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Suzanne Craft, PhD 
Professor, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, and Neurology, and Research Director of the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging; Co-Director of the Roena B. Kulynych Center for Memory and Cognition Research

Dr. Craft is an internationally known researcher for her innovative work researching the role of insulin in Alzheimer’s disease and her clinical trials investigating intranasal insulin as a therapy to prevent cognitive impairment. Dr. Craft became the director of the Kulynych Center in 2012 and established the Wake Forest Alzheimer's Disease Prevention Program in 2013.

Research interests:
Alzheimer's disease, insulin metabolism, neuroendocrinology


Laura D. Baker, PhD
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Neurology, and Public Health Sciences.

Dr. Baker is a cognitive neuroscientist who is a nationally recognized leader in clinical trials of aerobic exercise and hormone supplementation as treatments for memory decline associated with pre-clinical and early stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Research interests:
Alzheimer's disease, cognition, exercise, hormones, insulin resistance


Kaycee M. Sink, MD, MAS
Associate Professor, Geriatrics and Gerontology and Interim Section Chief, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine 

Dr. Sink is a geriatrician with expertise in Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. In addition to leading the Memory Assessment Clinic, she is a Co-investigator on multiple NIH funded studies and pharmaceutical studies involving aspects of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Research interests:
Aging, cognition, dementia, Alzheimer's disease

Jeff D. Williamson, MD

Professor of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Interim Chair of Internal Medicine and Program Director of the Sticht Center on Aging

Dr. Williamson is a board-certified Internist and geriatrician with established expertise in the design and implementation of large scale epidemiological studies and clinical trials involving older adults (WHAS, ALLHAT, ACCORD, GEMS, SPRINT, LIFE, ASPREE) which include cognitive and/or physical function assessment as a primary or secondary outcome.

Research interests:
Aging, Alzheimer's, cognitive impairment, drugs/therapeutic agents, pharmacology, physical fitness, cardiac function, epidemiology 

Ronny A. Bell, PhD
Professor, Epidemiology & Prevention and Director, Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity

Dr. Bell’s primary research interests focus on racial and ethnic disparities in chronic disease management and control and includes the role of insulin resistance on cognitive impairment and in older adults. 

Research interests:
Atherosclerosis, diabetes, pharmacology, education/training, epidemiology, health services, minority health issues, obesity, aging

Mark Espeland, PhD
Professor, Department of Biostatistics

Dr. Espeland is founding Chair of the Department of Biostatistical Sciences at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. His research focus is identifying approaches to preserving brain health during later life and the interfaces among aging, diabetes, obesity, and cognitive function.

Research interests:  
Aging, Alzheimer's disease, cognition/learning, diabetes, environmental sciences, epidemiology, physical fitness, nutrition, obesity, prevention, statistics/mathematics, women's health issues, neurosciences, behavior

Michael E. Miller, PhD
Professor, Department of Biostatistics; Data and Biostatistics Core Co-Leader

Dr. Miller is a biostatistician active in Type 2 diabetes research since 1999, when the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial was originally funded. He served as Deputy Director and lead statistician for ACCORD from 1999 until the final results were published in 2011. He also has experience with cognitive and brain MRI-related research.

Research Interests:
Aging, translational medicine, diabetes, physical fitness, statistics/mathematics

Ryan T. Mott, MD
Assistant Professor, Pathology; Neuropathology Core Co Leader

Dr. Mott has worked as a diagnostic neuropathologist and surgical pathologist in the Department of Pathology at Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSM) since 2006. He has considerable experience in the pathological diagnosis of AD and other neurodegenerative disorders, and is familiar with all current best neuropathological practices. His past research projects have addressed neuronal regulation of microglial activation (Roskamp Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, University of South Florida) and vascular pathology in mesial temporal sclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases (Brain Microvascular Pathology Laboratory, WFSM)

Research interests:
Alzheimer’s disease, aging, neuropathology, diagnosis, neurogenerative disease

Stephen Rapp, PhD
Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Sticht Center on Aging

Dr. Rapp is a professor and clinical geropsychologist with specific training and expertise in the epidemiology of aging, cognitive aging, and cognitive disorders of later life including Alzheimer's dementia. A major focus of his research over the past 30 years has been to identify predictors of the pre-dementia syndromes and dementia including Alzheimer's dementia. He is the Principal Investigator of the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) and has been an investigator on several large clinical trials and observational studies in which cognitive functioning is an outcome including Cognition in the Study of Tamoxifen And Raloxifene (Co-STAR), Gingko Evaluation of Memory Study (GEMS), Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis II (MESA-II), Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE), Look Action for Health in Diabetes (Look AHEAD), and Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). He also pioneered the development and validation of telephone administered and computer/tablet based assessment of everyday cognitive functioning. 

Clinical Interests:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Depression, Geriatrics, Stress

Kathleen Hayden, PhD
Associate Professor, Social Sciences & Health Policy, Sticht Center on Aging

Dr. Hayden is a psychiatric epidemiologist focused on modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.  Specific areas of interest include the cardiovascular determinants of Alzheimer’s disease in addition to environmental and genetic risk factors.  She is also a Senior Associate Editor for Alzheimer’s & Dementia:  the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. 

Research interests:
Aging, Alzheimer's disease, Cognition/Learning, Genetics/Genome, Radiology Imaging/Nuclear Medicine

Edward Shaw, MD, MA
Director, Memory Assessment Clinic Counseling Center; PI, Pilot Study and Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core Investigator

Dr. Shaw is a full-time Professor in Gerontology/Geriatric Medicine and spends part of his time in the memory clinic diagnosing individuals with memory/cognitive decline. He also directs and counsels half-time in the Memory Counseling Program for families caring for Alzheimer’s patients.

Research interests:
Aging, Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia diagnosis, dementia counseling, cognition & cancer, Dementia caregiver stress and burden

Tao Ma, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine; J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging; Roena B. Kulynych Center for Memory and Cognition Research; Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology & Pharmacololgy; Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy  

Dr. Ma is a neuroscientist and his research focuses on identification of novel molecular mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease and other aging-related cognitive impairments. Primary techniques applied in his laboratory include electrophysiology, confocal microscopy, behavioral tests, and molecular approaches in transgenic mouse models.

Research interests:
Aging, Alzheimer’s disease, memory, signaling transduction, synaptic plasticity 

Timothy M. Hughes, PhD, MPH
Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Internal Medicine, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine; J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging; Roena B. Kulynych Center for Memory and Cognition Research; Hypertension and Vascular Research Center

Dr. Hughes is a neuroepidemiolgist and his research focuses on identification of cardiometabolic risk factors for vascular cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of his research is to develop strategies aimed at preventing dementia and general brain aging. Dr. Hughes is nationally recognized for his work on the vascular contributions to Alzheimer’s pathology. 

Research interests: 
Aging, Alzheimer’s disease, memory, brain imaging, vascular stiffness, brain metabolism 

Anthony J. Molina, PhD
Assistant Professor, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine; PI, Pilot Study

Dr. Molina is a mitochondrial biologist and translational researcher interested in bioenergetics, metabolism, and aging.  His laboratory provides expertise in the analysis of mitochondrial function by respirometry and fluorescence imaging.

Research interests:
Aging, Alzheimer's disease, physical fitness

Akiva Mintz, MD, PhD

Section Head, Division of Radiologic Science, Associate Professor, Radiology; PI, Pilot Study; Investigator, Clinical Core Imaging Service

Dr. Mintz is an Associate Professor, Section Head of the Division of Radiologic Sciences and a Board Certified nuclear medicine physician scientist who practices clinical nuclear medicine and has extensive experience performing PET research. He has experience and detailed knowledge of investigational PET agents and clinical trials. He is the director of the Molecular Imaging Research Facility that includes the cyclotron and radiochemistry laboratory.

Research interests:
Aging, biotechnology, cancer, pharmacology, medical technology/devices, neurosciences, behavior, nuclear medicine, radiology imaging/nuclear medicine

Cheryl D. Bushnell, MD
Professor, Neurology; Clinical Core Investigator

Dr. Bushnell is a vascular neurologist interested in stroke prevention, and the role of metabolic and vascular factors in AD pathogenesis and cognition after stroke.

Research interests:
Stroke, cognition, maternal & child health, neurosciences, behavior 

J. Mark Cline, DVM, PhD
Section Head and Professor, Pathology-Comparative Medicine; Neuropathology Core Investigator

Dr. Cline is an experienced, NIH-supported investigator and board-certified veterinary pathologist with many years’ experience in the conduct of primate trials for a variety of chronic disease conditions, including hormone dependent and virally-induced neoplasms, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, and radiation injury. Recent work in his laboratory has identified delayed neurovascular injury as a critical element of cognitive decline in nonhuman primates after irradiation at doses relevant to human cancer therapy exposures

Research interests:
Aging, biotechnology, cancer, cardiac function, diabetes, therapeutic agents, model development, radiation exposure

Christopher T. Whitlow, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Radiology; Clinical Core Neuroimaging Service Investigator

Dr. Whitlow is Director of the Radiology Image Processing Laboratory (RIPL) and Associate Leader for MRI in the Translational Imaging Program of the CTSI. He has specific training in neurophysiology and neuropharmacology, as well as the use of advanced multi-modal functional and structural neuroimaging methods applied to basic science/translational research paradigms and clinical practice. He has leveraged his training and expertise to investigate changes in the brain associated with normal and abnormal brain aging and various neurodegenerative diseases, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Research interests:
Atherosclerosis, cognition, computer science, translational medicine, diabetes, epidemiology, neurosciences, behavior, radiology imaging/nuclear medicine, vascular diseases

Ramon Casanova Luis, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biostatistical Sciences; Data and Biostatistics Investigator

Dr. Casanova’s research interests focus on the development and/or application of mathematical methodologies to the analysis and integration of high-dimensional biomedical data. Much of his research is dedicated to the application of machine learning and high-dimensional regularization techniques to analyze clinical databases.

Research interests:
Aging, cognition, computer science, diabetes, environmental sciences, physical fitness, immunology/allergy/inflammation, brain imaging

Donald W. Bowden, PhD
Associate Director, Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine Research; Director, Center for Diabetes Research; Professor, Biochemistry; Neuropathology Core Genetics Service Leader

Dr. Bowden has been involved in human genetics research for almost 30 years with a focus on the genetics and epidemiology of type 2 diabetes, the complications of diabetes such as cardiovascular, renal, and cerebrovascular disease, and contributors to diabetes such as adiposity and control of glucose homeostasis. More recently, he has extended these studies into analysis of structure and function by MRI and cognitive testing to investigate the impact of diabetes on cognitive decline.

Research interests:
Atherosclerosis, diabetes, genetics, metabolism, minority health issues, molecular biology, vascular diseases

Ihtsham ul Haq, MD
Assistant Professor, Neurology; Clinical Core Investigator

Dr. Haq is a neurologist with a subspecialization in Movement Disorders with extensive experience in both pharmacological and medical management. He treats and studies both motor and non-motor manifestations of basal ganglia disease.

Research interests:
Neurosciences, behavior, movement disorders, Parkinson’s disease

Thomas C. Register, PhD
Professor, Pathology-Comparative Medicine; Neuropathology Core Investigator

Dr. Register is an expert in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, with experience employing molecular, cellular, and imaging approaches in basic, translational, epidemiologic, and genetic studies. He has expertise in nuclear hormone receptors and was the first to demonstrate that estrogen receptor beta was expressed in nonhuman primate artery, arterial smooth muscle cells, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. He has experience in evaluation of biochemical markers in human and non-human primates in cross-translational studies, and in the assessment of gene expression to explore inflammation and tissue specific effects and mechanisms underlying pathologic processes and their treatment.

Research interests:
Atherosclerosis, biotechnology, cardiac function, comparative and translational medicine, therapeutic development, genomics and proteomics, hormones/cytokines/signaling, medical technology/devices, metabolism, molecular biology, osteoporosis, women's health issues

Jay R. Kaplan, PhD
Section Head, Pathology-Comparative Medicine; Neuropathology Core Non-human Primate Service Leader

Dr. Kaplan is Vice Chair for Research of Department of Pathology, Director of the Center for Comparative Medicine Research (CCMR), and Director of the Primate Signature Program of the Wake Forest Translational Science Institute (TSI). He has been conducting biomedical research with nonhuman primates for more than 30 years; among his studies are many relating to biobehavioral influences on the development and expression of chronic disease, including cardiometabolic disorders and behavioral abnormalities.

Research interests:
Cardiac function, comparative and translational medicine, genetics, health services,  immunology/allergy/inflammation, infectious diseases, model development, molecular biology, neurosciences, behavior, nutrition, radiology imaging/nuclear medicine, vaccines, women's health issues

Carol A. Shively, PhD
Professor, Pathology-Comparative Medicine; Neuropathology Core Non-human Primate Service Coordinator  

Dr. Shively has served as a research administrator for close to 20 years, promoting, facilitating, and coordinating the use of nonhuman primates (NHPs) in vascular, brain and sex differences research. Her laboratory has published a wide array of systemic and neuropathologies in older NHPs with specific interest given to how aging NHPs respond to the Western-like diet. Her lab has developed adult NHP models of depression as well as aging and physical mobility. Her comparative research is translatable to older neurocognitive function in older adults through the development of batteries for physical and cognitive function assessments for NHPs. They have demonstrated concomitant increases in neural amyloid with age in these NHPs.  These studies evidence animal modeling skills that will be utilized to promote the development of NHP studies of Alzheimer’s disease risk.

Research interests:
Atherosclerosis, depression, neurosciences, behavior, obesity, diet, women's health issues

Matthew J. Jorgensen, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pathology-Comparative Medicine; Neuropathology Core Non-human Primate Investigator

Dr. Jorgensen has over 20 years of experience working with nonhuman primates and currently serve as the scientific manager of the Vervet Research Colony (VRC), an NIH-supported biomedical research resource (PI: Jay Kaplan).

Research interests:
Comparative and translational medicine, therapeutic development, genetics, immunology/allergy/inflammation, infectious diseases, neurosciences/behavior

Youngkyoo Jung, PhD
Assistant Professor, Radiology; Clinical Core Neuroimaging Service Investigator

Dr. Jung is an MR physicist at Wake Forest School of Medicine.  His primary research interest is focused on technical developments of neurological applications, particularly arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion imaging, and translation technologies into clinical platforms. His research interests also extend to parallel imaging, where he developed a novel method to accelerate data acquisition speed.

Research interests:
Aging, engineering/bioengineering, radiology imaging / nuclear medicine, vascular diseases

Kimberly Stogner-Underwood, MD
Assistant Professor, Pathology; Neuropathology Core Investigator

Dr. Stogner-Underwood has experience diagnosing a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including the use of special techniques (immunohistochemical and other special stains).  She gained experience with brain tissue banking for Parkinson’s disease research during her neuropathology fellowship.

Research interests:
Aging, Alzheimer’s disease, neuropathology, diabetes, metabolism, vascular diseases

Julie A. Williams, MD
Assistant Professor, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine; Clinical Core Investigator

Dr. Williams completed a Clinical Fellowship at Wake Forest School of Medicine where she later joined the Geriatrics faculty in 2011.  Her professional goal is to investigate methods of understanding and preventing loss of cognitive and physical function in later life. The care of individuals in later life represents for her the embodiment of compassion and complexity.

Research interests:
Aging, Alzheimer’s disease, caregiver stress

Bonnie Colleen Sachs, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, & Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine.

Dr. Sachs is a clinical neuropsychologist with expertise in aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Clinically, she evaluates patients with a wide variety of cognitive concerns, and is also involved in multiple research studies and clinical trials with patients who have mild cognitive impairment or dementia.

Research Interests:
Neuropsychology, Aging, Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Movement Disorders



Last Updated: 01-10-2017
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