PIA Executive Committee:



Chair: Val Lowe, MD

Dr. Lowe is a Professor of Radiology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA, and is the director of the Mayo Clinic Molecular Imaging Resource. Dr. Lowe has served on numerous NIH review committees and panels. He has over 400 peer-reviewed publications, several patents and has funding through the NIH and other organizations to study imaging. He has served as the Chair of the World Molecular Imaging Society and is an elected fellow of the Society. He has been active in PET research, education and development clinical applications for PET. He was instrumental in the approval of PET imaging in the United States by the FDA and Medicare.  Dr. Lowe’s research lab does PET radiotracer development, preclinical imaging and human imaging. Dr. Lowe and research collaborators at Mayo Clinic are evaluating the utility of PET and MRI multimodality brain imaging in neurodegenerative disease and aging. They test imaging as a way to evaluate populations for prediction, prevention and therapy of neurodegenerative disease. 

Chair (Incoming): Betty Tijms, PhD
See below.

Vice Chair: Betty Tijms, PhD
Betty Tijms, PhD, is an associate professor at the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam at the Amsterdam UMC, the Netherlands. She obtained a PhD in Neuroinformatics at the University in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is fascinated by the brain’s capability to learn and adjust itself in health and disease. To study interindividual differences in such processes, she invented methodology to measure grey matter networks using MRI in single individuals. At the Alzheimer center Amsterdam, the work of her group focusses on studying the relationship of changes in brain networks and cognitive decline as well as CSF biomarker alterations in AD.

Vice Chair (Incoming): Renaud La Joie, PhD
See below.

Education Chair: Renaud La Joie, PhD
Renaud La Joie graduated with a Master's degree in Neuroscience from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris and a PhD under the supervision of Dr Gaël Chételat in Caen, France, where he trained in multimodal imaging and dementia research. Dr La Joie then spent a year with Bill Jagust at UC Berkeley before joining Gil Rabinovici at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in March 2016. His current work is focused on PET imaging of abnormal protein deposits in neurodegenerative disorders, and is supported by an Alzheimer's Association Research Fellowship. Dr La Joie received young scientist awards from the Alzheimer's Association and the Human Amyloid Imaging Conference.

Education Chair (Elect): Laura Wisse, PhD 
Laura Wisse is an assistant professor at Lund University, Sweden. She obtained her PhD from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, in 2014, after which she did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research centers on aging and neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, where she aims to gain a better understanding of underlying disease mechanisms and contribute to the development of better biomarkers. A large part of her work is focused on the medial temporal lobe (MTL) because it is a hotspot for neurodegenerative pathologies, where she is deeply invested in the development of methods to more accurately measure MTL subregions. She is also member of ISTAARTs advisory council and of the steering committee of an international effort, the Hippocampal Subfields Group, aiming to develop one harmonized protocol for the measurement of MTL subregions.

Communications Chair: Shannon Risacher, PhD

Shannon Risacher, PhD is currently an Assistant Professor of Radiology and Imaging Science at the Indiana University School of Medicine and co-Leader of the Neuroimaging Core of the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center. She received her PhD in Medical Neuroscience in 2011 from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Her thesis focused on neuroimaging measures as early biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Risacher’s current work focuses on neuroimaging and sensory measures (visual, olfactory, and auditory) as biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease in preclinical and prodromal stages. In addition, she is interested in the role of co-morbidities, drug use, and lifestyle factors in the risk for and progression of cognitive impairment. Finally, she is involved in a number of collaborative studies using neuroimaging measures as endophenotypes to detect novel and explore known genetic variations associated with Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology. 

Communications Chair (Elect): Samuel Lockhart, PhD
See below.

Steering Committee/Senior Scientist: Beau Ances, MD, PhD 

Dr. Ances is the Daniel J Brennan MD Professor of Neurology at Washington University in Saint Louis (WUSTL). The Ances laboratory focuses on developing novel neuroimaging biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases- especially Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In particular, his laboratory concentrates on functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography methods to detect early changes in the brain due to AD. His laboratory has pioneered the use of advanced neuroimaging techniques (including ASL and BOLD resting state functional connectivity) to study neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Ances has assisted collaborators in the United States and abroad in implementing advanced neuroimaging techniques. 

Steering Committee/Senior Scientist (Elect): Karunya K. Kandimalla, PhD
Dr. Karunya Kandimalla is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutics at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA. He is well-recognized for his expertise in drug delivery, nanotechnology, and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics modeling. Kandimalla lab employs imaging methods to investigate amyloid beta trafficking kinetics at the blood brain barrier (BBB) in Alzheimer’s brain, and to develop nanotheranostics for the diagnosis and treatment of cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Moreover, Kandimalla Lab integrates molecular imaging with systems physiology modeling to investigate pathophysiological mechanisms contributing to BBB dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease and type-2 diabetes.

Steering Committee/Junior Scientist: Samuel Lockhart, PhD
Dr. Lockhart, an Assistant Professor at the Wake Forest Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), is an early career investigator examining neuroimaging and cognitive biomarkers of aging and disease in ADRC cohort studies, and co-leader of the Wake ADRC Neuroimaging Core. Dr. Lockhart has been deeply engaged with the Alzheimer’s Association through volunteer and outreach work for most of his professional career. As a Junior Scientist Member of the Neuroimaging PIA Executive Committee, Dr. Lockhart will work to ensure that Neuroimaging PIA goals are defined, communicated, and achieved. He will seek to promote and enhance collaborations with other PIAs, and aid in the development of fellow junior investigators in the field of neuroimaging of aging and AD. Dr. Lockhart will also strive to promote the results of publications and presentations by PIA members.  

Steering Committee/Junior Scientist (Elect): Sana Suri, DPhil
Dr. Sana Suri is an Alzheimer’s Society Research Fellow leading the Heart and Brain Group at the University of Oxford. Dr Suri’s research investigates how, when and in whom preventative interventions for dementia may be most effective. Her group combines multi-modal brain and vascular imaging to study the mechanisms underlying risk and resilience for dementia. Using population neuroimaging cohorts such as the UK Biobank and EU Lifebrain, her team examines how genes and lifestyle interact to influence cognitive decline. She is now leading the second phase of the Whitehall II Imaging Study at Oxford, with a focus on the heart-brain link in cognitive ageing.  
Sana is a keen science communicator and has written several articles for The Conversation and the University of Oxford blog. Her scientific outreach has been recognised with awards from the University of Oxford, UK Alzheimer’s Society, and UK Parliament.

Trainee Representative: Adam Martersteck

Adam Martersteck is a 5th year neuroscience PhD student at Northwestern University in Chicago. He is co-mentored between the department of Radiology and the Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease. His thesis focuses on studying networks in typical and atypical presentations of Alzheimer’s disease using functional, structural, and molecular imaging. Adam is interested in predicting cognitive decline using statistical learning based on features from imaging and network theory. His goal is to continue his career as an independent researcher studying aging, dementia, and neurodegenerative disease. 

Trainee Representative (Elect): Bibek Gyanwali, MD, PhD Candidate
Bibek Gyanwali, MD, is 4th year PhD student at Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. For his PhD he is working on multimodal neuroimaging focusing on effect of cerebrovascular disease on cognitive impairment and dementia under the supervision of A/Prof. Christopher Chen (Director, Memory Aging Cognition Centre, National University Health System). Apart from his PhD projects he is also working on blood based biomarkers of cognitive impairment, relationship between hearing loss and dementia. Prior to this Bibek received his medical training from Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China. Finally, for his postdoctoral research he plans to continue working on various aspects of aging to delay the process of cognitive impairment.

Immediate Past Chair: Brad Dickerson, MD
Brad Dickerson, M.D., is the Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Frontotemporal Disorders Unit and Neuroimaging Lab in Boston. He holds the Tom Rickles Chair in Progressive Aphasia Research, and is a behavioral neurologist in the MGH Memory Disorders Unit and Director of the Neuroimaging Core of the MGH Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. He is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Dickerson runs a busy weekly clinic caring for patients with various forms of cognitive impairment and dementia, as well as providing training for clinical and research fellows. He also runs a large NIH-, foundation-, and philanthrophy-funded research program focusing on quantitative structural, functional, and molecular neuroimaging techniques, along with quantitative behavioral assessments, to investigate dementias as well as normal aging. His team also studies new approaches to caregiving. He has published more than 140 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as many book chapters, and has edited two books on dementia. He is active in mentoring trainees and in teaching, leading an annual course on Cognitive Neurology at the American Academy of Neurology and co-directing the annual Harvard Dementia Course. He is Chair of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the Massachusetts Alzheimer's Association and is a member of the medical advisory council of the national Association for FTD. He has won a number of awards, including the American Academy of Neurology’s Norman Geschwind Award in Behavioral Neurology.

Immediate Past Chair (Incoming): Val Lowe, MD
See above.