Nutrition and the Brain: Bios

The Physicians Committee

Connect with Us

Support for the Nutrition and the Brain conference generously provided by:


The Pat Summitt Foundation

Greenbaum Foundation: Being a bystander to suffering is not an option

The Wellness Forum

Treeline Treenut Cheese


Vegetalista vegan food cart Portland Oregon

 Family and Nursing Care

Nutrition and the Brain: Bios

 International Conference on Nutrition and the Brain: The Role of Foods and Lifestyle in Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurological Disorders

Nutrition and the Brain: Bios

Ulka Agarwal, M.D.

Ulka Agarwal, M.D.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Ulka Agarwal, M.D., is chief medical officer and director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. In this position, Dr. Agarwal works on clinical research studies and nutrition initiatives. She is currently conducting clinical trials on the effects of plant-based diets on migraine, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetic neuropathy pain. She is a graduate of Dr. Andrew Weil’s Integrative Medicine Fellowship through the University of Arizona.

Dr. Agarwal received her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from San Jose State University and earned her medical degree from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. She completed residency training in psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine and served as chief resident. Before joining PCRM, Dr. Agarwal worked as a psychiatrist for California State University, East Bay, and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

Nutrition and Migraine: Dr. Agarwal will describe the role of diet for the prevention of migraines, detail the basic principles of recommending diet changes to patients with migraines, and review the body of research on nutrition and migraines.

Neal Barnard, M.D.

Neal Barnard, M.D.

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Neal Barnard, M.D., is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He has led numerous clinical trials investigating the effects of diet on diabetes, body weight, and chronic pain, notably a recent study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Barnard has authored dozens of scientific publications as well as 15 books for lay readers.

Dr. Barnard received his medical degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and completed his residency at the same institution. He practiced at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York before returning to Washington to found the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in 1985.

Dopamine, Diabetes, and Dementia: Dr. Barnard will describe the increased risk of dementia associated with diabetes and explain the prevalence of genetic traits related to dopamine among people with type 2 diabetes. He will also present evidence regarding the role of plant-based diets in diabetes management.

Toward Dietary Recommendations for Brain Health in Clinical Practice: Dr. Barnard and Ms. Levin will present draft recommendations for protecting brain health to be used by medical practitioners. They will also describe ways to engage patients in the process of a diet change, review benefits patients may anticipate when adopting a plant-based diet, and provide key principles for helping patients sustain healthful dietary habits.

Ashley Bush, MD, Ph.D.

Ashley I. Bush, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Melbourne

Ashley I. Bush, M.D., Ph.D., is Director of the Oxidation Biology Laboratory at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne, Australia, and Principal Research Fellow at the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria, Australia. Dr. Bush is also a lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an Adjunct Professor of Neuroscience at Cornell University Medical College. He is a Professional Fellow of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, and the Director of Research and a Neuropsychiatrist at the Delmont Memory Clinic in Melbourne. Dr. Bush is also the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Scientific Officer of Eucalyptus Biosciences Ltd and the Co-founder and Chief Scientific Consultant of Prana Biotechnology Ltd. He serves on the Advisory Council of the Alzheimer’s Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (ISTAART).

A board certified psychiatrist, Dr. Bush trained in psychoanalysis, then completed a doctorate in neuroscience with Colin Masters at the University of Melbourne, and did his postdoctoral study with Rudy Tanzi at Harvard University. He is the recipient of several awards including the Harkness Fellowship from the Commonwealth Fund of New York, the Beeson Award from the Alliance for Aging Research, and the Senator John Hatfield Award for Clinical Research from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Dr. Bush has authored more than 100 publications. His laboratory uncovered the interaction of biometals (copper, zinc, and iron) with beta-amyloid that contributes to both oxidation damage and amyloid accumulation in Alzheimer’s disease. This has led to the development of novel therapeutic compounds that are currently in clinical trials. The laboratory has generalized its findings into the corruption of metalloproteins contributing to the pathogenesis of other age-dependent neurodegenerative disorders, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, TSE and cataracts. His most recent work has characterized novel iron transport pathways for APP, a ubiquitously expressed protein, which is has activity analogous to ceruloplasmin and interacts with tau to mediate neuronal iron export.

Proteins and Dysfunctional Metal Homeostasis in Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease: Dr. Bush will explain the importance of normal transition metal metabolism and its regulation by proteins implicated in neurodegeneration. He will review the evidence of dysfunction of brain metal homeostasis as contributing to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and the evidence supporting pharmacological adjustments of brain metal homeostasis as potential therapeutics for neurodegenerative disease.

Antonia Ceccarelli, M.D., Ph.D.

Antonia Ceccarelli, M.D., Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Antonia Ceccarelli, M.D., Ph.D., is a neurologist and a faculty member in the Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. After earning her degree from the University of Bari, Italy, Dr. Ceccarelli completed her residency in neurology and earned her doctorate from Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.Her research focuses on the clinical application of integrated multimodal high-field MR structural and functional techniques in patients with brain disorders, especially multiple sclerosis. She is currently a co-investigator on several research grants and clinical trials aimed at expanding and refining the application of MRI technology in multiple sclerosis. She has authored and co-authored several publications, book chapters, and abstracts and regularly presents her ongoing work at international conferences. She has received numerous awards for her research studies. She also serves as an ad hoc reviewer and editor for several journals.

The Role of Iron in Neurological Disorders: Dr. Ceccarelli will review iron physiology in the central nervous system, explain how brain iron plays a role in neurological disorders, and describe potential new therapies targeting abnormal iron deposition.

James Cooper, M.D., A.G.S.F., F.A.C.P.M.

James Cooper, M.D.

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

James Cooper, M.D., received geriatrics training at Harvard University, where he was also a Hartford Scholar. He was formerly Director of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis, and Senior Gerontology Advisor at CMS (the Medicare Agency) in the Office of Clinical Standards and Quality. Dr. Cooper is currently Clinical Professor of Medicine at George Washington University, where he is Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic. Dr. Cooper has authored 38 peer-reviewed health services research publications, and is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.

New Concepts in Dementia: Dr. Cooper will detail characteristics associated with specific dementias and describe elements in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.

Celeste de Jager, Ph.D.

Celeste de Jager, Ph.D.

University of Cape Town

Celeste de Jager, Ph.D., obtained her doctorate in medicine from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Epidemiology. She joined the Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing (OPTIMA) at the University of Oxford in 1998 to conduct neuropsychological research with a cohort of cognitively healthy volunteers. Her primary research interests lie in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and in Mild Cognitive Impairment and associated risk factors for cognitive decline.

Dr. de Jager held a British Academy award for a project on community screening for cognitive impairment in India and was the Principal Investigator in studies to identify neuropsychological tests that might be more sensitive to change in Alzheimer’s disease treatment trials than those currently in use. She is also the Oxford Principal Investigator for the Cognitive Archaeology collaborative study with Dr. Peter Garrard from St George’s University, London, studying linguistic markers that predict dementia.

Dr. de Jager was responsible for the cognitive and clinical assessment aspects of the VITACOG trial of B vitamins for those with Mild Cognitive Impairment, the results of which were presented at the International Alzheimer’s Disease Conference (ICAD) in Hawaii, the Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s disease conference in Toulouse, 2010 and the British Science Festival, 2011.

Dr. de Jager represented OPTIMA as a member of the European Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium and is an academic expert on the Nutrition and Mental Performance Task Force with the Institute of Life Sciences-Europe. She has been appointed to the World Health Organization advisory group for the revision of the ICD-10 criteria for neurocognitive disorders. In January 2013, she won an award from the Worldwide Universities Network to study nutrient intake in Xhosa elderly to determine if B-vitamin deficiency/elevated homocysteine contribute to cognitive impairment and low mood in rural South Africa.

Homocysteine Lowering with B Vitamins for Prevention of Brain Shrinkage and Memory Loss: Dr. de Jager will describe why B vitamins (folate, B6, and B12) are important in the regulation of homocysteine levels in the blood, the association of B vitamins with cognitive performance, and the long-term effects of high dose treatment with B-vitamin supplements on cognition and brain shrinkage.

Kirk I. Erickson, Ph.D.

Kirk I. Erickson, Ph.D.

University of Pittsburgh

Kirk I. Erickson, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and a member of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Erickson is the Principal Investigator of the Brain Aging and Cognitive Health laboratory where he manages a team of 20 post-docs, students, and research staff. He has conducted research in areas of molecular neuroscience, genetics, cognitive psychology, and human neuroscience.

Dr. Erickson has published more than 70 articles and book chapters discussing changes in cognition and the brain that occur in late adulthood and the factors that prevent or reverse senescence. Dr. Erickson and his colleagues have found that participating in consistent routines of aerobic exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and being intellectually engaged can both prevent and reverse cognitive and brain deterioration. These results have appeared on numerous news programs, magazines, and television shows including CNN, ABC, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, Men’s Health, Newsweek, and WebMD. He has lectured both nationally and internationally and has been awarded several fellowships and grants to support his research initiative.

The Effect of Exercise on Brain Structure and Function: Dr. Erickson will describe which brain regions are most consistently affected by physical activity and which populations might respond most effectively from an exercise intervention. He will also describe mechanisms by which exercise might affect brain health and volume, and how this evidence might provide a better understanding of brain function and brain health.

Gary Fraser, M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D.

Gary E. Fraser, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D., M.P.H.

Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Gary E. Fraser, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D., M.P.H., received his medical degree from the University of Otago, New Zealand (NZ), in 1969. While the recipient of NZ Medical Research Council and NZ National Heart Foundation Fellowships, he spent two years at the Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene, University of Minnesota, receiving a Master of Public Health degree. In 1979, Dr. Fraser received his doctorate from the University of Auckland. He became board certified in California in internal medicine and cardiovascular medicine and is presently Professor of Cardiology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, Loma Linda, Calif.

Over the last 22 years, Dr. Fraser has been awarded a number of American Heart Association and NIH research grants, with a broad focus on diet, exercise, lipids, heart disease, and cancer. At present, he is principal investigator of the study “Cancer Epidemiology in Adventists -A Low Risk Group.” This study will follow the incidence of breast, colon, and prostate cancer and mortality among 96,000 black and white Adventists over a 10-year follow up. He is also the principal investigator of the study “Biological and Psychological Manifestation of Religion.” This study examines particular cognitive, behavioral, affective, and social manifestations of religious experience and their associations with quality of life and cause-specific mortality.

Dr. Fraser is author/co-author of more than 100 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and author of two books, Preventive Cardiology and Diet, Life Expectancy, and Chronic Disease, both published by Oxford University Press.

Diet, Longevity, and Cognition: Dr. Fraser will review evidence that diet may affect cognitive decline, identify examples of populations that exhibit unusual longevity through a discussion of the ‘Blue Zone’ concept and the California Seventh-day Adventists, and examine the strengths and weaknesses of prospective observational studies.

Michael Greger, M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on nutrition and health. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, among countless other symposia and institutions. He has testified before Congress and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the “meat defamation” trial. Currently, Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Dr. Greger’s recent scientific publications in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism, Critical Reviews in Microbiology, Family & Community Health, and the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition, and Public Health explore the public health implications of industrialized animal agriculture.

Dr. Greger is also licensed as a general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition and was a founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He was featured on the Healthy Living Channel promoting his latest nutrition DVDs and honored to teach part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s esteemed nutrition course at Cornell University. Dr. Greger’s nutrition work can be found at, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity.

Nutrition and Neurology Update: Dr. Greger will describe the dietary approaches to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and how to avoid the adverse effects of a vitamin B12 deficiency on the central nervous system, and will discuss the leading hypothesis as to why plant-based diets seem to elevate mood.

Shelli Kesler, Ph.D.Shelli R. Kesler, Ph.D.

Stanford University School of Medicine

Shelli R. Kesler, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor and Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. She obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology in 2000 from Brigham Young University. She joined the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford in 2001 as a member of the senior research staff and was appointed to the faculty in 2007.

Dr. Kesler’s academic research program focuses on the application of cognitive neuroscience to the study of clinical populations. She is particularly interested in the neurotoxic effects of chemotherapy treatments for cancer, and was a recipient of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2008 for her research in this area. Her laboratory seeks to identify the biological mechanisms underlying cognitive deficit, develop and implement novel behavioral interventions for cognitive dysfunction, and improve cognitive neuroscience research methodology by introducing new tools for neuroimaging analyses.

Dr. Kesler is an attending psychologist in the Psychiatry Clinics at Stanford Medical Center, a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute, and a member of the Stanford Bio-X Program.

Cognitive Decline Following Chemotherapy: Dr. Kesler will describe the cognitive effects of chemotherapy and discuss potential cognitive training methods for improving cognitive function following treatment.

Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., is director of nutrition education at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Ms. Levin researches and writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases. She also addresses the need for nutrition guidelines that reflect PCRM’s Power Plate (fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains). In addition, Ms. Levin assists in teaching nutrition and health classes to participants in various clinical trials exploring the links between diet and disease.

Ms. Levin received her Master of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Seattle, Wash. There, she focused on clinical counseling for a variety of nutrition-related issues. After receiving her master’s degree, Ms. Levin completed a dietetic internship at Bastyr University and became a registered dietitian. Her internship rotations included work on HIV/AIDS issues in the public health sector, clinical work at the Swedish Medical Center, and counseling of diabetic patients at the Joslin Diabetes Center. Ms. Levin received the Charlotte Newcombe Scholarship twice during her postgraduate work at Hunter College in New York.

Toward Dietary Recommendations for Brain Health in Clinical Practice: Dr. Barnard and Ms. Levin will present draft recommendations for protecting brain health to be used by medical practitioners. They will also describe ways to engage patients in the process of a diet change, review benefits patients may anticipate when adopting a plant-based diet, and provide key principles for helping patients sustain healthful dietary habits.

Brendan Lucey, M.D.

Brendan P. Lucey, M.D.

Washington University School of Medicine

Brendan P. Lucey, M.D., is an Instructor in the Neurology Department at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. Dr. Lucey specializes in neurology, neurophysiology, EEG, epilepsy, sleep disorders, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and circadian rhythm disorders. His areas of research interest are sleep and Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Lucey is board certified in neurology, sleep medicine, and clinical neurophysiology. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont and his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Md. Dr. Lucey completed his residency in neurology at Washington University School of Medicine and a Fellowship in clinical neurophysiology/EEG at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of 18 peer-reviewed publications.

Amyloid-β Diurnal Pattern: Possible Role of Sleep in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis: Dr. Lucey will describe how sleep changes during normal aging and in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, and will discuss the difference between a circadian rhythm and a diurnal pattern and why this is important for changes in CSF amyloid-beta concentrations during the sleep-wake cycle. He will also review evidence that the amyloid- beta diurnal pattern may have a role in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis.

John McDougall, M.D.

John McDougall, M.D.

McDougall Health and Medical Center

John McDougall, M.D., is a board-certified internist, author of 11 national best-selling books, and the international online McDougall Newsletter. He is host of the nationally syndicated television show McDougall M.D., a forum for promoting his philosophy that degenerative disease can be prevented and treated with a plant-based diet of whole, unprocessed, low-fat foods.

Dr. McDougall received his medical degree from the College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University. He completed his internship in general surgery at Queen’s Medical Center, Honolulu, and his internal medicine residency at the University of Hawaii. He is Associate Clinical Professor at the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Touro University, in Vallejo, Calif., and the Medical Director of the 10-Day McDougall Lifestyle/Nutrition Program in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Dr. McDougall is a world-renowned expert on better health through vegetarian cuisine with more than 30 years of clinical and research experience in the field. He has cared for thousands of patients over almost three decades of medical practice and has run a highly successful live-in program for more than 20 years.

Dr. McDougall was one of the first traditional physicians to assert that adoption of a vegetarian diet can reverse unfavorable medical conditions such as heart disease. He is the author of several national bestsellers including: The Starch Solution, The McDougall Plan: 12 Days to Dynamic Health, McDougall’s Medicine: A Challenging Second Opinion, The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss, The New McDougall Cookbook, The McDougall Program for Women, and his latest book, The McDougall Program for a Healthy Heart.

A Starch-Based Diet Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis: Dr. McDougall will present epidemiological associations between a high-saturated fat diet and multiple sclerosis, describe the research of Dr. Roy Swan for the treatment with a low-fat diet, and discuss the basic principles for treating patients with a low-fat, starch-based diet.

Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D.

Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D.

Rush University Medical Center

Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., is Professor of Epidemiology, Director of the Section of Nutrition and Nutritional Epidemiology in the Department of Internal Medicine, and Assistant Provost of Community Research at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She received her doctoral degree in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health and has more than 20 years of experience studying risk factors in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other health problems of older persons—in particular, how nutrition relates to these conditions.

Dr. Morris is one of the pioneers in research on dietary risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive change with aging. She has published findings on the relation of antioxidant nutrients, dietary fats, and B-vitamins to these conditions. She has a long history of funding to examine dietary risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease among 10,000 African-American and Caucasian participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project and the relation of tocopherols and brain metals to neuropathology and neurologic diseases among 1,200 Chicago participants of the Memory and Aging Project.

Dietary Fat Composition and Dementia Risk: Dr. Morris will share how dietary fats play roles in both increasing and reducing risk for Alzheimer’s disease and their potential roles in prevention.

John Pierre

John Pierre

Nutrition and Fitness Consultant

John Pierre is a nutrition and fitness consultant devoted to improving the lives of others through his expertise in the areas of geriatrics, nutrition, fitness, and cognitive retention and improvement. He has taught in retirement homes, senior centers, and adult day care centers and is widely recognized for teaching cognitive function to the elderly population.

John pioneered some of the first classes in brain enhancing modalities, combining nutrition, unique physical movements, and creative brain stimulating activities, and has been working in the geriatric community for more than 25 years.

He is a sought-after personal trainer, working with people of all ages and occupations, including celebrities and Fortune 500 executives, and can be seen on Ellen DeGeneres’ website teaching his popular brain-building boot camp.

Brain-Building Boot Camp

Dr. Judes PoirierJudes Poirier, Ph.D.

McGill University

Judes Poirier, Ph.D., received his undergraduate training in biochemistry at the Université de Montréal and completed his doctorate on the neurobiology of Parkinson’s disease and the neurotoxicity of MPTP and aluminum at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal. Dr. Poirier is a full Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at McGill University, Associate Director of the Centre for Studies in the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease, and Director of the Molecular Neurobiology Unit at the Douglas Institute Research Centre. He regularly serves as scientific adviser to numerous pharmaceutical, industrial and governmental organizations in Canada and other countries.

Dr. Poirier has made fundamental contributions to the advancement of scientific research for both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. He is internationally renowned for his work on the role of apolipoprotein E in the injured brain and in the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to his seminal contribution in the field of brain plasticity and apolipoprotein E, he is a pioneer in the establishment of the pharmacogenomic bases of novel treatments for common neurological diseases.

Dr. Poirier has received several prestigious international scientific awards in recent years including the International Society for Neurochemistry Investigator Award (1995, Kyoto), the ICAD/First Parke-Davis International Award (1996, Osaka), and the Galien Prize (1997, Montreal). In Canada, he was the recipient of the Beaubien Award of the Alzheimer Society of Canada (1994, Ottawa), the Investigator Award (1994, Calgary), the Innovation Award (1998) of the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the Jonas Salk Award (1999, Toronto). Dr. Poirer was also the recipient the AstraZeneca/ASC/RxDx Award (2001) and the CSCC Award (2001, Chicago) for his seminal work in the field of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Poirier is the co-founder of three Montréal-based biotech companies, including Nova Molecular Inc. and Spectral Neuroscience Inc., which have been involved in the development and commercialization of pharmacogenomic services and gene-based therapies for biotech and pharmaceutical corporations. He recently published a lay book with colleague Serge Gauthier entitled Alzheimer’s Disease: A Guide, which was awarded the prestigious Hubert Reeve Literary Prize 2012 from the Canadian Association of Scientific Journalists.

Apolipoprotein E, Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Factors in the Etiology of Alzheimer’s Disease: Myths and Reality: Dr. Poirier will explain the genetic basis of Alzheimer’s disease, describe the role played by lipids in the brain, discuss lifestyle factors that modulate the risk of developing common Alzheimer’s disease, and will explain how lipid-related biomarkers can be used to monitor the progression of dementia.

Rosanna Squitti, Ph.D.

Rosanna Squitti, Ph.D.

AFaR, Department of Neuroscience, Ospedale Fatebenefratelli

Rosanna Squitti, Ph.D., is head of both the Laboratory of Neurobiology, AFaR, Department of Neuroscience, Ospedale Fatebenefratelli, and the Laboratory of Neurobiology, Department of Neurology, Campus Bio-Medico University in Rome, Italy.

She received her doctorate in cellular and developmental biology at the University of Rome and completed her postdoctoral work in molecular biology at the University of Liverpool.

Dr. Squitti was the first to discover that the fraction of serum copper not bound to ceruloplasmin, referred to as ‘free’ or ‘labile’ copper, is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (Squitti et al, Neurol., 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009), and that the ATP7B—the gene that controls the body’s free copper quantity—is a susceptibility gene for Alzheimer’s disease (Squitti et al, J Alzheimers Dis., 2012; Squitti et al, Rejuvenation Res., 2012; Bucossi et al, J Alzheimers Dis., 2012). She also developed a switch-off coumarin fluorescent probe for detecting free copper in serum (Ref Patent: PCT/EP2012/072063). To date she has participated in 13 studies funded by the Italian Health Department, three of which are still in progress.

Dr. Squitti is the author of more than 63 (ISI) papers. She was the Associate Editor for the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease from January 2011-2013 and the 2011 Academic Editor of the International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (SAGE-Hindawi).

Copper Dyshomeostasis in Alzheimer’s Disease: Dr. Squitti will describe how the body reacts to copper intake, how copper metabolizes in the liver and supplies cuproproteins, and the mechanisms leading to copper dysbalance.