Welcome to the first Diagnostics Accelerator Investigators’ Meeting!

As we mark two years since inception of the Diagnostics Accelerator (DxA), this is an ideal time to bring together our funded investigators, funding partners and the DxA team in an interactive forum to share information about ongoing research, deliberate new ideas, and advance our shared vision of finding easier, more accurate and earlier ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

In July 2018, driven by the conviction that the path to approved Alzheimer’s treatments begins with a better way to diagnose patients, the DxA issued a call to action to the research community to advance bold new ideas to accelerate the development, validation and licensure of affordable and scalable diagnostic biomarkers.

To date we have awarded or earmarked over $35 million to a diverse group of researchers representing academia and industry globally. We have been amazed at the breadth, depth and ingenuity of the research represented as part of the DxA.

Over the next two days, leading academic scientists, entrepreneurs, startup companies, funding organizations, and others who are part of this collaborative effort, will engage in discussion around:

  • Cutting-edge science in the field of Alzheimer’s and related dementias
  • Methods and targets for minimally-invasive blood tests, ocular tests, and digital tools
  • Research highlights and preliminary findings
  • Strategies for translating biomarker research into clinical use

We hope that you all will take this opportunity to connect with other cutting-edge researchers, learn from each other, and exchange ideas to further accelerate your research and the field more broadly.

We are grateful for the vision and support of Bill Gates and ADDF’s Co-Founder/Co-Chair Leonard A. Lauder and all the core funders, including the Dolby family, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott, and The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, and others to bring the focus, resources and urgency required to solve this important problem. With $50 million in commitments from our funding partners, there will be many more exciting research awards to come.

But today, we thank each of you for being among the first to respond to our call to action. Together, we can enable the global community to conquer Alzheimer’s disease.

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.


30 Presenters and Chairs

Panel Discussions

Virtual and Live Q&A

Access to meeting by invitation only 




Ocular and Emerging Protein Biomarkers of ADRD, Biomarkers for FTD



Part 1: Molecular Biomarkers of ADRD

Part 2: Digital Biomarkers of ADRD



Digital and Ocular Biomarkers

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
10:00 – 14:00 US Eastern Time

Thursday, October 8, 2020
10:00 – 14:00 US Eastern Time

Friday, October 9, 2020
17:00 – 18:15 US Eastern Time


Rhoda Au
Boston University

Marta Barrachina
ADmit Tx

Nicole Bjorklund

Kaj Blennow
Univ. of GothenburgC

Catherine Bornbaum

Niranjan Bose
Gates Ventures

Robert Dean
Robert A. Dean Consulting

Yuval Dor
Hebrew University

Chris Edgar

Howard Fillit

Hüseyin Firat

Douglas Galasko
UC San Diego

James Gallarda
Dx Consultancy

Wesley Horton
Fdtn for the NIH

Laura Ibanez
Washington Univ.

Lampros Kourtis

Russell Lebovitz
Amprion Inc.

Thomas MacGillivray
Univ. of Edinburgh

Kristina Malzbender
Gates Ventures

Tatsuyuki Maruyama
KPY Consulting

Carolina Minguillón

Laura Mitic
Bluefield Project

Amber Murray
Biological Dynamics

Jennifer Rae Myers

Erin Norris
The Rockefeller Univ.

Larsson Omberg
Sage Bionetworks

Gregory Penner

Shobha Purushothama

Ramit Ravona-Springer
Sheba Med Ctr

Blaine Roberts
Emory Univ.

Eliav Shaked

Kira Sheinerman
DiamiR Biosciences

Eric Siemers
Siemers Integration

Judith Steen
Boston Child’s Hosp.

Bruno Steinkraus
Hummingbird Dx

Sidney Strickland
The Rockefeller Univ.

Peter van Vijngaarden
Ctr for Eye Rsrch

Guoliang Xing
Chinese Univ. of HK

Henrik Zetterberg
Univ. of Gothenburg

Stephan Zicha
Fdt for the NIH


Nicole Bjorklund, PhD, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Kristina Malzbender, MPH cand., Gates Ventures
Shobha Purushothama, PhD, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Nico Stanculescu, MS, World Events Forum


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


Anonymous Donors

Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation

The Dolby Family

Gates Ventures

Jeff Bezos

Leonard A. Lauder

MacKenzie Scott

The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration


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

Nicole Bjorklund
Niranjan Bose
Howard Fillit
Kristina Malzbender
Shobha Purushothama

DxA interns:
Andrew Muran
Aishwarya Sukumar

DxA administrators:
Tricia Jester
Aspasia Moundros

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 Team
ADDF Communications Team
ADDF Science Team

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