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Awards & Accomplishments
Dr. Adam Brickman
45th Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS)
The Department of Neurology and the Taub Institute were well represented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) last week, with a large number of neuropsychology faculty, fellows, and students presenting platforms and posters at the event, including Drs. Stephanie Cosentino, Marla Hamberger, Veronica Hinton, Jennifer Manly, and others. In keeping with the theme of the 50th Anniversary of the INS, Dr. Adam Brickman (pictured right) chaired and presented at an invited symposium titled, "Translational Neuropsychology: Contemplating the Past and Looking Toward the Future."
- Taub faculty member Dr. Nicole Schupf will lead a national team of collaborative investigators seeking to identify biomarkers of onset and progression of Alzheimer's in people with Down syndrome, as part of the NIH Biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease in Adults with Down Syndrome initiative announced this month. Dr. Schupf's team will include investigators from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), University of California/Irvine, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard, University of North Texas, Kennedy Krieger Institute, and the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities. They will share $37 million in funding with one other national team over the next five years. At CUMC, Dr. Schupf's team on this grant will include Taub faculty members Drs. Adam Brickman (Imaging), Joseph Lee, Lorraine Clark, Benjamin Tycko, and Badri Vardarajan (Genetics), Gilbert Di Paolo and Robin Chan (Lipidomics), Karen Bell (Neurology), Larry Honig (Beta Amyloid Assay), Ray Razlighi (PET Scans), and Howard Andrews (Data Management). Congratulations to Dr. Schupf and team on this tremendous achievement!
- Ottavio Arancio, MD, PhD has received an NIH R01 award for his project, "Extracellular tau oligomers and Alzheimer disease," which seeks to determine whether and how tau impairs intracellular mechanisms relevant to synaptic function and memory.
Drs. Karen Duff and Syed Abid Hussaini have received an NIH R01 award for their project, "Entorhinal-hippocampal circuit dysfunction in AD mice."
- Joseph Lee, Dr. PH has been awarded a BrightFocus Foundation Alzheimer's Disease Research grant for his project, "Genetic modifiers of the G206A mutation in PSEN1," which aims to identify and characterize genetic variants that modify age-at-onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) among PSEN1-G206A carriers. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to identify a potential therapeutic target that might delay or prevent AD.
Sarah Janicki, MD, MPH received an NIH-NIA K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award, mentored by Drs. Nicole Schupf, Adam Brickman, and Joseph Lee. Her project, "Relation of estrogen pathway genes to cognitive decline in elderly women and me," aims to determine the contribution of estrogen biosynthetic pathway gene variants to cognitive decline and risk for Alzheimer's disease in elderly men and women, and to employ neuroimaging analyses to determine the underlying neurobiological pathways through which these polymorphisms influence cognitive change.
- Ulrich Hengst, PhD has been awarded a BrightFocus Foundation Alzheimer's Disease Research grant for his project, "Axonal stress signaling propagates AD pathology," which will test the hypothesis that pathogenic concentrations of AÎ˛ oligomers trigger stress response pathways within axons leading to retrograde spread of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. The findings of this research may provide a rational basis for a disease modifying therapy by targeting intra-neuritic stress signaling.
Abid Hussaini, PhD received a New Investigator Research Grant from the Alzheimer's Association for his project, "Role of Lateral Entorhinal Cortex in Alzheimer’s Disease."
- Ottavio Arancio, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology and cell biology in the Taub Institute, has received an NIH R01 award for his project, "The regulation of beta-amyloid sensitivity and Alzheimer's related impairments by PP2A." Through this project, Dr. Arancio will examine the ability of the serine/threonine protein phosphatase, PP2A, to control sensitivitiy to the pathological actions of beta-amyloid, a protein that accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer's disease patients.
- Dr. Rafael Lantigua, deputy director of the Taub Institute since 1999, was awarded the 2014 P&S Award for Excellence. Dr. Lantigua was recognized for his decades of leadership as a clinician, teacher, administrator, and researcher at CUMC. The nominations further recognized Dr. Lantigua's exemplary commitment to advancing healthcare, education, and research in ;under-served communities.
- At the 5th Annual Taub Institute Retreat, Dr. Richard Mayeux announced that Brian McCabe, PhD will be awarded the high honor of an endowed professorship, in recognition of his academic and clinical achievements in the fields of pathology & cell biology and neuroscience. The professorship awarded to Dr. McCabe is the new Adler Assistant Professor for Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain (in the Taub Institute), named after the benefactor Charles Adler, an active member of the Taub Institute for Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain Advisory Board.
- As featured in CUMC Newsroom and the media, researchers from the Taub Institute and Departments of Neurology, Epidemiology, and Systems Biology are part of a five-university collaboration receiving a $12.6 million, four-year grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to identify rare genetic variants that may either protect against, or contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk. The Consortium for Alzheimer's Sequence Analysis (CASA) investigators, led by Dr. Richard Mayeux, will analyze whole exome and whole genome sequence data generated during the first phase of the NIH Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Program that began in 2012. They will analyze data from 6,000 volunteers with Alzheimer disease and 5,000 older individuals who did not have the disease. In addition, they will study genomic data from 111 large families with multiple Alzheimer disease members, mostly of Caucasian and Caribbean Hispanic descent to identify rare genetic variants.
- Dr. Elan Louis has received the 5-year renewal of the NIH T32 Neuro-Epidemiology Training Program. This grant will provide continued support for a training program in Neuroepidemiology, the goal of which is to prepare neurologists and other research scientists for research careers in the epidemiology of neurological disorders. The program, which has completed its 32nd year, has capitalized upon the strengths of the Departments of Neurology, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics, as well as the inter-disciplinary structure of the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center (Columbia University Medical Center). All trainees will spend two years in the program, during which time sequenced didactic course work in epidemiology and biostatistics at the Mailman School of Public Health will be integrated with increasingly independent research activity, providing trainees with an optimal training for academic positions.
- Dr. Elan Louis has received a new NIH R01 award for his project, "Clinical Pathological Study of Cognitive Impairment in Essential Tremor." The goal of this research is to lead the effort in determining the clinical and pathological characteristics of cognitive impairment associated with Essential tremor (ET), with the expectation that this research will elucidate the origins and processes of cognitive impairment in ET and, in due course, have an effect on prognostic counseling and treatment of ET patients with emerging cognitive features.
- Dr. Natura Myeku from the Taub Institute received an award in the amount of $100,000 from Cure PSP Foundation for PSP|CBD and Related Diseases for her project, "Synaptic Tau-Proteasome Dysfunction and a Potential Therapeutic Strategy." This study will investigate whether tau species accumulate in synaptosomal compartments and impair proteasome function, and will further determine if activation of proteasomes in the synapses clear accumulated tau.
- Dr. Tal Nuriel received an award in the amount of $120,000 from BrightFocus Foundation for his project titled, “Metabolomic/Lipidomic Analysis of ApoE Isoform Effects.” This study aims to utilize targeted lipidomics to identify lipid metabolites with abundances that are significantly altered by alternative apoE isoform expression in pathology-free mouse and human entorhinal cortex (EC) and primary visual cortex (PVC) tissue. Further, it will utilize untargeted metabolomics to identify small-molecule metabolites with abundances that are significantly altered by alternative apoE isoform expression in pathology-free mouse and human ECs and PVCs.
- Christiane Reitz, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology and epidemiology in the Taub Institute and Sergievsky Center, is winner of the Columbia Psychiatric-Neurological Epidemiology Early Career Award! This award, given in recognition of excellence as an early career investigator, recognizes Dr. Reitz's innovative application of both traditional epidemiological study designs and a variety of genomic methodologies toward the identification of environmental and genetic risk factors underlying Alzheimer disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Reitz has lead-authored over 70 original papers, review articles, and editorials on epidemiologic and genetic studies on AD and related disorders in many high impact journals, and her research has already led to several major insights regarding both environmental and genetic risk factors for dementia.
- In 2013, a $1.5M pledge commitment from Charles Adler enabled the creation of the Adler Assistant/Associate Professorship in the Taub Institute.
- The work of Dr. Scott Small and colleagues from Neurology and the Taub Institute, that implicated the polyamine pathway in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis, was highlighted in Chapter 1 of the NIH's Clinical and Translational Science Awards Progress Report 20092011. [read report]
- Dr. Adam Brickman, was selected to receive the Early Career Award from the International Neuropsychological Society. He will be delivering an award address titled "Reconsidering the Role of White Matter Disease in Cognitive Aging and Dementia" at the 40th annual meeting of the Society next month in Montreal.
- Bernadette Boden-Albala, DrPH, Department of Neurology, and Jose Luchsinger, MD, Taub Institute, have received $3.9 million over five years from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities for "Northern Manhattan Initiative for Minority Involvement in Clinical Trials (NIMICT)."
- Dr. Eric A. Schon, Lewis P. Rowland Professor of Neurology in Genetics and Development has received an award from the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation for his project, "Mitochondria-Associated Membranes in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease: A New Target for Drug Discovery."
- Dr. Adam Brickman, has been selected to receive the 2011 Margaret M. Cahn Research Award, for his research on white matter hyperintensities in aging and Alzheimer's disease, from the Alzheimer's Association Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester, NY Chapter.
- Dr. Yaakov Stern, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology in the Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Psychology has been awarded a new RO1 and two 5-year renewals from the NIH for his projects: "Exploring Cognitive Aging Using Reference Ability Neural Networks"; "Predictors of Severity in Alzheimer's Disease"; and "Imaging of Cognition, Learning, and Memory in Aging."
- Dr. Karen Marder, Sally Kerlin Professor of Neurology and Dr. Claudia Chiriboga, Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology and Pediatrics, in partnership with Dr. Claire Henchcliffe at Weill Cornell, have received NINDS funding to develop one of 25 sites as part of a national NeuroNEXT network, which will provide a standardized, accessible infrastructure to facilitate rapid development and implementation of protocols in adult and pediatric neurological disorders.