The John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation supports some of the most respected and innovative medical researchers in the world.
Dr. Giovanni Coppola
Dr. Coppola (University of California, Los Angeles) is a brilliant neurologist who received his initial training in Naples, Italy. He obtained a fellowship in neurogenetics in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Geschwind at UCLA where he used sophisticated gene chip technology to explore the gene expression patterns in the blood of patients with different degenerative conditions including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Frontal Temporal Dementia (FTD) versus healthy aging.
His work has focused around the protein tau. In both AD and FTD he has shown that pathways involving tau are abnormal, even in peripheral blood. With his John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation Distinguished Research Scholar Award, Dr. Coppola opened his own laboratory where he uses a wide-variety of cutting-edge genetic research tools including whole genome-sequencing to explore the complex sets of genes that turn on and off associated with various neurodegenerative conditions. With these approaches Dr. Coppola begins a systematic search for drug targets.
Dr. Dan Geschwind
Dr. Geschwind completed an AB degree in psychology and chemistry at Dartmouth College. He obtained his MD and PhD at Yale University School of Medicine in 1991. He then completed his neurology residency and postdoctoral research at University of California, Los Angeles, where he joined the faculty in 1997. Dr. Geschwind holds the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Chair in Human Genetics.
Dr. Geschwind’s laboratory focuses on integrating basic neurobiology, genetics, and genomics with translational studies of human diseases. One area of basic investigation has been in the analysis of transcriptome data where his group has used network biology approaches to understand brain transcriptome organization. Professor Geschwind has also put considerable effort into fostering large-scale collaborative patient resources for genetic research and data sharing. He played a major role in the founding, and has provided continuing scientific oversight, of the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE), the largest collection of multiplex autism families in the world.
Dr. Geschwind has published over two hundred papers and review articles and serves as an editorial board member of several journals in his field. He sits on numerous scientific advisory boards, including the NIH Council of Councils, the Executive Council of the American Neurological Association (ANA), and Co-Chairs the neurogenetics section of the Faculty of 1000 Medicine. He received the Derek Denny-Brown Neurological Scholar Award from the ANA in 2004, the Scientific Service Award from Autism Speaks in 2007, and is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Dr. Marilu Gorno-Tempini
Dr. Gorno-Tempini is a behavioral neurologist with a PhD degree in imaging neuroscience and currently directs the Language & Neurobiology Laboratory at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC). She obtained her medical degree and clinical specialty training in neurology in Italy. Dr. Gorno-Tempini’s main focus was in behavioral neurology, particularly the neural basis of higher cognitive functions such as language and memory. To pursue this research she worked for three years at the Function Imaging Laboratory, University College London, where she obtained her PhD degree in imaging neuroscience.
She was part of the language group, and her thesis work consisted of several positron emission tomography (PET) and functional MRI studies investigating the neural basis of face and proper name processing. In 2001, Dr. Gorno-Tempini began her work at the MAC as a fellow and has since become a full professor. For the last 12 years she has applied her expertise in cognitive neurology and neuroimaging to the study of neurodegenerative disease, in particular primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). She has extensive experience in neurology and neuroscience and in the use of behavioral and neuroimaging paradigms to study language symptoms and their neural mechanisms.
Dr. Gorno-Tempini also has experience in mentoring residents, pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows, and faculty-level individuals from all over the world. She is faculty in the MAC T32 program and numerous K23 applications in the neurology department, and she has taught research methodology, manuscript preparation and grant writing skills to mentees from diverse backgrounds, including speech and language pathology, clinical neurology and basic neuroscience.
Dr. Yadong Huang
Dr. Huang completed a MD at Qingdao Medical University in China and earned a MSc degree and PhD at Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. He conducted postdoctoral research at University of Muenster in Germany, Gladstone Institutes, and University of California, San Francisco. He is a faculty member of Gladstone Institutes and University of California, San Francisco.
Research in Dr. Huang’s laboratory focuses on the biological and pathophysiological functions of apolipoprotein (apo) E. Long-term goals are to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which apoE4 increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative disorders and to develop therapeutic strategies to treat or prevent AD. Dr. Huang’s group uses neuronal cultures, induced pluripotent stem cells, and transgenic and gene-targeted mouse models to study the differential effects of apoE3 and apoE4 on cell signaling pathways and cytoskeletal structure and function at molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels. He also uses these approaches to develop and evaluate novel treatment strategies for AD and other apoE4-related neurodegenerative disorders. His lab has also pioneered direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into neural stem cells and is developing human neuronal models of genetically determined AD and FTD.
Dr. Ken Kosik
Dr. Kosik completed BA and MA degrees in English literature from Case Western Reserve University in 1972 and his MD from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1976. He served as a resident in neurology at Tufts New England Medical Center and was Chief Resident there in 1980. Beginning in 1980 he held a series of academic appointments at the Harvard Medical School and achieved the rank of full professor there in 1996. In 2005, he moved to the University of California Santa Barbara as the Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute. Dr. Kosik serves as a co-director of the Tau Consortium.
Dr. Bruce Miller
Dr. Miller holds the A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professorship in Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He directs the busy UCSF Memory and Aging Center where patients in the San Francisco Bay Area receive comprehensive clinical evaluations for dementia. He oversees a program project on frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and the NIH-sponsored Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ARDC). He is a behavioral neurologist focused on dementia with special interests in brain and behavior relationships as well as the genetic and molecular underpinnings of disease. Dr. Miller has been the recipient of numerous lectureships and prizes including the Potamkin Award from the American Academy of Neurology and the Gene D. Cohen Research Award in Creativity and Aging from the National Center for Creative Aging. Dr. Miller serves as a co-director of the Tau Consortium.
Dr. Gil Rabinovici
Born and raised in Jerusalem, Dr. Rabinovici received his BS degree from Stanford University and MD from Northwestern University Medical School. He completed an internship in internal medicine at Stanford University, neurology residency (and chief residency) at UCSF and a behavioral neurology fellowship at the Memory and Aging Center, where he has remains on faculty as an attending neurologist.
Dr. Rabinovici’s research evaluates how structural, functional and molecular brain imaging techniques can be used to improve diagnostic accuracy in dementia and to study the biology of neurodegenerative diseases. His Tau Consortium project is focused on characterizing and translating promising Tau PET ligands in patients with a variety of tauopathies. Dr. Rabinovici’s work is supported by the National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Tau Consortium, and The John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation. He is the recipient of the 2012 American Academy of Neurology Research Award in Geriatric Neurology and the 2010 Best Paper in Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging: New Investigator Award from the Alzheimer’s Association.
Dr. Bill Seeley
Dr. Seeley completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University and received an MD from University of California, San Francisco, where he first encountered patients with frontotemporal dementia during a research elective with Dr. Bruce Miller. He was a medical intern at UCSF and a neurology resident at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Returning to UCSF for a behavioral neurology fellowship with Dr. Miller, Dr. Seeley developed expertise in the differential diagnosis and treatment of patients with neurodegenerative disease. He is currently an associate professor of neurology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where he participates in patient evaluation and management. He is a 2011 MacArthur Fellow.
Dr. Seeley’s research in his Selective Vulnerability Research Laboratory concerns regional vulnerability in dementia, that is, why particular dementias target specific neuronal populations. Dr. Seeley addresses this question through behavioral, functional imaging, and neuropathology studies. The goal of his research is to determine what makes brain tissues susceptible or resistant to degeneration, with an eye toward ultimately translating these findings into novel treatment approaches.
Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray
Dr. Wyss-Coray, PhD serves as an Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University. Dr. Wyss-Coray is a Co-Founder of Satoris, Inc. and serves as its Scientific and Clinical Advisor and Director. He conducts research to understand how nerve cells degenerate with aging and disease and how the brain reacts to this neurodegeneration with a special emphasis on Alzheimer's disease. He is a Director of Alkahest, Inc. Dr. Wyss-Coray has a PhD in Immunology from the University of Bern, Switzerland.