Welcome to the second Diagnostics Accelerator Investigators’ Meeting!

Since its 2018 launch, the Diagnostics Accelerator (DxA) has fostered a bold vision of setting a new gold standard for non-invasive and affordable biomarkers for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’ disease and related dementias. The recent approval of aducanumab demonstrates the value of biomarkers in clinical trials and the need for a low-cost, non-invasive way to identify the right patients for disease modifying treatment. However, due to the heterogeneity of the disease, the best approach to diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases will likely require a combination approach involving multiple biological pathways. The Diagnostics Accelerator has striven for a diverse portfolio of emerging biomarkers to assess the different facets of disease more fully. The goal is precision medicine for neurodegenerative disease.


This year’s investigators’ meeting promises to be another exciting opportunity for DxA-funded researchers to share their research and discuss the work of others on fluid, ocular, and digital biomarkers. And with investments made to a diverse group of more than three dozen researchers globally, we are sure you will be as amazed as we are at the ingenuity on display.


Over three days in October, we will welcome participants virtually and will hear from leading academic scientists, entrepreneurs, startup companies, funding organizations, and others who are part of this collaborative effort.


Here is some of what to expect this year:

  • Data-driven updates from our earliest funded investigators
  • Updates on digital biomarker projects
  • Posters from more recently funded investigators to allow for in-depth review of study design, rationale and planned work
  • Expert panels and in-depth Q&A sessions
  • Virtual breakout rooms to foster collaboration and interaction between DxA investigators, funders and pharma partners


As always, we are grateful for the vision and support of ADDF’s Co-Founder/Co-Chair Leonard A. Lauder and Bill Gates and all the core funders, including the Dolby family, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott, The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, and others to bring the focus, resources and urgency required to advance the development of diagnostic tools.


We hope that you all will take this opportunity to connect with your fellow investigators so we can all learn from one other and exchange ideas to further accelerate everyone’s research and the field as a whole.


We look forward to a thought-provoking and insightful meeting.


Best Wishes,

Howard Fillit, MD
Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Niranjan Bose, PhD
Managing Director of Health & Life Sciences
Gates Ventures

Diagnostics Accelerator

The Diagnostics Accelerator challenges the research community to develop cutting-edge biomarkers and validate novel diagnostic technologies that will aid in Alzheimer’s diagnosis and clinical trial implementation. Research funded to date focuses on various methods and targets including blood tests in various stages of development, as well as eye scans and digital tools.

These awards focus on true collaboration among renowned clinicians, who are directly involved in patient care and understand the disease, scientists who are developing the tests, and diagnostics companies that understand the regulatory pathways – driving research and product development.


25 Podium Presentations

13 Virtual Poster Presentations

Panel Discussions


Access to meeting by invitation only 




Part 1: ATN Biomarkers

Part 2: Ocular Approaches and Emerging Protein Biomarkers of ADRD



Part 1: Peripheral Molecular Biomarkers of ADRD

Part 2: Misfolded Proteins and Biomarkers of FTD

Part 3: Updates from the Pacific Rim



Digital Biomarkers

Monday, October 11, 2021
10:00 – 17:30 US Eastern Time

Tuesday, October 12, 2021
10:00 – 15:15 US Eastern Time

18:00 – 19:15 US Eastern Time

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
9:00 – 10:00 US Eastern Time – Meet with DxA Team

10:00 – 12:30 US Eastern Time


Rachel Acuña-Narvaez
Bluefield Project

Leyla Anderson
Neurovision Imaging

Rhoda Au
Boston Univresity

Marta Barrachina
ADmit Therapeutics

Marta Blanch
ADmit Therapeutics

Kaj Blennow
Univ. of Gothenburg

Catherine Bornbaum

Niranjan Bose
Gates Ventures

Penny Dacks

Robert Dean
R. A. Dean Consulting

Yuval Dor
Hebrew University

Chris Edgar

Anka G. Ehrhardt

Howard Fillit

Hüseyin Firat

James Gallarda
Dx Consultancy

Ihab Hajjar
Emory University

Wesley Horton
Fdtn for the NIH

Laura Ibanez
Washington Univ.

Diana Kerwin

Lampros Kourtis

Zoe Kourtzi
Univ. of Cambridge

Russell Lebovitz
Amprion Inc.

Cecilia Lee
Univ. of Washington

Nicklas Linz
ki elements

Caroline Lustenberger
ETH Zuerich

Thomas MacGillivray
Univ. of Edinburgh

Kristina Malzbender
Gates Ventures

Qinwen Mao
Univ. of Utah

Tatsuyuki Maruyama
KPY Consulting

Amber Murray
Biological Dynamics

Jennifer Rae Myers

Erin Norris
The Rockefeller Univ.

Larsson Omberg
Sage Bionetworks

Matthew Pase
Monash Univ.

Gregory Penner

Thanaphong (Joe) Phongpreecha
Stanford University

Shobha Purushothama

Ramit Ravona-Springer
Sheba Med Ctr

Blaine Roberts
Emory University

Eliav Shaked

Christy Sheehy

Kira Sheinerman
DiamiR Biosciences

Judith Steen
Boston Child’s Hosp.

Bruno Steinkraus
Hummingbird Dx

Ioannis Tarnanas

Manu Vandijck

Peter van Vijngaarden
Ctr for Eye Rsrch

Guoliang Xing
Chinese Univ. of HK

Henrik Zetterberg
Univ. of Gothenburg

Stephan Zicha


Kristina Malzbender, MPH cand., Gates Ventures
Shobha Purushothama, PhD, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Nico Stanculescu, MS, World Events Forum
Aishwarya Sukumar, MBA/MPH cand., Gates Ventures


We are grateful for the generosity of donors that made possible the Diagnostics Accelerator Initiative:


Anonymous Donors

Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation

Gates Ventures

Jeff Bezos

Leonard A. Lauder

MacKenzie Scott

The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration

The Dolby Family


The Diagnostics Accelerator would like to acknowledge the following for generously sharing their time, knowledge and expertise to shape our portfolio:

Diagnostics Accelerator Core Team

External Experts

Joint Steering Committee

Sample Sharing Program Partners

Niranjan Bose
Howard Fillit
Kristina Malzbender
Shobha Purushothama
Aishwarya Sukumar


DxA Alumni:
Nicole Bjorklund
Andrew Muran


DxA administrators:
Tricia Jester
Jennifer Jaroslavsky

Abhishek Agrawal
Rich Christie
Robert Dean
James Gallarda
Lampros Kourtis
Alvydas Mikulskis
Eric Siemers

Niranjan Bose
Howard Fillit
Allan Green
Tetsuyuki Maruyama
Michael Poole
Shobha Purushothama

Susan Baker
Tobias Bittner
Shobha Dhadda
Michael Irizzary
Akihiko Koyama
Simon Lovestone
Masatoshi Takada

Support Personnel

ADDF Grants and Mission Related Investment Team
ADDF Communications Team
ADDF Science Team

We are grateful for the generosity of donors who made possible the diagnostics accelerator initiative.