2017 Speakers


Howard Fillit, MD

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

fillit 2013Howard 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.

Dr. Fillit is the conference chair and will provide the opening remarks to introduce the conference’s scope, structure, and guest lecturers.

Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD

University of Arizona Health Sciences

Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD, is the director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona Health Sciences.  Dr. Brinton is a leading neuroscientist in the field of Alzheimer’s, the aging female brain and regenerative therapeutics.

Dr. Brinton joined the UA from the University of Southern California where she was the R. Pete Vanderveen Chair in Therapeutic Discovery and Development and professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the School of Pharmacy; professor of neurology at the Keck School of Medicine; and professor of biomedical engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering. She also was director of the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation Laboratory for Neuroscience Research and the Science, Technology And Research (STAR) science education outreach program. From 2007 to 2014, she served as director of Preclinical Translation and Regulatory Support, USC Clinical and Translational Science Institute (USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles).

She has been principal investigator for major National Institutes of Health-funded program project and center grants focused on brain disorders, and her research has been continuously funded by NIH for more than 20 years.

Dr. Brinton is co-founder of CoCensys, a biotechnology company engaged in the development of ethical pharmaceuticals to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Brinton has received numerous awards and recognition for her research and STEM education initiatives. Notably, she recently was honored as Woman of the Year by Los Angeles magazine for her translational research that is creating innovative therapies to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. She was included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2005 “Ten Best Minds” list, received the 2006 Society for Neuroscience Science Educator of the Year, and was awarded one of the nation’s highest civilian honors, the 2010 Presidential Citizens Medal, presented by President Barack Obama, for her work in promoting careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among minority students.

Dr. Brinton has more than 160 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and has authored 30 book chapters and invited reviews. She is an internationally recognized neuroscientist with more than 250 invited presentations worldwide.

Dr. Brinton earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology (Summa Cum Laude Honors, Phi Beta Kappa), her master’s degree in neuropsychology, and her doctorate in neuropharmacology and psychobiology as a National Institutes of Health Predoctoral fellow, from the University of Arizona. She continued her research as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology in New York from 1984 to 1986. In 1987, she was an invited scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel; the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Utrecht, the Netherlands; and the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Amsterdam. She joined the USC School of Pharmacy faculty in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1988.

Dr. Brinton will lecture in Session II on Results from a Pilot Clinical Trial of Allopregnanolone: A Regenerative Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Jurgen Claassen, MD, PhD

Radboud University Medical Center

Jurgen Claassen, MD, PhD, works as a geriatrician and clinical scientist at Radboud University Medical Center (Nijmegen, The Netherlands).

He obtained his PhD in cerebral hemodynamic regulation in aging and Alzheimer’s disease in a research collaboration with UT Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, TX).

His research focuses on disorders of blood pressure and cerebral blood flow in aging and Alzheimer’s disease, and combines circulatory physiology with neuroscience.

Dr. Claassen will present in Session I on Nilvad Add-on Study: The Effects of Nilvadipine on Blood Pressure, Cerebral Autoregulation, -Blood Flow and -Damage in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alpaslan Dedeoglu, MD, PhD

Boston VA Medical Center and Boston University

Alpaslan Dedeoglu, MD, PhD, received his medical degree from the Istanbul University School of Medicine and completed a pharmacology program at the Marmara University in 1992. During and after his pharmacology program he worked at the University of Arizona, Ohio State University, and Massachusetts General Hospital; he then joined Boston University in 2000.

Dr. Dedeoglu’s research interests include neuroanatomy, immunocytochemistry, histochemistry of the brain, neuropathological and neurochemical basis of neurological disorders, and animal models of neurological diseases. He also works with therapeutic trials in rodent models of neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Dedeoglu has received various awards from the Alzheimer’s Association and NIA.  Dr. Dedeoglu is a member of the Boston Society of Neurology and Psychiatry and the Society for Neuroscience.

Dr. Dedeoglu will lecture in Session I on Fingolimod Therapy in Models of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Travis Dunckley, PhD

Arizona State University

Travis Dunckley, PhD, is a trained molecular and cellular biologist. He has been studying neurodegenerative diseases for 15 years, with an emphasis an Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Expertise includes genomic approaches to studying complex human disease and development of cellular assays to measure surrogate phenotypes relevant to neurodegeneration He has published numerous papers in these areas. His group was one of the first to identify DYRK1A as an important tau-phosphorylating kinase and developed new assays to screen novel inhibitors for activity.

Dr. Dunckley is currently at the Arizona State University’s BioDesign Institute, member of the Arizona Alzheimer’s consortium, and is the co-Founder of Iluminos Therapeutics.

Dr. Dunckley, an ADDF/Harrington Scholar, will lecture in Session II on Testing of Selective DYRK1A Inhibitors as a Novel Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Steven Finkbeiner, MD, PhD

Gladstone Institutes and University of California, San Francisco

Steven Finkbeiner, MD, PhD, trained at Yale University, UCSF and Harvard University before joining the faculty at the Gladstone Institutes and UCSF in 1999. Since then, he has been promoted to his current position as a Director at the Gladstone Institutes and a Professor of Neurology and Physiology at UCSF. He also Directs the Taube/Koret Center for Neurodegenerative Disease.

His research has focused on basic science and disease-related questions in neuroscience, particularly fundamental questions related to learning and memory and elucidating mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease and mental illness. In 2009, the Taube/Koret Center was established to find catalyze the development of neurotherapeutics, leveraging discoveries and technology from in the academic laboratory.

Early on, Dr. Finkbeiner developed robotic microscopy, a high throughput longitudinal single cell imaging and analysis approach. It provides a way for scientists to quantify the prognostic value of cellular and molecular changes during a cell’s lifetime for some important future event. It helps to overcome limitations in sensitivity and observer bias inherent to conventional approaches based on single snap shots in time, and it has proven to be very valuable for developing a systems understanding of biology and pathobiology, developing disease models particularly based on induced pluripotent stem cells and for finding putative therapeutics. His laboratory has applied the approach in studies of Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia.

Dr. Finkbeiner will lecture in Session IV on Potent Small Molecule Inducers of Autophagy as Potential Agents to Lower Tau Levels and to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease.

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.

Dr. Friedman will chair Session II titled Neuroprotection and Neural Regeneration.

Milton Greenberg, PhD

Vivreon Biosciences, LLC

Milton Greenberg, PhD, is a co-founder and the President of Vivreon Biosciences, LLC, where his passion is to solve unmet needs in chronic diseases.

Dr. Greenberg’s research interest is lead optimization and preclinical development of small molecule inhibitors of the Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channel. The CRAC channel is a molecular target required for chronic microgliosis, and Vivreon Biosciences is the first company to pursue the CRAC channel for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. He led the Vivreon team in assay development, identification of a series of compounds that block CRAC channel function with nanomolar potency, and patent submission. Dr. Greenberg is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Irvine.

He holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, Irvine and a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Greenberg will lecture in Session I on Lead Optimization of CRAC Channel Inhibitors for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Yuko Hara, PhD

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

Yuko Hara, PhD, is a member of the ADDF’s Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention team. In this capacity, she critically evaluates the scientific evidence behind therapies to promote brain health and/or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. She also investigates potential risk factors as well as research proposals on prevention therapies.

Dr. Hara was previously an Assistant Professor in Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she remains an adjunct faculty member. Her research focused on brain aging, specifically how estrogens and reproductive aging influence the aging brain’s synapses and mitochondria. She earned a doctorate in neurology and neuroscience at Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University, with additional study at Keio University in Japan.

Dr. Hara has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, including articles in PNAS and Journal of Neuroscience.

Dr. Hara will chair Session III titled Epigenetics and Cognitive Enhancing and the Emerging Concepts Data Blitz showcasing three scholarship winners’ work.

Philip Haydon, PhD

GliaCure, Inc.

Philip Haydon, PhD, is considered a pioneer and leader in the field of glia research. In 1999 his group published a seminal work in Trends in Neuroscience in which it coined the phrase “the tripartite synapse”. This paper showed that signaling in the brain is an intricate interplay among neurons, glia and neurotransmitters. Dr. Haydon has gone on to create a significant reputation for his research into the role of glia in a range of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders and the potential for focusing on these cells as therapeutic targets. Based on his research in 2011 he formed the drug discovery company GliaCure, which has gone on to successfully complete a Phase 1b clinical trial in patients with mild and moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Haydon’s initial academic appointment was at Iowa State University. During his tenure there he served as Program Director of the Signal Transduction Training Group, Director of the Laboratory of Cell Signaling and Associate Director of the Microanalytical Instrumentation Center. In 2001 he joined the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania as a Full Professor, going on to become the Director of the Center for Dynamic Imaging of Nervous System Function, Director of the Silvio O. Conte Center for Studies of the Tripartite Synapse, and Vice Chair of the Department. He was recruited in 2008 to become the Annetta and Gustav Grisard Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Tufts University and, in 2011, was appointed Director of the newly-formed Tufts University Neuroscience Institute.

Dr. Haydon is widely sought after as a speaker on glial research both in the USA and internationally. He has presented over 246 invited lectures, has authored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications, and has served in various capacities on NIH grant review panels.

Dr. Haydon will lecture in Session I on Phase 1 Clinical Trial Results to Evaluate Safety and Anti-Inflammatory Actions of GC021109 in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Leen Kawas, PhD

M3 Biotechnology, Inc.

Leen Kawas, PhD, CEO of M3 Biotechnology, has lead the business and financial growth of M3 from early proof-of-concept stage towards human testing planned for this year.

Dr. Kawas won Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Association of Washington Business (December 2016), was selected as one of EY’s Winning Women Entrepreneur (November 2016), won the 40 under 40 award from the Puget Sound Business Journal (July 2016), was an Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist for EY (June 2016) and a Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist for GeekWire (June 2016). She was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People by Seattle Magazine (November 2015) and one of the Women to Watch in Life Sciences by the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (July 2015).

She also serves on multiple boards, including the Washington Governor’s Life Science Advisory Board, the Scientific Review Board for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association-Washington local Chapter Board.

She earned a doctorate in molecular pharmacology from Washington State University, and received the Harriett B. Rigas and Karen DePauw awards for academic achievement and leadership skills. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD.) from the University of Jordan. Dr. Kawas also completed the Executive Business Training Program at the Foster School of Business, University of Washington.

Dr. Kawas will lecture in Session II on Novel Regenerative Disease-Modifying Therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Andrew Koemeter-Cox, PhD

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

koemeter_coxAndrew 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.

Dr. Koemeter-Cox will chair Session IV titled Misfolded Proteins and Proteostasis and will present the 2017 ADDF Young Investigator Scholarships. 

Lenore Launer, PhD

National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging

Lenore Launer, PhD, received her doctorate in epidemiology and nutrition from Cornell University.  From 1990 to 1999 she held academic appointments in the Netherlands (Erasmus University Medical School, Free University, National Institute for Public Health) where she collaborated in many epidemiologic studies of neurologic diseases including dementia and migraine headache.

Dr. Launer joined NIA as Head of the Neuroepidemiology Unit in February 1999 and received tenure in 2005.

Dr. Launer will lecture in Session III on Anti-Hypertension Drug Class: Which is the ‘Best’ at Reducing the Risk for AD?.

Stefan Lohmer, PhD

Axxam SpA

Stefan Lohmer, PhD, is the President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Axxam. Since its inception in 2001, he has positioned Axxam as an innovator for the identification of bioactive small molecules applying high throughput screening for membrane proteins like GPCRs, Transporters and Ion Channels. Nearly all of the company’s discovery projects are focused on neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.

Dr. Lohmer brings more than 25 years of experience in the field of small molecule drug discovery. Prior to founding Axxam, he held various positions with increasing seniority at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, culminating in the World Wide Head of Genomics.

Dr. Lohmer holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the Albertus Magnus University Koeln, Germany.  He is an inventor on several patents and has authored 20 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Lohmer is also a board member of Acousia, a company dedicated for generating treatment opportunities in hearing loss.

Dr. Lohmer will provide the keynote lecture of Monday, September 11, on Challenges in Developing Microglia–Targeted Therapeutics.

Allan Levey, MD, PhD

Emory University

Allan Levey, MD, PhD, Allan Levey, MD, PhD is the Goizueta Foundation Endowed Chair for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, and the Betty Gage Holland Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Emory University. He is also Director of the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and the Executive Associate Dean for Research (Interim) in the School of Medicine.

Dr. Levey has secondary faculty appointments in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Levey will lecture in Session III on A Phase IIa, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Biomarker Study of Atomoxetine in Subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Tamara Maes, PhD

Oryzon Genomics S.A.

Tamara Maes, PhD, graduated in Chemistry (1992) and has a PhD in Biotechnology (1997) from the University of Ghent, Belgium. She worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the CSIC. In 2000, she co-founded Oryzon Genomics S.A. together with Dr. Carlos Buesa, and has been Chief Scientific Officer since the company’s inception.

In 2008, the company launches its first proprietary drug discovery program directed against LSD1. By 2012, Oryzon has developed a global leadership position in the development of LSD1 inhibitors with potential uses in oncology and neurodegenerative disease. Oryzon was the first company to complete the pre-clinical to clinical transition with a specific LSD1 inhibitor, has three compounds in development for treatment of oncological and neurodegenerative diseases, and will again be the first to evaluate the therapeutic potential of LSD1 inhibitors in Phase II trials in Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Oryzon is publically traded on the Madrid Stock Exchange (Ticker: ORY) since December 2015.

Dr. Maes will lecture in Session III on Clinical Development of a Dual LSD1/MAO-B Inhibitor ORY-2001.

Nick McKeehan

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

nick_mckeehanNick McKeehan 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.

Mr. McKeehan will chair Session I titled Neuroinflammation.

Michael Peel, PhD

Cypralis, Ltd.

Michael Peel, PhD, has over 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and joined Cypralis from Scynexis Inc, where he was Executive Director of Discovery.

Whilst at Scynexis he was responsible for building the chemistry services group and directing DMPK and biology for in-house research. He also led the in-house cyclophilin inhibitor programs, opening several avenues into new biology and new potential applications for cyclophilin inhibition in virology, ophthalmology and immunology. Prior to Scynexis, Dr. Peel worked for GlaxoSmithKline, based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina where he led several research projects in inflammation, cancer and virology, and played a key role in GSK’s kinase research effort throughout.

Dr. Peel holds a PhD in chemistry from Sheffield University and undertook his post-doctoral studies at Wayne State University.

Dr. Peel will lecture in Session II on Selective Cyclophilin D Inhibitors for Neurodegeneration.

Ana Pereira, MD

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and The Rockefeller University

Ana Pereira, MD, graduated in Medicine at Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Brazil in the top 1% of the class. She was a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University at the Taub Institute for Alzheimer’s disease investigating adult neurogenesis with brain imaging techniques in animals and humans. She completed Residency in Neurology at Harvard University and received subspecialty training in Cognitive Neurology at Columbia University. She was an Assistant Professor of Clinical Investigation at the Rockefeller University and she is currently an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Pereira has been studying the susceptibility of glutamatergic neural circuits to age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease along with potential therapeutic interventions. Her studies have used animal models, structural analysis with confocal and electron microscopy, behavioral assays and RNA sequencing along with parallel translational and clinical studies in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and sleep-disordered breathing with use of state-of-the art neuroimaging techniques and neuropsychological measures.

She is the recipient of the NIH Paul Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation grant, a Dana Foundation award, the BrightFocus Alzheimer’s disease Award, the Bernard Schwartz Award for Physician Scientists and others.

Dr. Pereira will lecture in Session III on Glutamatergic Dysfunction in Cognitive Aging: Repurposing Riluzole for Mild Alzheimer’s Disease.

Maria Quinton, PhD

Rodin Therapeutics

Maria Quinton, PhD, has been the Director in Translational Science at Rodin since July 2016.

Dr. Quinton is a neuropharmacologist and translational scientist with expertise in multiple disciplines ranging from in vivo behavioral and neurochemistry assays to translational medicine and preclinical pharmacology. Prior to Rodin, she was a Director in Translational Science at AstraZeneca Neuroscience iMed, where she worked in a virtual environment to develop and implement translational plans for the neuroscience portfolio projects in psychiatric, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.

Previously, Dr. Quinton was an Associate Director of NonClinical Pharmacology at Retrophin, where she led the efficacy and preclinical IND enabling studies for RE-024, resulting in a successful IND in April 2015. RE-024 is still advancing as a therapy targeting the underlying cause of pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN), a life-threatening neurological disorder. Between 2007 and 2014, Dr. Quinton worked in Neuropharmacology at Sunovion pharmaceuticals, previously known as Sepracor, where she led several discovery projects and supported all CNS projects with neurochemistry, neuropharmacology and translational studies, either through CROs or internal capabilities.

Throughout her career in drug development, Dr. Quinton has constructed research and development plans for virtual company operation with associated resource requirements, budgets and timelines.

Dr. Quinton will lecture in Session III on Measuring Synaptic Vesicle Glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) Levels as a Translatable Marker of Pro-Synaptic Effects of HDAC Class I Selective Inhibitors.

William Ray, PhD

MD Anderson Cancer Center

William Ray, PhD, is the Director of the Neurodegeneration Consortium (NDC), a multi-institutional collaboration whose mission is to slow, stop, or reverse AD and related neurodegenerative diseases. The NDC is a collaboration between investigators at Baylor College of Medicine, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the drug discovery center based at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.

Prior to joining the NDC in April 2015, Dr. Ray was Director, CNS Research at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and led several drug discovery projects from basic research into clinical development for schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, autism, and other CNS disorders. He joined Takeda in 2013 as part of their acquisition of the biotech start-up Envoy Therapeutics, where he was Senior Director and responsible for developing both a pipeline of CNS therapeutics as well as a platform technology.

Prior to Envoy Therapeutics, Dr. Ray spent 11 years at Merck, where he led multiple research projects in Alzheimer’s disease, including MK-7622, Merck’s investigational M1 muscaranic receptor potentiator. He earned his PhD from Washington University Medical School in Neuroscience.

Dr. Ray will lecture in Session II on Therapeutic Potential of Dual Leucine Zipper Kinase Inhibitors in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Brent Stockwell, PhD

Columbia University

Brent R. Stockwell, PhD, received his AB in chemistry and economics from Cornell University, graduating summa cum laude. He received his PhD degree in chemistry, doing his doctoral studies under the supervision of Stuart L. Schreiber at Harvard University. He is a Professor on the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Columbia University with joint appointments in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry; he is also a member of the Motor Neuron Center and the Cancer Center at Columbia Medical School.

Dr. Stockwell’s research involves the use of chemical tools to define cell death mechanisms in order to better understand and treat cancer and neurodegeneration. Prior to joining the faculty of Columbia University, he was an independent Fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, where he directed his own laboratory, developing new tools to enable the exploration of biology with small molecules.

Dr. Stockwell has received a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface (2002), a Beckman Young Investigator Award (2007), an Early Career Scientist appointment of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2010-2016), the Bioaccelerate NYC Prize (2010), a Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award (2014), a National Academies Education Fellowship in the Sciences (2014-2015), and the Great Teacher of Columbia College Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates (2015).

Dr. Stockwell is the author of >80 publications, 38 patent applications and 14 issued US patents. His first book, The Quest for the Cure, was published in the Spring of 2011.

Dr. Stockwell will lecture in Session IV on Small Molecule PDI Modulators Suppress Neurodegeneration.

Neil Vasdev, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Neil Vasdev, PhD, is the Director of Radiochemistry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Associate Director of the Gordon Center for Medical Imaging, and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.  He is also a Co-founder and Managing Director of MedChem Imaging, LLC.

Dr. Vasdev concurrently graduated (summa cum laude) with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McMaster University in 1998.  Prior to starting graduate school he gained experience working in industry as a chemist at Astra Pharma and Glaxo Wellcome.  He completed his PhD dissertation in Chemistry at McMaster University while a national scholarship (NSERC), followed by an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship at the E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. From 2004-2011 he was on faculty as an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and was recruited to Boston to lead the radiochemistry program at MGH in 2011.

Dr. Vasdev has focused his independent radiopharmaceutical chemistry research on developing radiolabelled imaging agents, often by multi-step radiochemistry reactions, for investigating disorders of the human brain.  Several of the radiotracers developed by his laboratory are in preclinical use worldwide and many of these compounds have been used for first in PET human neuroimaging studies.

Dr. Vasdev has received many academic, teaching and presentation awards for his research from organizations including the Society of Nuclear Medicine and the American Chemical Society. He has published over 100 scientific articles and reviews, and has delivered over 100 national and international presentations on neurological therapeutic and diagnostic discovery.

Dr. Vasdev will deliver the keynote lecture of September 12 on Applying Radiochemical Approaches to Investigating Novel Targets for Neurodegenerative Disease.

Dominic Walsh, PhD

Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Dominic M. Walsh, PhD, is an Associate Professor at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and Honorary Professor at the Institute of Neurology, University College London.  He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed research articles on Alzheimer’s disease and more than twenty of his publications have each been cited in access of 200 times.

Dr. Walsh has written a number of widely cited reviews and has given over 100 invited lectures and webinars.  He has served as an Editor or Editorial Advisor for several journals and as an ad hoc reviewer for all of the world’s leading biomedical journals.  His research has been supported by multiple agencies, grants from industry and donations from the general public.

In 2014, 2015 and 2016 he was named one of The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds by Thomson Reuters and ranked among the top 1% of researchers in the field of Neuroscience and Behavior.

Dr. Walsh will lecture in Session IV on Tau Inside Neurally-Derived Extracellular Vesicles.

Xinglong Wang, PhD

Case Western Reserve University

Xinglong Wang, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Pathology at the Case Western Reserve University. He studies the mechanism(s) underlying neuronal death in various major neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

His recent research activities focus on mitochondrial dysfunction and TDP-43 proteinopathies, two prominent pathological features in these devastating diseases. His lab provided the first evidence of TDP-43 accumulation within mitochondria in neurodegenerative diseases, and suggested the targeting TDP-43 in mitochondria as a potential novel therapeutic approach for neurodegeneration. The lab is now pursuing the physiological function of TDP-43 in mitochondria and the identification of small molecular inhibitors of TDP-43 in mitochondria.

Dr. Wang has authored or co-authored over 80 papers, many in top tier journals. Dr. Wang has been the recipient of the ISN Young Scientist Lectureship Award and ASIP Experimental Pathologist-in-Graduate Training Award.

Dr. Wang will lecture in Session IV on Mitochondrial TDP-43 as a Novel Therapeutic Target for FTD.

D. Martin Watterson, PhD

Northwestern University

Daniel Martin Watterson, PhD, is the John G. Searle Professor at Northwestern University and is Professor of Pharmacology in the Feinberg School of Medicine.

His research is focused on elucidation and molecular characterization of signal transduction pathways, the study of their role in pathophysiology, and the development of novel molecular probes to attenuate pathophysiology progression.

Previous academic positions included Professor of Pharmacology and HHMI Investigator at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Associate Professor and Mellon Fellow at The Rockefeller University.

Dr. Watterson will lecture in Session I on A Platform for Novel CNS Protein Kinase Inhibitor Discovery: IND-enabling Studies of an Isoform Selective Stress Kinase Inhibitor Candidate.

Yan Jessie Zhang, PhD

University of Texas, Austin

Yan Jessie Zhang, PhD, is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences in University of Texas, Austin.

Dr. Zhang graduated from The Scripps Research Institute with her PhD in 2004 mentored by Dr. Ian A. Wilson, focusing on the structure-based drug design. Trained by the top crystallographers (Drs. Brian Matthews, Ian Wilson and Joseph Noel), Dr. Zhang specializes in the design of small molecules or the engineering of bio-molecules guided by protein structural information. The fruits of such design are reported in high impact journals such as Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Immunology and Molecular Cell.

Dr. Zhang received awards recognizing her achievement in research such as Margaret C. Etter Early Career Award in American Crystallographic Association in 2015. She was also voted as Professor of the Year in University of Texas at Austin by student body.

Dr. Zhang will lecture in Session II on Fragment-Based Inhibitor Design of Human SCPs for Neuron Regeneration.