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Dementias of Aging Branch

The Dementias of Aging Branch supports studies of genetics, epidemiology, clinical course, diagnosis and assessment, drug discovery and development, and clinical interventions in the dementias of later life, especially Alzheimer's disease. Translational Studies are supported in the area of drug discovery, preclinical therapy development, and systems biology approaches to identification and validation of therapeutic targets for drug development. Population Studies are supported in the epidemiology of cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer's disease. Clinical Studies focus on the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and management of individuals with or at-risk for cognitive decline, MCI, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Research on diagnostics is aimed at the development and evaluation of reliable and valid multidimensional diagnostic procedures and instruments including imaging and other biomarkers and clinical and neuropsychological instruments for diagnosis, progression, and response to treatment. Research in the treatment and management of the earliest pathological changes of cognitive dysfunction, MCI, AD, and other dementias seeks to develop the understanding required to slow their course, treat and manage the cognitive and behavioral manifestations, and, ultimately, to delay the onset of and to prevent them. Approaches include clinical trials of pharmacologic agents, behavioral, and environmental interventions, as well as preclinical drug discovery and development studies leading to novel compounds for prevention and treatment of these disorders. The maintenance of a research infrastructure is critical, and the Research Centers component of this branch supports Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers and Alzheimer's Disease Center Core programs, that provide a multifaceted approach to research, training, and educational activities on Alzheimer's disease and several multi-center collaborative research projects.

Laurie M. Ryan, Ph.D.
Branch Chief

Program Directors:

Dallas W. Anderson, Ph.D.
John K. Hsiao, M.D.
Yuan Luo, Ph.D.
Kristina A. McLinden, Ph.D.
Marilyn M. Miller, Ph.D.
Suzana S. Petanceska, Ph.D.
Lorenzo M. Refolo, Ph.D.
Laurie M. Ryan, Ph.D.
Nina Silverberg, Ph.D.

Senior Scientific Program Analysts

Cerise Elliott, Ph.D.
Charlene A. Liggins, MPH, MPA

AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow

Zane Martin, Ph.D.

Research Program Analysts

Katerina Mancevska
Alvin D. McKelvy, Ph.D.
Cristan A. Smith, Ph.D.
Erika D. Tarver

Genetic Studies

Genetics and Epigenetics of Alzheimer’s Disease
Program Director: Marilyn M. Miller, Ph.D.

Population Studies

Population Studies and Epidemiology of Alzheimer's Disease
Program Director: Dallas W. Anderson, Ph.D.

Translational Studies

Target Discovery and Validation
Systems Biology and Systems Pharmacology
Program Director: Suzana S. Petanceska, Ph.D.

AD Drug Discovery and Preclinical Drug Development
Program Director: Lorenzo M. Refolo, Ph.D.

Clinical Studies

Diagnosis, Neuroimaging, Biomarkers of AD, and AD Neuroimaging Initiative
Program Director: John K. Hsiao, M.D.

AD Clinical Trials - Pharmacological Interventions
Program Director: Laurie M. Ryan, Ph.D.

AD Clinical Trials - Non-Pharmacological Interventions
Program Director: Kristina A. McLinden, Ph.D.

Alzheimer’s Disease Centers Program

Program Director: Nina Silverberg, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator: Cerise Elliott, Ph.D.
Program Contact: Yuan Luo, Ph.D.

Technology

Program Director: Yuan Luo, Ph.D.

Portfolio Analysis and Intergovernmental Partnerships

Program Contact: Charlene A. Liggins, MPH, MPA