an internship and residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York, conducted postdoctoral research in molecular neuroendocrinology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Dr. Salton has received a number of academic/scientific honors including a Medical Scientist Training Program Award, Pfizer Post-Doctoral and Scholar Awards, Pew Scholars Award in the Biomedical Sciences, Irma T. Hirschl-Monique Weill-Caulier Career Scientist Award, and NARSAD van Ameringen Investigator Award. He has held faculty positions at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 1989 and is currently a tenured Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Geriatrics.
Dr. Salton’s molecular neurobiology lab investigates the mechanisms and gene products that mediate neurotrophic growth factor regulation of neural development and nervous system function, impacting the understanding of depression, memory, body weight control, neuropathic pain, and neurodegeneration. He additionally plays an active role in the broader educational mission of the institution, and contributes to a number of committees at Mount Sinai that oversee its academic and teaching missions.
Dr. Salton has been Co-Director responsible for overseeing the administration and operation of the Neuroscience Graduate Training Area since 2000, authoring the application securing Mount Sinai’s Neuroscience PhD granting program that was approved in 2007 by NYU and the NY State Education Dept, and is currently a PI of two NIH-supported T32 training programs.
Diana Shineman, PhD
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Diana Shineman, PhD is the Senior Director for Scientific Affairs at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, where she develops and manages the Foundation’s drug discovery and development grant programs and strategic initiatives. Combining scientific and business expertise, the ADDF manages its research funding portfolio to balance risk, stage of development and drug target mechanism of action, ensuring that grants meet key milestones before securing follow-on funding. As a measure of success, projects funded by the ADDF have gone on to garner nearly $2 billion in follow-on funding. The ADDF also works strategically with foundations, government and industry partners to tackle unmet needs in the field. As an example of such an initiative, Dr. Shineman led an interdisciplinary effort to standardize animal model study design to improve research efficiency and translatability.
Diana joined the ADDF in 2008. She earned a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania working in the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research led by Drs. Virginia Lee and John Trojanowski. She also worked as an Editorial Intern for the Journal of Clinical Investigation and was an active member of the Penn Biotechnology Group. Diana received a B.A. in Biology with a Nutrition concentration from Cornell University, where she was named a Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Scholar.
In addition to maintaining various professional memberships, Diana has also authored numerous articles and peer-reviewed publications.
Grace Stutzmann, PhD
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Grace Stutzmann, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at The Chicago Medical School/Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, where she studies early cellular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and is developing novel therapeutic approaches to treat neurodegenerative disorders.
She received her PhD in Neuroscience from New York University/The Center for Neural Science in 1999. She then trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine under George Aghajanian, MD, and then at UC Irvine in the Department of Neurobiology & Behavior, and The Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia with Frank LaFerla, PhD and Ian Parker, PhD, FRS.
In 2005, she moved to the Chicago Medical School as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, where she is currently. Dr. Stutzmann’s research is and has been supported by the NIH, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Federation for Aging Research, The Schweppe Foundation, and the VA.
Dr. Stutzmann has served on numerous NIH, foundation, and international review committees, as well as scientific advisory boards. She has presented over 60 lectures at international symposia and universities since 2006. Honors include fellowships from NIH, the Young Investigator Award from The Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia, The NeuroImaging Award from AFAR, and The Board of Trustees Award from RFUMS/CMS.
Paul Thompson, PhD
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Paul Thompson, PhD, is a Professor and the Director of Chemical Biology in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at UMASS Medical School in Worcester, MA, where his research focuses on the development of novel therapeutics for a range of diseases including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and lupus. In particular, he is a world leader in the biology and biochemistry of the Protein Arginine Deiminases.
Dr. Thompson received his BSc and PhD degrees from McMaster University in Canada before moving to the US to take a postdoctoral position with Philip Cole at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He then moved to the University of South Carolina to begin his independent career before moving to the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Florida, in May 2010. Dr. Thompson subsequently moved to UMASS Medical School in Aug 2014.
He has published more than 95 articles in major scientific journals including Nature, Cell, Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Thompson has also won a number of awards including a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.
Scott Turner, MD, PhD
Georgetown University Medical Center
Scott Turner, MD, PhD, is Professor of Neurology and Director of the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC.
Previously, he was Chief of the Neurology Service at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Neurology, University of Michigan. He was awarded MD and PhD degrees from Emory University, Atlanta, and completed his internship, residency, and fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He was recruited to Georgetown in 2008.
Dr. Turner has received numerous prestigious awards, including a fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Paul Beeson Scholarship. He lectures widely, serves as a reviewer for granting agencies and biomedical journals, and has published more than seventy peer-reviewed papers, editorials, and book chapters. He is board-certified in Psychiatry and Neurology.
The Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University provides clinical care to individuals with memory disorders and seeks individuals with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease, and their study partners, to join us in research. The goals are to discover and validate new biomarkers in addition to discovering more effective strategies to prevent and treat individuals with dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.
Shijun Zhang, PhD
Virginia Commonwealth University
Shijun Zhang, PhD, is currently an associate professor of medicinal chemistry at the School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
Dr. Zhang received his PhD with a focus on medicinal chemistry from Wayne State University in 2014, and then moved to University of Minnesota to finish his postdoctoral training. He joined the School of Pharmacy, VCU in 2017 as a faculty member.
The enduring research theme in Dr. Zhang’s laboratory has been an interest in development of small molecule compounds as chemical tools and potential therapeutic agents for CNS and inflammatory disorders. Specific therapeutic areas that Zhang’s laboratory has been working on include Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, and acute myocardial infarction.
Danna Zimmer, PhD
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Danna Zimmer, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and member of the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. She also serves as Section Leader for the In Vivo Biology & Drug Testing (IVBDT) group within the Center for Biomolecular Therapeutics (CBT), a system-wide academic drug discovery center.
As leader of the IVBDT group, Dr. Zimmer assists scientists in academia and industry with in vivo target validation, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and efficacy studies for lead therapeutics and diagnostics for oncology, infectious diseases, neurological disorders and metabolic diseases. Projects include small molecules as well as complex biologics, and represent the entire spectrum of the drug discovery pipeline from target identification to pre-clinical candidates.
Her own research program focuses on the development of pharmacological strategies for normalizing aberrant calcium signaling and inflammation in neurological disorders.