Home » News Update – February 4, 2022

News Update – February 4, 2022

Good News and Kudos

  • A research article, “Polygenic risk score effectively predicts depression onset in Alzheimer’s disease based on Major Depressive Disorder risk variants,” co-authored by Ornit Chiba-Falek, Sheng Luo and Michael Lutz was accepted for publication in Frontiers in Neuroscience. Dr. Chiba-Falek said that one of the undergraduates in his lab, Suraj Upadhya, deserves special recognition for his outstanding and exceptional work on this project. This is the first polygenic risk score of this type.
  • Kyle Walsh’s NC Science & Math High School student won a student award from the AAN and will receive a trip to Seattle for the awards ceremony.

Send us your news to share with the Duke-UNC Alzheimer’s disease research community!


Black History Month

Celebrating the Life & Legacy of Solomon Carter Fuller, MD

The Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) is offering a virtual celebration honoring the life and legacy Solomon Carter Fuller, MD, who graduated from BUSM in 1897. The first Black psychiatrist in the country and a renowned neurologist, pathologist and educator, he worked with Dr. Alois Alzheimer and practiced in the Boston area before joining the BUSM faculty in 1919. Upon his retirement from academic medicine in 1933, he was appointed Emeritus Professor of Neurology, and continued in private practice for many years.

The daylong event is sponsored by the BUSM Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine; Diversity & Inclusion and Alumni Association Offices; and BU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Boston University School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Learn more >


Meet the ADRC Staff!

Over the next several months, we plan to introduce members of the ADRC staff through the News Update. This week we are featuring Michelle Cooley and Peggy Felix from the Administrative Core since they provide much of the outreach to the Duke-UNC Alzheimer’s Disease research community and you will see their names frequently.

Michelle Cooley joined the Duke/UNC ADRC team in October of 2021 as Administrative Coordinator for the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development (Aging Center). Michelle has worked in various capacities for Duke since 2009, most recently as Program Administrator for the Pediatric Scientist Development Program (PSDP) and prior to that, as Program Coordinator for Radiation Oncology. In her new role with the ADRC, Michelle will work to provide administrative and programmatic support of varying complexity to Aging Center (AC) senior leadership.

Michelle graduated from Elon University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, and in 2017 completed her Master’s degree from Duke through the Masters Arts Liberal Studies Program (MALS). A native of Durham, Michelle currently resides not far from campus with her son. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking and attending live music events.


Peggy Felix joined the UNC Department of Neurology as a Marketing and Communications Specialist in 2015. Her work with the ADRC includes maintaining the website, editing the news updates that are sent to the Duke-UNC Alzheimer’s disease research communities, creating digital and print marketing materials, assisting with event planning, and other administrative needs. Peggy has an MBA in marketing and BA degrees in visual communication design and business administration. In her free time, Peggy enjoys hiking, gardening and cooking.