PIA Executive Committee:
Clinical Trials Advancement and Methods
Chair: Gregory Jicha, MD, PhD
Dr. Jicha graduated from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University with an M.D. and a Ph.D. Pathology in 2000. He then completed a medical internship, neurology residency, and behavioral neurology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN from 2000-2005. Dr. Jicha is a Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Neurology and Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky (UK). Dr. Jicha holds the Robert T & Nyles Y McCowan Endowed Chair in Alzheimer’s Research at UK.
Dr. Jicha serves as an Associate Center Director and leads the Clinical Core of the UK , NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Center. He also serves as the Medical Director of KY Telecare and directs the Telemedicine Cognitive Clinic at UK, designed to reach out to rural populations across KY for both clinical and research-related activities in the area of AD and related disorders. He is the principle investigator at UK for the National Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Group, the Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute, and the NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial Consortium, and also serves on the Clinical Task Force and Steering Committee for the National Institute of Aging Alzheimer’s Disease Center Program. He is PI on multiple active NIH-funded clinical trials with a primary research focus on translational drug development for Alzheimer’s disease, vascular cognitive impairment, and related disorders.
Vice Co-Chair: Steven Arnold, MD
Dr. Steven E. Arnold is Translational Neurology Head of the Interdisciplinary Brain Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. After receiving his M.D. from Boston University, Dr. Arnold completed residency training in Psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute / Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York and residency training in Neurology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. He also completed fellowship training in Behavioral Neurology / Cognitive Neuroscience and was a post-doctoral associate in Neuroanatomy in Iowa. Dr. Arnold is board certified in both neurology and psychiatry. After his training, Dr. Arnold joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania where he was Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology until his move to Massachusetts General Hospital in 2015. At Penn, he was Director of the Penn Memory Center, Associate Director and Clinical Core Leader of the Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center, Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Section in the Department of Psychiatry, Director of the Cellular and Molecular Neuropathology Program in Psychiatry, and Associate Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute on Aging.
Vice Co-Chair: Ruth Peters, PhD
Ruth Peters is a Senior Research Scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) with a conjoint appointment in the School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Dr Peters has a particular interest in cardiovascular risk and the potential for re-purposing or extending the use of existing treatments to reduce dementia risk. Her current Australian and international work on antihypertensive classes builds directly on prior work funded by a UK National Institute for Health Research Fellowship and a PhD both at Imperial College London and focused on dementia risk reduction. She also holds an MSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology from University of London. Dr Peters has led guideline changing clinical trial and epidemiological work in dementia risk reduction and between 2010 and 2012 was also part of the core team setting up and developing the Imperial Clinical Trials Unit (ICTU). ICTU was launched in 2010 and is a fully UKCRC registered trials unit.
Communications Chair: Erin Abner, PhD
Dr. Abner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, and also holds joint appointments in the Department of Biostatistics and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. Dr. Abner received her Master of Public Health in Biostatistics from the University of Kentucky (2006), and her Ph.D. degree in Epidemiology & Biostatistics from the University of Kentucky (2013). Dr. Abner’s primary research focus is clinicopathological correlation, with a specific interest in potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia. Currently, Dr. Abner is an investigator on several clinical trials, including both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions aimed at preventing cognitive decline.
Executive Committee Member: Lon Schneider, MD
Dr. Lon Schneider is a professor of psychiatry, neurology, and gerontology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. He is also the director of the California Alzheimer's Disease Center and a longtime researcher into the disease for which there is no cure.
Immediate Past Chair: Hiroko Dodge, PhD
Dr. Hiroko Dodge is Professor in the Department of Neurology. She has over 20 years of experience working as a statistician in the dementia research field and has been simultaneously directing two NIH-funded Alzheimer's Disease Center Data Cores at Oregon Health & Science University and the University of Michigan. Her practical applications of complex statistical models to epidemiological data and digital biomarkers are recognized by the dementia research community. Along with her strong quantitative background, she has been the Principal Investigator for NIH-funded behavioral intervention trials examining whether social interactions through video chat can enhance cognitive reserve. Her projects target socially isolated seniors, who rarely get involved in trials despite their high risk of cognitive decline. She also has been actively conducting research in Japan: she has a research cohort of healthy seniors in Okinawa, Japan, who have been followed since 2007. This cohort has been providing opportunities for researchers to examine factors associated with healthy cognitive aging.
She is the founding chair of the Clinical Trials Advancements and Methods PIA. During 3 years of her chairmanship, the PIA grew from 25 to over 700 members. She serves as a member of the Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART) Advisory Council. She is Fellow at the Gerontological Society of America and serves as statistical and senior editors for multiple dementia journals.