PIA Executive Committee:
Biofluid Based Biomarkers
Chair: Henrik Zetterberg, MD
Henrik Zetterberg is a Professor of Neurochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and University College London, UK, and a Clinical Chemist at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg. He is Head of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, and his main research focus and clinical interest is fluid biomarkers for central nervous system diseases, Alzheimer’s disease in particular. He has published more than 900 papers and has received numerous awards.
Vice Chair: Charlotte Teunissen, PhD
Charlotte Teunissen’s mission is l, i.e. to improve care of patients with neurological diseases by developing body fluid biomarkers for diagnosis, stratification, prognosis and monitoring treatment responses. In fact she started with this line of research at the beginning of her PhD thesis. Her studies cover the entire spectrum of biomarker development. The group (>30 researchers) starts with biomarker identification, hypothesis based as well as by -omics methods. They put strong effort in assay development and analytical validation for the most promising biomarkers. In the next step, the group performs extensive internal and external clinical validation to ultimately arrive at implementation of biomarkers in clinical practice. Her lab has In house state of the art technologies, such as Quanterix ultrasensitive SimOA technology, Mesoscale technology, Western Blot and in vitro technologies for clinical routine lab analysis. These studies are all facilitated due to Charlotte’s responsibility for a large well-characterised biobank, of >4000 paired CSF and serum samples of dementia patients (a.o. Alzheimer, Frontotemporal, Lewy Bodies) and controls with subjective complaints, that visit the memory clinic Alzheimer Center Amsterdam. To ensure the quality of our biosamples, they perform scientific studies to detect e.g. sentinel biomarkers, and the lab and biobank are CLIA and ISO15189 certified. Charlotte has always collaborated strongly in the field, as she states that collaboration is a prerequisite for performing high quality biomarker studies, visible in her lead in several standardization efforts, the BioMS network and now in the Society for Neurochemistry and routine CSF analysis and the Alzheimer Association-Global Biomarker Standardization consortium.
Programs Chair/Executive Committee Member: Andreas Jeromin, PhD
Andreas Jeromin, PhD, has led biomarker programs with increased responsibility in academia and industry for more than 25 years. He is co-author of more than 200 publications and a member of several strategic biomarker efforts. Andreas Jeromin is a medical and scientific advisor to Quanterix Corp.
Communications Chair: Chi Udeh-Momoh, PhD
Dr Chi Udeh-Momoh is a Neuroscientist based at Imperial College London. She is co-Investigator, scientific coordinator and Programme Manager of a large-scale, longitudinal dementia-prevention programme (The CHARIOT:PRO, studies) with > 2000 cognitively healthy older adults screened, and data on imaging and fluid biomarkers as well as neurocognitive and lifestyle factors collected at high throughput. Having completed a competitive CASE PhD studentship in Neuroscience and Neuroendocrinology at the MRC Centre for Synaptic Plasticity at the University of Bristol, her current research focuses on the brain-immune-endocrine system interplay in the aetiology and pathophysiology of neurocognitive disorders, particularly Alzheimer’s disease. She uses translational research methodologies to address gaps in current understanding of underlying bio-psychosocial factors involved in manifestation of pathology and resultant presentation of clinical symptoms, primarily in the context of brain and cognitive reserve-related mechanisms, and has published as lead, senior and corresponding author in this field.
Executive Committee Member: Laura Baker, PhD
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.
Executive Committee Member: Sam Gandy, MD, PhD
Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, is Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he is also Director of the Barbara and Maurice Deane Mount Sinai Center for Wellness and Cognitive Health. He is Director of the Mount Sinai Center for NFL Neurological Care and the incumbent of the Mount Sinai Endowed Chair in Alzheimer’s Research. He is also an Attending Neurologist in the Mount Sinai Health System and at the James J Peters VA Medical Center.
Dr. Gandy is a member of the Faculty of 1000 Biology and Associate Editor of the journal Molecular Neurodegeneration. He is a member of Editorial Boards of the journals Molecular Psychiatry, Frontiers in Neurodegeneration, and The Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Gandy is a member of the Research Board of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, and he is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of Alzheimer’s Disease International. From 1990-1999, Dr Gandy served first as Vice Chair and then as Chair of the National Medical and Scientific Advisory Councils of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Executive Committee Member: Sylvain Lehmann, MD, PhD
Prof. Sylvain Lehmann was trained as an M.D. (1991, Strasbourg University, School of Medicine, Fr) and a Ph.D. (1992: Cellular and Molecular Biology). He was the recipient of a Howard Hughes fellowship for physician and spent four years in Washington University, USA as a postdoctoral fellow and a research assistant professor (1993-1996). There he started working on Prion and Alzheimer Disease using cell culture and cell biological tools. From 1997-2002 he was an INSERM Senior Researcher and in 2003 obtained a position of professor of Biochemistry at the Medical School of Montpellier. His clinical unit at the University Hospital Center (CHU) of Montpellier is in charge of the biological diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders and he recently set up a reference Neurological biobank. His laboratory integrates the “Clinical Proteomics Platform” of the CHU and is involved in innovative program on biomarker discovery and detection using mass spectrometry and biochips. He has a long experience in national and international program as coordinator and partner of French and EU programs. He is the vice-president of the “Société Française de Biologie Clinique”(SFBC) and the head of the Montpellier Center of Excellence in Neurodegenerative Diseases (http://www.coen.org/). His current research interest is in the development and validation of innovative approaches (mass spectrometry, ultrasensitive, conformational assays, AI) to discover and validate biofluid biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.
Executive Committee Member: Alberto Lleó, MD, PhD
Dr. Lleó is currently the director of the Memory Unit in the Neurology Department at Hospital Sant Pau (Barcelona). He obtained a M.D. and a doctorate at the University of Barcelona. Dr. Lleó completed a 4-year neurology residency at Hospital Sant Pau and a clinical fellowship in Memory and Movement disorders at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Lleó currently combines clinical care with the direction of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers at Hospital Sant Pau. The main focus of his research is the identification of fluid biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, he is working on the implementation of digital neuropathology methods, with a special interest in synaptic pathology. After a decade of research in CSF biomarkers, Dr. Lleó has implemented this technique in clinical routine in Sant Pau and has helped many others to do the same. He is the PI of the SPIN (Sant Pau Initiative on Neurodegeneration) cohort, which has been instrumental in the validation of several fluid and imaging biomarkers. His group is focused on characterizing additional CSF markers, such as inflammatory or synaptic proteins, as well as plasma markers to improve diagnostic algorithms. Dr. Lleo is member of the steering committee of CIBERNED, a network of excellence in neurodegenerative disease research, and member of the editorial board of Neurology and Brain Communications. Dr. Lleó is the PI of several projects funded by national and international agencies. He has published over 200 manuscripts, is author on a patent on synaptic markers and has presented at multiple national and international conferences.
Executive Committee Member: Robert Rissman, PhD
The goal of my research is to investigate the mechanisms underlying neuropathology in various neurodegenerative diseases. The lab was initially focused on Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and understanding how central corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) pathways interplay with peripheral stress signaling and contribute to neuronal vulnerability and AD neuropathology. This work is still ongoing and is now the primary focus on my VA lab. In my UCSD lab we study the mechanistic pathways that link Parkinson's Disease (PD) pathology (e.g. synuclein) to AD in animal models. We are also focused on novel biomarker discovery, both biofluid and retinal-based. Our lab has a large focus on understanding the role of neuronal exosomes and other blood based biomarkers in diagnosing AD and PD. For all our work we use transgenic mice, in vivo pharmacology and human postmortem tissues.
I am the founding and current Director of the Biomarker Core for the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS). In 2018, the UCSD ADCS NIA grant (1991-2018) mechanism was replaced by the NIA Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Consortium (ACTC) grant which was ultimately awarded to USC ATRI in San Diego. I established the USC ATRI Biomarker Division/Core in San Diego in 2017 as a stand-alone facility comprised by a wet laboratory and a biospecimen bank. The biospecimen bank team processes blood and CSF samples from patients who participate in ATRI and ACTC trials.
I am the Director of UCSD's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) neuropathology and biomarker cores. The cores collect blood/plasma, DNA, CSF and postmortem brain specimens from participants who are enrolled in UCSD's longitudinal study. Core neuropathologists analyze the tissues and document all relevant pathologies. All tissues and fluid samples are available for requests and collaborations
Junior Research Member: Marta del Campo, PhD
Dr. Marta del Campo obtained her PhD in 2015 as part of the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Joint doctorate program at the VUmc in Amsterdam and in collaboration with the University of Coimbra. Her main scientific interest is to understand the proteostasis changes that underlie the different dementias and translate this knowledge into applicable diagnostic tests and potential therapeutic targets. Dr. del Campo has collaborated with high-qualified researchers from different national and international institutes. She has participated in the organisation of international conferences and reviewed multiple scientific journals and competitive grant proposals. The work published by Dr. del Campo reflects her ability to perform multidisciplinary projects involving molecular, pathological and clinical data. Dr. del Campo is committed to perform and promote translational research to ultimately contribute on the development of scientific knowledge within the field of dementia.
Immediate Past Chair: Michelle Mielke, PhD
Michelle M. Mielke, Ph.D. received a Bachelor’s of Science in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in Neuroepidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Health Sciences Research, Division of Epidemiology, and a Professor in the Department of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Mielke works as a translational epidemiologist to further understanding of the etiology and epidemiology of neurodegenerative diseases. A primary focus of her research is the identification of fluid biomarkers for the diagnosis, prediction, and progression of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Another focus of Dr. Mielke’s research is on understanding the sex and gender differences in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. She directs the Mayo Clinic Specialized Center of Research Excellence on Sex Differences, with a specific focus on abrupt endocrine disruption, accelerated aging, and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Mielke is the past-chair of the Biofluid-Based Biomarker Professional Interest Area under the Alzheimer’s Association, co-Chair of the Society of Women’s Health Alzheimer’s Disease Network, a member of the Food and Drug Administration Peripheral and Central Nervous System Advisory Committee, and Senior Associate Editor of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. She is the PI of several NIH- and Foundation-funded clinical- and epidemiological-based grants. She has published over 200 manuscripts and has presented at multiple national and international conferences and consortiums.