Home » News Update – March 8, 2022

    News Update – March 8, 2022

    Alzheimer’s Association International Conference
    Abstract Submissions

    The AAIC main abstract submission is closed, but there is still an opportunity to submit “Developing Topics” for anyone with late-breaking results. The submission period is April 11-25. Developing Topics Abstracts | AAIC | alz.org

     Meet the ADRC Consultants!

     We are grateful for the support of our distinguished consultants.

     Ben Bahr, PhD – University of North Carolina at Pembroke

    Dr. Bahr is the William C. Friday Chair and Distinguished Professor at the Pembroke campus of University of North Carolina. He leads the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Lab and the Biotech Imaging Facilities at UNC-Pembroke, integrating brain explant disease models with transgenic mouse models to study different dementias and their related risk factors including aging-linked neuronal stress, seizure events, and military blast exposures. The research combines cell signaling, bioinformatics, biocomputing, and biomarker identification methods to understand the pathogenic cascades underlying synaptic decline and the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia continuum.

    His Ph.D. in chemistry from University of California–Santa Barbara identified a target for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and a reliable marker for cognitive deterioration. Dr. Bahr’s postdoctoral training on memory mechanisms and aging was at the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California–Irvine. Among his honors are the Governor James Holshouser Award for Excellence in Public Service and the Governor O. Max Gardner Award for contributions towards human health.

    The research team at UNC-Pembroke works to reduce the devastating consequences of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, with support from NIH, NSF, the Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions (NASNTI) grant, Department of Defense HBCU/MI research programs, and NASA-related NASNTI programs. Founded in 1887, UNCP was the first state-supported college for American Indians in the nation.

    Dayami Lopez, PhD – North Carolina Central University

    Dr. Dayami Lopez is a tenured associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a principal investigator in the BRITE Institute at North Carolina Central University. She graduated in 1997 from the College of Medicine, University of South Florida, with a Ph.D. in medical sciences, with emphasis in biochemistry and molecular biology.

    Dr. Lopez has over 25 years of experience in academic research with a focus on atherosclerosis, breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Her research efforts have been supported by grants from the American Heart Association, the Florida Department of Health, private industries, and the National Institutes of Health.

    Dr. Lopez has mentored multiple B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. students, and M.D. and Ph.D. post-doctoral fellows. She serves as course director/primary instructor for several undergraduate and graduate classes. She is also a co-author in more than 52 publications and an inventor in two patent applications. Dr. Lopez is the founder and the Chief Scientific Officer for the Metabolic Diseases Division of NIFP Technologies LLC, located at NCCU.

    Juan Troncoso, MD – Johns Hopkins University

    Dr. Juan Troncoso is a Board-certified neurologist and neuropathologist. He graduated from the Medical School of the Universidad Catolica in Chile, trained in clinical neurology under Dr. Elliott Mancall at the Hahnemann Medical College of Pennsylvania and in neuropathology with Dr. Donald Price at Johns Hopkins. After completing his neuropathology fellowship, he joined the faculty at Hopkins where he is now a professor of pathology and neurology.

    Dr. Troncoso directs the Brain Resource Center (BRC), the neuropathology tissue repository of the Johns Hopkins University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), the Center for Excellence in Parkinson’s Research, the BIOCARD study, JHU Huntington’s Disease Program, and the Frontotemporal Dementia Program, and conducts neuropathologic autopsies for the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of aging (BLSA).

    Dr. Troncoso has devoted his career to work in the pathology and pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. The approach of Dr. Troncoso and his laboratory is to conduct morphological studies relevant to the pathobiology of AD and neurodegenerative disorders concurrently with collaborative studies of genetics, molecular biology, and proteomics.

    Dr. Troncoso’s laboratory pioneered the application of stereological methods to the study of normal aging and neurodegenerative disorders both in humans and experimental animals. Applying this methodology to postmortem material from the ADRC and BLSA, he has published extensively on the morphological aspects of asymptomatic/preclinical AD, in particular the neuronal hypertrophy of hippocampal and cingulate neurons. The major research contributions of Dr. Troncoso and colleagues, published in more than 350 peer-reviewed papers, include the application of unbiased stereology to the study of neurodegenerations and observations of the pathological changes in asymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease and in normal younger individuals.

    Donna Roberson, PhD, FNP-BC – East Carolina University

    Dr. Donna W. Roberson is an associate professor and family nurse practitioner with East Carolina University College of Nursing. She has extensive experience in geriatrics, especially healthy aging, care of those living with dementia and education and support for both professional and family caregivers of those living with dementia. She has served in several capacities including PI on the ECU Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) grant and is now a partner on the Carolina GWEP as the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Director. Her team provides caregiver training and support, offering events across eastern North Carolina.

    Dr. Roberson is a certified dementia practitioner and trainer, a certified trainer for Positive Approach to Care™ and Virtual Dementia Tour.™ She mentors doctoral and undergraduate honors students with their research in dementia care and aging topics and enjoys creating engaging presentations for family caregiver education.


    CARiNG-StARR Speakers Series

    Wednesday, March 16, Noon-1pm

    “Mental Status Testing in Determining Competence and Capacity to Consent in Older Adults”

    Guy G. Potter, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Duke University

    Learning Objectives:

    • Define the distinction between competence and decision-making capacity
    • Describe the 4 cognitive abilities that define decision-making capacity
    • Describe the advantages and limitations of mental status testing in determining decision making capacity in medical care versus research consent
    • Articulate at least two approaches a researcher could propose to define consent to participate in research

    Join Zoom Meeting: https://duke.zoom.us/j/99659579847?pwd=a0djYzdOeW5kZXV4YkxVQnpNNWYzQT09

    Meeting ID: 996 5957 9847

    Passcode: 522962

    Dr. Potter’s research interests include risk factors for cognitive impairment in late life, as well as interventions to promote healthy cognitive aging. He is a neuropsychologist in the Duke-UNC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) and an NIH-funded researcher on aging issues. Additionally, he conducts research in occupational mental health, and provides mental health consultation within Duke’s Employee Occupational Health and Wellness Clinic (EOHW).

    The CARiNG-StARR (Creating Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Researchers for the Next Generation – Stimulating Access to Research in Residency) Pathway Speakers Series features experts on a wide range of topics in the Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias field including advances in research, clinical care, and more. CARiNG-StARR Speakers Series is open to all faculty, staff, trainees, students, alumni, and friends of the program.

     ADRD IDEAS Forum

    Thursday, March 24, 4pm

    The next ADRD IDEAS Forum will feature Dr. Rashmita Basu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health at ECU who will be speaking about the psychological wellbeing of dementia patients and caregivers, and the promise of music therapy. More information to come soon.

    All trainees (fellows, postdocs, junior faculty, residents, research associates, etc.) interested in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are invited to attend the Interaction- and Discussion-Enablers for Alzheimer’s disease Science (IDEAS) Forum. The forum is directed towards early-career investigators from Duke, UNC-CH, ECU, NCCU, and UNC-Pembroke.

    Join the ADRD IDEAS Forum listserv to receive future announcements directly.

    Join Zoom Meeting


    Meeting ID: 984 0816 8400

    Passcode: 359641


    June 24-25, 2022, Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center, Duke University

    The first Symposium for Learning about Alzheimer’s disease-related Medical research at Duke and UNC (SLAM-DUNC) will be held Friday-Saturday, June 24 – 25 at the Duke Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center. The symposium is open to researchers, clinicians, and trainees from Duke, UNC, NCCU, UNC-Pembroke, and ECU and will include:

    • Research presentations from REC Scholars and trainees
    • A poster session
    • Networking sessions
    • Information about ADRC core resources

    A call for abstracts will be sent out in the coming weeks. We look forward to seeing you there!

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