University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, Texas
Dr. Kelly Dineley, attended the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where she received her BA in 1983 (Biology) and her MS in 1986 (Cell Biology). In 1998, she received her PhD in Neuroscience from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. J David Sweatt, Dr. Dineley joined the faculty ranks at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in 2003. She has steadily funded her research with grants from the National Institutes of Health, the John Sealy Memorial Endowment Fund for Biomedical Research, the Dunn Foundation, the Brown Foundation, Inc., the Alzheimer’s Association, the Bright Focus Foundation, the Peter F. McManus Foundation, and the Mohn Foundation.
Dr. Dineley studies:
- Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and related proteionopathies: amyloidopathies, tauopathies, synucleinopathies
- Cocaine abuse and addiction biology
- Animal models utilizing genetic and pharmacological manipulations
- Omics and bioinformatics approaches for the identification and validation of novel mechanisms that underlie memory and cognitive deficits induced by aging, neurodegenerative disease, and drug abuse
- Nuclear receptors (PPAR), nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, ERK MAPK, CREB, CBP, calcineurin
- Protein-protein interactions
Dr. Dineley lives in Galveston with her husband, Dr. Larry Denner also on faculty at UTMB, and their fifteen-year-old son, Axel.
Co-Chair: Rema Raman, PhD, Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute, University of Southern California
Professor of Neurology
Director, ATRI Biostatistics
Rema Raman, PhD, is a tenured Professor of Neurology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) and the Director of Biostatistics of USC’s Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute (ATRI). Her statistical research interests are in efficient clinical trial design and monitoring approaches (risk-based monitoring, data visualization), and correlated data analysis topics (impact of missing data, analysis of ordinal data). Dr. Raman has extensive experience as a biostatistician in biomedical research projects, providing biostatistics and data management leadership to the design, coordination, conduct and analyses of clinical trials and large observational studies. She has served or currently serves as the primary statistician for several, multi-center clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease, acute stroke, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury. She is a member of several NIH study sections and serves as the Biostatistician on several Data and Safety Monitoring Boards.
Programs Co-Chair: Ines Moreno-Gonzalez
Dr. Ines Moreno-Gonzalez is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at The George and Cynthia Mitchell Center for Alzheimer’s disease and related Brain Disorders at the McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) since 2013.
She received her BSc in Biology in 2003, a Master’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology in 2005, and her PhD degree in Neuroscience in 2009 at the University of Malaga (Spain). Dr. Moreno has been trained in several neuroscience-leading international laboratories, including the department of Neurological Diseases Research in Sanofi-Aventis (France), the School of Pharmacy at the University of Seville (Spain), and the Institute of Bio-Engineering, University of Applied Sciences in Geneva (Switzerland).
Her PhD thesis focused in three main molecular and cellular aspects of Alzheimer’s neuropathology: amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition, brain inflammation, and neuronal degeneration. She demonstrated that extracellular Aβ and the associated neuroinflammation are major contributors to early neuronal loss and synaptic pathology in an Alzheimer’s mouse model, providing new evidence of the heterogeneous nature of the disease pathology. She also reported the dual role, both protective and toxic, of the inflammatory process during the time course of the disease. As a result, she provided important biomarkers to assess the efﬁcacy of potential early Alzheimer’s treatments.
From 2010 to 2013, she was a postdoctoral fellow at UTHealth. Her postdoctoral work has been concentrated in disease-modifying factors that may accelerate the onset or progression of the disease. To this end, she analyzed the effect of smoking in Alzheimer’s pathology by exposing transgenic mouse models to cigarette smoke and observed that smoke inhalation was able to exacerbate Alzheimer’s related pathological features. Additionally, she has recently demonstrated that type 2 diabetes may potentiate Alzheimer’s pathology through cross-seeding of misfolded proteins, e.g. amylin and Aβ, suggesting a mechanism to explain the high coexistence of both diseases. Furthermore, she is currently concluding studies to determine if consumption or inoculation of cattle tissue harboring amyloidogenic aggregates can worsen Alzheimer's neuropathology. This work was funded by the Alzheimer’s Association.
Continuing with the analysis of risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Moreno is currently studying the contribution of misfolded aggregates on the development of Alzheimer’s pathology after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) event. To this end, she is analyzing the formation of tau aggregates after repetitive mild TBI events using in vitro and in vivo approaches as well as the presence of misfolded proteins in blood and cerebrospinal fluid as biomarkers for disease progression. This work has been recently funded by the Department of Defense. In addition, she was awarded with a grant from the Alzheimer’s Association to develop an imaging test to detect AD-like pathological abnormalities after TBI to detect and track the progression of neuropathological changes. Her working hypothesis is that TBI pathology could be monitored using a combined PET/CT imaging for amyloid beta deposition, tau hyper-phosphorylation, and neuroinflammation.
Programs Co-Chair: Nicola T Lautenschlager, MD, FRANZCP
Nicola T Lautenschlager, MD, FRANZCP, is the University of Melbourne Professor & Chair of Psychiatry of Old Age in the Department of Psychiatry. She is the Head of the Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age (AUPOA; WWW.AUPOA.Unimelb.edu.au). Nicola is also the Director of Research for the North Western Mental Health, Aged Persons Mental Health Program at Melbourne Health. She is an academic old age psychiatrist who received her undergraduate and postgraduate training at the Technical University in Munich, Germany. From 10/00 Nicola worked at the University of Western Australia in Perth until she moved to Melbourne in 07/08. Her current research focus is in the area of dementia risk reduction and non-pharmacological interventions aiming to improve cognitive and mental health outcomes of older adults.
Communications Chair: Anne Marie Morgan, MPH, CPT NorthShore University HealthSystem Center for Brain Health
Anne Marie Morgan is a Sr. Clinical Research Associate at NorthShore University HealthSystem and acts as project manager for the Center for Brain Health, whose mission is to preserve and improve brain health by preventing neurodegenerative disease.
Mrs. Morgan holds a masters degree in public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she specialized in Gerontology, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. She is also a certified personal trainer and senior fitness specialist. Her interests include brain health epidemiology, social determinants of health, behavior change, and lifestyle modifications to promote brain health.
Immediate Past Chair: Laura Baker, PhD
Associate Professor of Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, Neurology, and Social Sciences & Health Policy at Wake Forest School of Medicine
Dr. Laura Baker is Associate Director of the NIA Wake Forest Alzheimer’s Disease Center that supports existing and new research focused on cerebrovascular and metabolic contributions to Alzheimer’s, and new strategies to prevent and treat the disease. Dr. Baker also leads efforts for the Center to provide Alzheimer-related education and resources for the community and healthcare providers in North Carolina, and for other groups across the U.S. One primary focus in these efforts is to increase diversity of participants enrolled in Alzheimer’s research.
Over the past 25 years, Dr. Baker’s research has focused on identifying new ways to slow and prevent the disease in older adults. In the last 15 years, her focus has been on lifestyle interventions that have the potential to restore health not only for the body, but also for the brain. This approach is gaining popularity among scientists as one of our most promising interventions with the potential to prevent or slow disease.
Dr. Baker is now leading two large national clinical trials to test whether lifestyle interventions can protect brain health in older adults at increased risk for cognitive decline and dementia. The EXERT trial tests the effects of moderate/intense aerobic exercise on cognition and Alzheimer brain biomarkers in adults with mild cognitive impairment, and U.S. POINTER, modeled on the Finnish FINGER study, will test whether an intensive lifestyle intervention that involves exercise, diet, cognitive stimulation, and increased medical monitoring protects brain health in cognitively normal but at risk older adults.