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Public Education Forum

THE ANNUAL ALZHEIMER’S PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL FORUM
Friday, April 26, 2024 (10:00 am – 1:00 pm US Eastern Time) 

The event was free-for-all and will be held online via Zoom.

2024 Alzheimer’s Disease Public Educational Forum

CHAIRS:
Ranjan Duara, MD, FAAN, Mount Sinai Medical Center
Rosie Curiel Cid, PsyD, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

FRIday, APRIL 26, 2024

All times in US Eastern Time

 

PRELIMINARY PROGRAM

10:00 am
Welcome and Introductions
Ranjan Duara, MD, FAAN, Mount Sinai Medical Center
10:05
Experiences of a Caregiver
David Lawrence, Retired Publisher of The Miami Herald, and Chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida
10:20
Q&A
10:25
Normal Aging, MCI, Dementia and Cognitive Reserve – What Are They and How Do We Assess Them?
Rosie Curiel Cid, PsyD, University of Miami
10:40
Q&A
10:45
Amyloid, Tau and All That Jazz
Todd Golde, MD, PhD, Emory University
11:00
Q&A
11:05
Translating Advances in Alzheimer’s Disease Research into “Real World” Clinical Care
Gil Rabinovici, MD, UCSF
11:20
Q&A
11:25
Blood-based Biomarkers and Free-Water Imaging in AD
Jesse DeSimone, PhD, University of Florida, Gainesville
11:40
Q&A
11:45
The New Era of Anti-Amyloid Treatments for AD
Marc Agronin, MD, Miami Jewish Health
12:00 pm
Q&A
12:05
The Challenges of Undergoing Anti-Amyloid Treatment - Patient/Caregiver Perspective
Clayton Jones, The Clay and Debbie Jones Family Foundation
12:20
Q&A
12:25
What Alternatives Do We Have for Pharmacological Treatment of AD?
Marla Berg-Weger, PhD, St Louis University
12:40
Q&A
12:45
Discussion: Faculty and Public
Concluding Remarks
Ranjan Duara, MD, FAAN, Mount Sinai Medical Center
1:00 pm
End
Marc Agronin, MD

Dr. Marc E. Agronin, a nationally recognized expert on Alzheimer’s disease, memory disorders, and geriatric psychiatry, has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the Frank C. and Lynn Scaduto MIND Institute at Miami Jewish Health. As a board-certified adult and geriatric psychiatrist, he serves as the Chief Medical Officer for MIND Institute and oversees the Behavioral Health discipline across the organization.

With a career spanning over two decades at Miami Jewish Health since 1999, Dr. Agronin is the architect behind the EmpathiCare℠ philosophy, an innovative approach to senior care that emphasizes creating profound connections with each individual served.

At MIND Institute, a state-designated memory disorder clinic specializing in neurocognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Agronin’s commitment to improving the lives of older adults shines through advanced clinical research and memory care.

Renowned for his groundbreaking perspective on aging as a phase of life rich with purpose, Dr. Agronin is a prolific researcher and author, with ten books and numerous articles to his credit. His acclaimed works include “How We Age: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Growing Old” and its sequel “The End of Old Age: Living a Longer, More Purposeful Life.” His insights on aging and retirement issues have been featured in prestigious publications such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Agronin’s academic journey began with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and philosophy from Harvard University, followed by a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Yale School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a past President of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, Dr. Agronin also serves as an Affiliate Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He has received the Excellence in Research and Education Award by LeadingAge, further cementing his impact and dedication to the field of geriatric psychiatry.

Marla Berg-Weger, PhD

Dr. Marla Berg-Weger, renowned for her expertise in social work and geriatric care, has dedicated her career to advancing knowledge and support for older adults. As Professor Emeritus of Social Work in the College for Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University, she has played a pivotal role in shaping the field of gerontological social work.

Dr. Berg-Weger’s academic journey began with a Bachelor of Social Work from Kansas State University, followed by a Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas. She furthered her education with a Ph.D. from Washington University, where she delved into research focused on non-pharmacologic interventions for older adults, family caregiving, and geriatric workforce development.

As the Executive Director of the Gateway Geriatric Education Center at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Dr. Berg-Weger spearheads initiatives to educate and engage students in interprofessional geriatrics. Her commitment to enhancing the lives of older adults is reflected in her extensive research and publications, addressing critical issues such as loneliness, social isolation, and workforce implications in geriatric care.

Dr. Berg-Weger’s scholarly work has been widely recognized and cited in academic circles. She has authored numerous publications, including articles in esteemed journals like the Journal of Gerontological Social Work and the Journal of Nutrition, Health, & Aging. Her research collaborations have contributed to innovative solutions for addressing the complex needs of older adults, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond academia, Dr. Berg-Weger is a sought-after expert whose insights have been featured in various media outlets. She has provided written testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Labor and offered interviews to NPR and other platforms, advocating for improved care for older adults and highlighting the importance of geriatric workforce enhancement.

Her contributions have earned her prestigious honors and awards, including the Faculty Leadership Award from the Association of Gerontological Education in Social Work and the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Award for Excellence in Service to Older Adults from Washington University.

Dr. Berg-Weger’s impact extends beyond academia through her active involvement in community projects and partnerships. As co-project director of the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program, she collaborates with organizations such as SSM Healthcare and the Alzheimer’s Association to provide essential geriatric education and support services to practitioners and communities.

In addition to her professional affiliations, Dr. Berg-Weger serves on editorial boards and holds leadership positions in prominent organizations such as the Gerontological Society of America and the National Association of Geriatric Education. Her dedication to advancing gerontological social work underscores her commitment to improving the well-being and quality of life for older adults.

Rosie Curiel Cid, PsyD

Dr. Rosie Curiel Cid is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and faculty member of the Center on Aging. As a geriatric neuropsychologist, she has an expertise in the assessment of neurodegenerative conditions among elders. Dr. Curiel Cid is Principal Investigator of a study entitled: Precision-based Computerized Assessment for the Detection of MCI in Older Adults, and is an active Co-investigator on various state and federally funded longitudinal Alzheimer’s disease studies including the 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

Her program of research focuses on the development of novel and cross-culturally applicable cognitive assessment paradigms. She and her team have generated promising pilot data that these novel cognitive outcome measures are sensitive enough to detect subtle deficits specific to preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, and are highly associated with biological markers of early AD pathology. Her program of research focuses on technologically enhancing these innovative cognitive paradigms into user-friendly clinical outcome measures with the goal of advancing cognitive assessment efforts in clinical trials targeting preclinical AD.

Jesse DeSimone, PhD

Dr. Jesse DeSimone, a neuroscientist and Postdoctoral Researcher in the Laboratory for Rehabilitation Neuroscience, completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Neuroimaging and Movement Disorders at the University of Florida in 2019. His research focuses on understanding disease-related adaptations to structural and functional brain systems, employing big-data analysis, biomedical image analysis, and informatics.

The aim of Dr. DeSimone’s research is to develop reliable tools and technologies for early and accurate diagnosis of neurological diseases and to provide measures for evaluating disease-modifying therapeutics. His current work concentrates on utilizing diffusion imaging and machine learning to comprehend brain microstructure changes during the earliest biological stages of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Prior to his postdoctoral role, Dr. DeSimone gained extensive experience in various positions. He served as a Research Scientist in Neuroimaging at the University of Florida, where he enhanced his expertise in AFNI, FSL, and other relevant skills. Additionally, he held roles such as Director of Academic and Scientific Funding at Capitol Funding Solutions, Scientific Manager at Curia (formerly AMRI), and Postdoctoral Researcher in Radiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. His experience also includes working as a Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Florida, focusing on small animal models and pre-clinical studies.

Dr. DeSimone’s academic journey includes a Master of Science (MS) degree in Cognitive and Visuomotor Neurosciences from Western University and a Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Kinesiology from Brock University. His educational background, coupled with his extensive research experience, positions him as a promising figure in the field of neuroscience research and neuroimaging.

Ranjan Duara, MD, MRCP, FAAN

Dr. Ranjan Duara is the Medical Director of the Wien Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders at Mount Sinai Medical Center and holds the Denis C. Cole Family Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research. In addition, Dr. Duara serves the Associate Director and leader of the Clinical Core of the 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, a research collaboration between four university medical centers and Mount Sinai Medical Center in Florida. Dr. Duara is a Courtesy Professor of Neurology at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, and the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, Florida. He serves as the Principal Investigator of the State of Florida Dementia Brain Bank Program.

Dr. Duara is a clinical neurologist with a special interest in the use of brain imaging for the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of Adult Cognitive Disorders. Through his research in this area, he has helped to enhance what is known about the biology of Alzheimer’s disease.
He completed his undergraduate medical education at Christian Medical College, Vellore, South India, completed two years of neurology residency with Dr. Noshir Wadia at Grant Medical College in Bombay, India, followed by residencies in internal medicine and neurology in the United Kingdom, and in neurology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. He then completed a four-year fellowship in neuroscience and neuroimaging of aging, with Dr Stanley Rapaport at the National Institute on Aging (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD).

Dr. Duara’s research has focused primarily on early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, neuroimaging, genetic epidemiology, and the methodology for staging the transition from normal cognitive aging to dementia. He has contributed to more than 250 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has been an investigator in observational studies on aging, as well as clinical trials of novel agents for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Duara is also the chair and organizer of the Mild Cognitive Impairment Symposium, which is held annually in Miami Beach.

Todd Golde, MD, PhD

Dr. Todd E. Golde serves as the director of the Emory Center for Neurodegenerative Disease within the Goizueta Institute at Emory Brain Health. Holding the distinguished position of a Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) Eminent Scholar in Neuroscience, Dr. Golde is positioned at the forefront of scientific inquiry into Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

At Emory University School of Medicine, Dr. Golde holds a primary faculty appointment as a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, complemented by a secondary appointment in the Department of Neurology. His expertise extends internationally, focusing on advancing the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and fostering interdisciplinary research in neuroinflammation, which bridges the fields of neuroscience and immunology.

Before joining Emory, Dr. Golde held esteemed positions at the University of Florida, where he served as a professor of neuroscience and neurology, and as the director of the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute. Notably, he was instrumental in establishing the 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, a collaborative effort among leading institutions in Florida supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Golde’s academic journey began at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he earned both his PhD in pathology and his MD. Following his doctoral studies, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the same institution and went on to undertake a residency in clinical pathology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Golde has been deeply involved in Alzheimer’s disease research, contributing significantly to the elucidation of the amyloid hypothesis and the understanding of amyloid and tau pathologies, as well as the immune system’s involvement in the disease process. His laboratory at Emory is dedicated to pioneering new therapeutic approaches for Alzheimer’s disease, exploring a diverse array of proteins associated with amyloid, investigating antibody-based interventions targeting stress pathways implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, and exploring the therapeutic potential of harnessing the immune system to combat the disease.

With over 310 publications to his credit, cited approximately 43,000 times, Dr. Golde’s research has garnered widespread recognition and acclaim. His work has been supported by over $65 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health since 2000, and he holds more than 15 patents and patent applications. Additionally, Dr. Golde is a co-founder of two biotech companies, further reflecting his commitment to translating scientific discoveries into tangible advancements in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases.

Clayton Jones

Clay Jones, a distinguished alumnus of the University of Tennessee (UT), is recognized for his significant contributions to leadership and service, both at UT and beyond. A devoted supporter of student development, Jones and his wife Debbie made a transformative gift of $5 million to UT to enhance leadership and service programs for students, leading to the naming of the Clay and Debbie Jones Center for Leadership and Service. The center’s mission is to educate and engage all students to lead and serve the global community, offering a range of service opportunities and leadership programs aimed at fostering student growth and development.

Jones graduated with honors in political science from UT in 1971, where he earned recognition as a Torchbearer, the university’s highest undergraduate honor. Throughout his time at UT, he demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities through his involvement in Phi Delta Theta, the Student Government Association, and the Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Following his graduation, Jones served as a fighter pilot in the US Air Force for eight years before embarking on a successful 34-year career with Rockwell International and Rockwell Collins Inc. During his tenure, he held prominent positions, including chairman and CEO of Rockwell Collins Inc.

Jones’s commitment to leadership and service extends beyond his professional achievements. He participated in the White House Executive Exchange program in 1982, further showcasing his dedication to public service. Alongside his wife Debbie, Jones has been a steadfast supporter of UT’s Center for Leadership and Service, establishing endowments to expand students’ leadership opportunities across campus.

Through their philanthropic endeavors, the Joneses have empowered UT students to develop leadership skills and engage in meaningful community service. Their generous contributions have enriched programs such as the Ignite Summit, the Emerging Leaders Program, and the Torchbearer 2000 Endowment, which supports students involved in activities and community service at UT.

David Lawrence

David Lawrence jr. is a distinguished figure known for his relentless advocacy and profound contributions to early childhood development and education. Retiring in 1999 as the publisher of The Miami Herald, Lawrence shifted his focus to championing initiatives aimed at prioritizing children’s welfare and education in Florida.

Throughout his illustrious career, Lawrence has held numerous leadership positions dedicated to enhancing the lives of children. He chairs The Children’s Movement of Florida, a groundbreaking initiative advocating for investments in children’s well-being. His impactful endeavors include serving on the Governor’s Children and Youth Cabinet and leading successful campaigns for The Children’s Trust, a vital funding source for early intervention programs.

Notably, Lawrence played a pivotal role in passing a statewide constitutional amendment in 2002 to provide pre-K education for all 4-year-olds in Florida. His commitment to education is further exemplified by his founding chairmanship of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe and the establishment of the David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Public School.

In addition to his advocacy work, Lawrence has received numerous accolades and honors for his outstanding contributions to journalism, education, and community service. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and an alumnus of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Lawrence’s exemplary leadership has been recognized with prestigious awards such as the John S. Knight Gold Medal and 13 honorary doctorates, including one from the University of Florida.

Beyond his professional achievements, Lawrence’s commitment to community service is evident through his involvement with various organizations and initiatives. He has served as chair of the Miami Art Museum, United Way, and the New World School of the Arts, among others. Lawrence’s dedication to philanthropy extends internationally, as seen in his co-founding of a vocational-technical school in Haiti.

Living in Coral Gables with his wife Roberta, Lawrence continues to make a profound impact on society, leaving behind a legacy of compassion, advocacy, and service. His numerous honors and awards, including recognition as “Father of the Year” and induction into the Coral Gables Community Foundation Education Award, attest to his unwavering dedication to improving the lives of children and families nationwide.

Gil Rabinovici, MD

Dr. Gil Rabinovici holds the Edward Fein and Pearl Landrith Distinguished Professorship in Memory & Aging in the UCSF Department of Neurology. He received his BS degree from Stanford University and MD from Northwestern University Medical School. He completed neurology residency (and chief residency) at UCSF and a behavioral neurology fellowship at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC), where he cares for patients with cognitive disorders.

Dr. Rabinovici’s research investigates how structural, functional and molecular brain imaging techniques can be used to improve diagnostic accuracy in dementia and study the biology of neurodegenerative diseases, with the goal of accelerating drug development. He is the director of the NIH-funded UCSF Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, study chair of the Imaging Dementia-Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) and New IDEAS studies (~25,000 total participants), as well as co-PI on the emerging Alzheimer’s Network for Treatment and Diagnostics (ALZ-NET), co-PI and PET Core lead of the Longitudinal Evaluation of Alzheimer’s Disease Study (LEADS) and PI on several additional national and local clinical, imaging and translational studies focused on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. His work is supported by the NIH, Alzheimer’s Association, American College of Radiology, Rainwater Charitable Foundation and industry partners. He has authored over 290 peer-reviewed publications, and the impact of his work is ranked in the top 1% in the field of Neuroscience.

Dr. Rabinovici’s contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2022 Kuhl-Lassen Award from the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 2015 Christopher Clark Award in Amyloid Imaging, the 2012 American Academy of Neurology Research Award in Geriatric Neurology and the 2010 de Leon Prize from the Alzheimer’s Association.