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Massachusetts / New Hampshire Chapter
Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the
Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association
Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 – Free and open to the public
Click HERE to register online.
Join us for a discussion of advances in Alzheimer's research since the 1980 founding of Alzheimer's Association, MA/NH Chapter; and see where science is headed through the Association's Research Grant program — are we close to a cure?

The evening's program will feature conversations with leading researchers, all past grant recipients, about progress made in several topic areas, including psychosocial and behavioral research, the evolution of biomarkers, advances in clinical trials, and potential new drug targets.

2015 Spring Research Forum Program Chair:
Brad Dickerson, MD, MMSc

(MGH, Harvard Medical School)

Guest Speaker:
Maria C. Carrillo, PhD
(Chief Science Officer,
National Alzheimer's Association)

Panelists
  • John Growdon, MD (Founding Director, MA Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and Memory & Movement Disorder Unit, MGH;Professor, Harvard Medical School)
  • Ann Hurley, RN, DNSc (Medical & Scientific Committee Member, Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter)
  • Dennis Selkoe, MD (Vincent and Stella Coates Professor of Neurologic Diseases, Harvard Medical School; Co-Director, Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham & Women's)
  • Reisa Sperling, MD, MMSc (Director, Center for Alzheimer's Research and Treatment: Co-Director Neuroimaging Core, MA Alzheimer's Disease Center; Professor Harvard Medical School)
  • Benjamin Wolozin, MD, PhD (Professor, Boston University School of Medicine; Primary Investigator, Boston University Alzheimer's Disease Center)
  • Bruce Yankner, MD, PhD (Professor, Genetics & Neurology, Harvard Medical School)

Moderators and Medical & Scientific Committee Members
  • Sanford Auerbach, MD (Director of Behavioral Neurology BMC; Director Sleep Disorder Center BMC; Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School)
  • Deborah Blacker, MD, SCD (Professor, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School; Director, Gerontology Research Unit, MGH; Psychiatrist, MA Alzheimer's Disease Research Center)
  • Brad Dickerson, MD, MMSc (Director, Frontotemporal Dementia Unit and Neuroimaging Group, Gerontology Research Unit, MGH; Professor, Harvard Medical School; Medical & Scientific Committee Member, Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter)
  • Brent Forester, MD, MSc (Director, Mood Disorders Division, Geriatric Psychiatry Research program and Site Director, Harvard Medical School Psychiatry Core Clerkship, McLean Hospital; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School).

Click Here to View Researcher Details and Biographies

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

6:00 pm Reception
7:00 pm Program
The Westin Waltham Hotel (map)
70 Third Avenue, Waltham, MA
Route I-95/128, Exit 27A, Third Avenue/Totten Pond Road
Complimentary parking in garage

Free and open to the public. Click HERE to register online.
Forester |  Abraham |  Auerbach |  Blacker  |  Dickerson |  Hurley

Lemere |  Lombardo |  Okereke |  Rentz |  Stern |  Wolfe |  Wolozin

Brent Forester MD, MSc

His clinical research experience has involved brain imaging in late life mood disorders and psychopharmacology trials in bipolar disorder, geriatric depression and the management of agitation in patients with dementia. He specializes in the assessment and treatment of older adults with depression, bipolar disorder, and the behavioral complications of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

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Dr. Brent Forester is a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Psychiatrist at McLean Hospital in Belmont, NH. He is also the Director of the Geriatric Mood Disorders Research Program, the Psychiatry Clerkship Site Director for Harvard Medical School, and the Coordinator of Residency Training in Geriatric Psychiatry at McLean Hospital. His clinical research experience has involved psychopharmacology trials in bipolar disorder, geriatric depression and the management of agitation in patients with dementia.

Dr. Forester completed his medical education at Dartmouth Medical School in 1992 and later completed his general psychiatry residency at McLean Hospital in 1996. In 2009, he completed the Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Clinician Investigator Training Program (CITP) fellowship with a Master of Medical Science degree.

Dr. Forester has been a member of the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Advisory Board since 2009 where he currently serves as the Chair of the Committee. He has been involved with the Alzheimer’s Association extensively.

Dr. Brent Forester has been a major contributor and leader in his research field and we are pleased to have him on the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Committee Advisory Board.

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Carmela Abraham PhD

Dr. Abraham’s research is exclusively focused on finding a drug that protects the nerve cells that die in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Abraham has also identified genes that play crucial roles in brain dysfunction leading to cognitive decline. She is particularly interested in a protein called klotho—popularly known as the "anti-aging protein." The Abraham laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms leading to normal brain aging and the pathological processes that culminate in Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

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Dr. Carmela Abraham is a professor of biochemistry and pharmacology at Boston University School of Medicine and a primary investigator at Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Abraham received her Bachelor of Science in biology from Tel Aviv University and her PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University.

She is the recipient of The Neuroscience Education and Research Foundation Award for an Outstanding Promise as a Young Alzheimer Investigator (1990). She has received two of the highest awards from the Alzheimer's Association—The Zenith Award (1994) and the Temple Award (1999). At the Abraham Lab, Dr. Abraham and her team are investigating drugs that can elevate levels of klotho in the brain, which they hope will eliminate the damage that comes with aging, and the cognitive decline that is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Sanford Auerbach MD

Dr. Auerbach has extensive knowledge in the areas of neurology and sleep disorders. His research interests have been devoted to sleep medicine and behavioral neurology with an emphasis on dementia. He is an active researcher in the Dementia Project of the Framingham study and has participated in multiple foundation-, industry-, and NIH-funded research grant projects.

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Dr. Sanford Auerbach is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and Director of both the Behavioral Neurology Program and the Sleep Disorders Center at Boston Medical Center (BMC). Here, he acts as Director of the Sleep Disorders Center, a Chair of the IRB at Boston University Medical Center and Boston Medical Center as well as the Director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Training Program. In addition, he is the Medical Director at LaBoure School for Electroneurodiagnostic Technology. He completed his medical education at New York Medical College in 1975. In 1979, Dr. Auerbach completed his neurology residency at Boston University Medical Center and Boston VA Medical Center. He is a board certified neurologist and certified sleep specialist.

Dr. Auerbach has been a member of the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Advisory Board since 1997, serving as Co-Chair and Chair for the Committee numerous times. He has participated in multiple education and outreach programs in the Boston, MA area including participation in the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association A Map Through the Maze Regional Alzheimer’s Conference as a lecturer various times. This year, as the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Chapter celebrates its 35th year, Dr. Auerbach will serve as a moderator at the 2015 Spring Research Forum. At this event, he will be discussing various cutting edge topics of Alzheimer’s research.

Dr. Sanford Auerbach has been a major contributor and leader in his research field and we are pleased to have him on the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Committee Advisory Board.

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Deborah Blacker MD ScD

Dr. Blacker is interested in risk for and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease: she was instrumental in the development of the online Alzheimer’s genetics database AlzGene, and now heads a similar project to develop AlzRisk, an analogous database of non-genetic risk factors. Dr. Blacker has expertise in the clinical evaluation of patients and research subjects with memory disorders, and in the design and analysis of genetic and longitudinal studies of environmental and genetic risk factors for AD and cognitive decline.

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Dr. Deborah Blacker is Associate Chief for Research of the Department of Psychiatry at Mass General Hospital (MGH), where she directs the Gerontology Research Unit and serves as co-leader of the Clinical Core and acting leader of the Outreach, Recruitment, and Education Core for the AD Research Center (ADRC) there, as well serving as leader of the Analytic Core of a Program Projec.. She holds a secondary appointment at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), where she directs the Psychiatric Epidemiology Concentration, co-leads an NIMH-sponsored training grant in Psychiatric Genetics and Translational Research, and teaches courses on Assessment Methods for Psychiatric Research and Issues in the Reporting of Clinical Trials. Dr. Blacker was instrumental in the development of the online Alzheimer’s genetics database AlzGene, and now heads a similar project to develop AlzRisk, an analogous database of non-genetic risk factors. She completed her medical education at Harvard Medical School in 1984 and later completed her Doctor of Science in Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Blacker is a member of the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Advisory Board. In 2007, the Alzheimer’s Association awarded an Investigator-Initiated Research Grant in which she completed a cross sectional and longitudinal analysis of Alzheimer’s disease quantitative phenotypes. Dr. Blacker has participated in extensive educational and outreach programs in the Boston, MA area. This year, as the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Chapter celebrates its 35th year, Dr. Blacker will serve as a moderator at the 2015 Spring Research Forum. At this event, she will be discussing various cutting edge topics of Alzheimer’s research.

Dr. Deborah Blacker has been a major contributor and leader in her field of research and we are pleased to have her on the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Advisory Board.

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Brad Dickerson, MD, MMSc (MGH, Harvard Medical School)

Dr Dickerson performs research using advanced imaging and behavioral testing technologies to better understand the earliest changes in the brain and behavior associated with Alzheimer's disease, Frontotemporal dementia, progressive aphasias, and related disorders. In addition, he studies normal aging and brain function. Ultimately, he hopes to use the insights gained from research to improve diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

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Dr. Brad Dickerson is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Frontotemporal Disorders Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He is also Co-Director of the Imaging Subcore of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at MGH. Dr. Dickerson has extensive knowledge in the areas of mild cognitive impairment, the neurology of aging, neuroimaging, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive neuroscience. He completed his medical education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine in 1999. He later completed his residency in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Dr. Dickerson has led in multiple foundation-, industry-, and NIH-funded research grant projects. He has published extensively in the field of neurodegenerative disease, neuroimaging, aging, and cognitive neuroscience.

Dr. Dickerson has been a member of the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Advisory Board since 2004. In 2007, the Alzheimer’s Association awarded a New Investigator Research Grant to Dr. Dickerson in which he completed a pilot study of ultrahigh resolution MRI’s in the medical temporal lobes of those with mild cognitive impairment. In 2009, the Alzheimer’s Association again awarded Dr. Dickerson with an Investigator-Initiated Research Grant from which he completed a study of quantitative neuroanatomic biomarkers for dementia differential diagnoses.

In 2003, Dr. Dickerson developed his own laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, which is closely connected with the Martinos Imaging Center and the Massachusetts Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Much of his work is focused on understanding aspects of normal brain anatomy and function and how these relate to memory and other abilities. Dr. Brad Dickerson is a major contributor and leader in the neuroscience research field.

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Ann Hurley RN DNSc

Dr. Ann Hurley has held clinical, educational, administrative, and research positions at several Academic Medical Centers in the Boston, Massachusetts area. For over 20 years she collaborated with high-level clinicians and a research team to conduct a program of interdisciplinary research targeted to improve care for persons with advanced dementia and disseminating new knowledge in peer-reviewed journals, chapters and books.

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Dr. Hurley is currently Senior Nurse Scientist, Emerita, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Nursing Excellence and Research Scientist, Division of General Medicine. She received her BS in nursing from Boston College, her MS in nursing from Boston University and Doctor of Nursing Science degree from Boston University.

Dr. Hurley was adjunct faculty in nursing programs at Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern University. Dr. Hurley was the Associate Director for Education and Program Evaluation at the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the Bedford, MA Veterans Administration Medical Center and Director of the Education and Information Transfer Core of the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center

She developed her program of Alzheimer’s disease research with Dr. Ladislav Volicer who was Clinical Director of the GRECC during the time of the research she will present shortly was conducted. For over 20 years she collaborated with Dr. Volicer and team to conduct a program of interdisciplinary research targeted to improve care for persons with advanced dementia and disseminating new knowledge in peer-reviewed journals, chapters and books.

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Cynthia Lemere MS, PhD

Dr. Lemere is an outstanding neurobiologist who has dedicated her research to new approaches for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Her interests have shifted to study the role of inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease. Over the past several years, her major work has focused on developing a safe and effective amyloid-beta vaccine for the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Dr. Lemere is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Neuroscientist at the Center for Neurological Diseases in the Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She later started her own lab, the Laboratory of Cynthia Lemere, where she studies the role of inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Lemere completed her Master of Science in Neurobiology at the State University of New York at Albany and went on to receive her PhD in Pathology from Boston University School of Medicine. A majority of her research work has been dedicated to developing a safe and effective vaccine for the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

For more than sixteen years she has dedicated her research to new approaches for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2000, the Alzheimer’s Association recognized Dr. Lemere with an Investigator Initiated Research Grant where she studied the role of antibodies in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s association recognized Dr. Lemere again in 2004 with a New Investigator Research Grant in which she studied how microglia activation might be potentially therapeutic for Alzheimer’s disease. In 2006, she was recognized by the Association once more with an Investigator Initiated Research Grant in which she investigated the effects of a synthetic compound based upon an extract from Chinese celery seed on memory & Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis.

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Nancy Emerson Lombardo PhD

Dr. Emerson Lombardo has been dedicated to researching how nutrition, exercise, and other healthy lifestyles can positively affect a person’s cognition and mood. She has extensive research experience and she is an expert at facilitating collegial, collaborative innovative efforts in clinical practice, research, education, and public policy.

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Dr. Emerson Lombardo is the Founder and President of HealthCare Insights, LLC & Brain Services TM. She is the Developer of Memory Preservation Nutrition, a nutritional program which helps people reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s disease, to slow the progression of the disease, and improve the lives of those who are already living with Alzheimer’s. In addition, she is an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and an investigator with the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Dr. Emerson Lombardo is a Co-Founder of both the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Disease International. Dr. Emerson Lombardo completed her undergraduate degree at Cornell University and later completed both her MA and PhD in Political Science at Yale University.

Dr. Emerson Lombardo has been a member of the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Committee Advisory Board since 2004. Dr. Emerson Lombardo has experience in working with innovative interventions for frail elders and caregivers, educational programs, surveys and policy analyses on mental health issues of the elderly, and evaluations using both qualitative and quantitative methods. In 1999, the Alzheimer’s Association helped Dr. Emerson Lombardo in funding a clinical trial that looked in depth at using acupuncture as a means of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. In 2009, the Alzheimer’s Association recognized Dr. Emerson Lombardo with an Investigator Initiated Research Grant in which she studied how a unique combination of nutritional supplements was tolerated among older adults.

In addition to her research work, Dr. Emerson Lombardo has presented to a variety of professional, clinical, and lay audiences around the region. She offers consultation and educational services about her various research topics to individuals, families, and healthcare providers.

Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo has been a major contributor and leader in her field of research and we are pleased to have her as a member of the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Committee Advisory Board.

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Olivia Okereke MD

Dr. Okereke’s research goals are to employ epidemiologic research methods to identify modifiable risk factors (e.g., diet, lifestyle), as well as related biomarkers, involved in healthy mental aging and to translate and apply knowledge gained into novel, effective strategies for prevention of major adverse mental aging outcomes, such as anxiety, depression and cognitive decline.

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Dr. Olivia Okereke is an Associate Research Epidemiologist, and Associate Research Physician, and an Associate Psychiatrist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is an Affiliate Clinical Psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Psychiatrist at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA. In addition, Dr. Okereke is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. She is board certified in both psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry.

Dr. Okereke completed her undergraduate degree at Harvard University studying Biology. She went on to complete her medical education at Yale University School of Medicine and later her MS in Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. Her efforts centered on the epidemiology of cognitive decline and depression will ultimately help guide prevention strategies for millions of older adults.

Dr. Okereke has been a member of the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Committee Advisory Board since 2007. The Alzheimer’s Association recognized Dr. Okereke with a New Investigator Research Grant in 2010 in which she developed a low-cost, efficient method for diagnosis of cognitive disorders which were directly applicable to large-scale epidemiologic studies and prevention trials in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Okereke focuses her research on finding modifiable health and lifestyle factors that translate to prevention of cognitive decline and depression in late-life.

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Dorene Rentz PsyD

Dorene Rentz is a clinical neuropsychologist with a specialty in the early detection of cognitive changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease in individuals with high cognitive reserve. Her clinical focus is on the neuropsychological evaluation of individuals with all types of behavioral and cognitive disorders. Her research interests include early neuropyschological detection of Alzheimer's disease, cognitive reserve, cognitive correlates of amyloid deposition in normal older adults.

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Dr. Rentz is the Co-Director of the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Director of Neuropsychology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. She has a specialty in the early detection of Alzheimer's disease and the influence of cognitive reserve in prodromal Alzheimer's disease. In collaboration with other researchers, Dr. Rentz has explored the impact of cognitive reserve on amyloid burden using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) with Pittsburgh Compound B. She has also developed a challenging Face-Name Test that may be useful for detecting those individuals with early amyloid burden.

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Robert Stern PhD

His other major areas of funded research include the assessment and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, the cognitive effects of chemotherapy in the elderly, thyroid-brain relationships, and driving and dementia.


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Dr. Stern is a Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Anatomy & Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine, where he is also Director of the Clinical Core of the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and Director of Clinical Research for the BU Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center. He is also a Clinical Neuropsychologist at Boston Medical Center and the Site Director & Steering Committee Member of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study.

Dr. Stern has been a member of the Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee since 2007. In 1999, he was awarded an Individual Research Grant by the Alzheimer’s Association in which he studied donepezil with and without thyroid hormone in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Dementia. Dr. Stern has received several NIH and other national grants and has published over 250 journal articles, chapters, and abstracts.

Dr. Stern has also participated in various community outreach and educational events through the Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Chapter including in the event “A Map Through the Maze”. He has been a moderator, keynote speaker, and invited researcher in various regional events in the area.

Dr. Robert Stern has been a major leader and contributor in his field of research and we are pleased to have him on the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Advisory Board.

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Michael Wolfe PhD

Dr. Michael Wolfe is a clinical researcher in the departments of neurology, biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His lab, the Wolfe Lab, combines chemistry and biology toward understanding the molecular basis of dementias, especially Alzheimer's disease, and developing prototype therapeutic agents.

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Dr. Wolfe received his PhD in medicinal chemistry from the University of Kansas and completed his postdoctoral training in cell biology at the National Institutes of Health. After five years on the faculty at the University of Tennessee, he joined Harvard Medical School as Associate Professor of Neurology.

In 2001, Dr. Wolfe received an Investigator Initiated Research Grant from the Alzheimer’s Association for his work in researching presenilinase. In 2002, he was awarded an Investigator Initiated Research Grant for his work in probing an initial substrate binding site of gamma-secretase. In 2005, he received an Investigator Initiated Research Grant from the Alzheimer’s Association for his research in inhibitors of amyloid production. In 2008 Dr. Wolfe received a Zenith Fellows Award Program from the Alzheimer’s Association for his study of the regulation of RNA splicing in Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

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Benjamin Wolozin MD PhD

Dr. Wolozin’s research interests include investigations into both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. His work on Alzheimer’s disease examines the role of cholesterol in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease, and stems from his discovery in 2000 during which subjects taking the cholesterol-lowering medicines had a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. His work on Parkinson’s disease examines the interactions between genes implicated in the disease, such as LRRK2, alpha-synuclein, and environmental factors.

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Dr. Benjamin Wolozin is a Professor of Neurology and Pharmacology at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Wolozin completed his medical education at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York where he also completed his PhD in Neuroscience. His interests focus on the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

In 2007, Dr. Wolozin was awarded an Investigator Initiated Research Grant in which he studied how certain proteins interact with the parts of the cell involved in protein folding; more specifically how normal cells are protected against damage and how cells become damaged in diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association awarded Dr. Wolozin again in 2013 with a Zenith Fellows Award Program Grant, one of the largest given by the Alzheimer’s Association, for his work on tau, how RNA-binding proteins change the characteristics of tau, and its potential increase in its tendency to form tangles.

The Wolozin Laboratory’s goal is to understand the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases, and then to use this understanding to develop novel interventions for disease. Dr. Benjamin Wolozin is a major contributor and leader in the field of neuroscience.

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Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.