Charles DeCarli, M.D.
Professor and Director, UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Victor and Genevieve Orsi Chair in Alzheimer's Research
Professor of Neurology and the Victor and Genevieve Orsi Chair in Alzheimer's Research. He directs the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Imaging of Dementia and Aging (IDeA) laboratory. His research interests focus on the use of neuroimaging techniques to examine the biological underpinnings of brain structure and function during aging and in the presence of diseases such as cerebrovascular and Alzheimer’s disease. Serves as leader of the Investigator Development Core of the Latino Aging Research Resource Center (LARRC) a federally funded Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR).
Rachel Whitmer, Ph.D.
Professor and Division Chief of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences
Associate Director, UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Dr. Rachel Whitmer joined UC Davis in Spring of 2018 and leads the Population Science of Brain Health Laboratory. She is Professor and Division Chief of Epidemiology , Department of Public Health Sciences. Her research focuses on using epidemiological methods to reduce inequities in brain aging; especially through study of dementia incidence, cognitive aging, and brain pathology in ethnoracial minority groups, those with diabetes mellitus, and individuals living beyond age 90. Dr. Whitmer is Principal Investigator of several NIH funded epidemiological cohort studies, KHANDLE (Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences), STAR (Study of Healthy Aging in African Americans), LifeAfter90, and SOLID ( Study of Longevity in Diabetes) all of which examine lifecourse mechanisms on brain aging in multiethnic, diverse populations. In early 2019 Dr. Whitmer will launch the US POINTER at UC Davis, a multidomain clinical trial to prevent cognitive decline funded by the Alzheimer’s Association. Dr. Whitmer is a member of the Graduate Group in Epidemiology and Public Health Sciences, and is committed to mentoring, teaching, and promoting those underrepresented in research.
Doris Chen, M.D.
David Bissig, Ph.D.
Brittany N. Dugger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Science
Dr. Dugger is an Assistant Professor of Pathology. She is a neuroanatomist and co-investigator of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Neuropathology Core. Throughout her career, she interfaced with the fields of neurology and neuropathology and focused on clinicopathological correlates to investigate disease heterogeneity. Her work has resulted in numerous private, state, and federally funded grants and over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts. Dr. Dugger joined the faculty at the University of California Davis in the winter of 2018; her laboratory focuses on (1) understanding heterogeneity within neurodegenerative diseases (2) understanding the interaction of peripheral changes to aging and neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to her research, Dr. Dugger is the director of the Brains to Classrooms program, which educates elementary school students on brain health and comparative anatomy.
Audrey P. Fan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Neurology and Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Fan is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Biomedical Engineering. She is an imaging physicist with experience in stroke research and co-leader of the Neuroimaging Core for the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Her lab develops novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) methods to measure brain physiology in cerebrovascular disease and vascular dementia. As there is large overlap between vascular risk factors and cognitive decline, Dr. Fan characterizes this risk with brain imaging biomarkers such as cerebral blood flow, oxygenation, and vascular reserve. Through new MRI and PET technologies, she aims to diagnose cerebrovascular disease and dementia earlier than ever, and identify optimal therapies to improve patient quality of life.
Sarah Farias, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Neurology
Clinical Core Co-Leader
Dr. Farias is Professor of Neurology. Her background is in Clinical Psychology with specialization in Neuropsychology. She directs the California State Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at UC Davis and serves as Co-Leader of the NIH-funded UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center’s (ADC) Clinical Core. A longstanding research interest focuses on examining how cognitive and non-cognitive factors impact an older adult’s ability to function independently in their everyday lives. More recent research endeavors include the development of interventions to support better everyday function among older adults at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease through teaching compensation strategies and the adoption of lifestyle changes to support brain health.
Jaclyn Fox, Ph.D.
Danielle Harvey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Biostatistics
Dr. Harvey is an Associate Professor in the Division of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine, at UC Davis. Her research primarily focuses on the statistical analysis of neuroimaging data. For the past twelve years, she has worked in the area of Alzheimer’s disease, with particular emphasis on the use of neuroimaging to identify markers of disease progression. As such, she has expertise in the analysis of complex correlated data, whether the correlation is due to repeated measures from the same person at a single time point (multiple brain regions or multiple electrodes, for example) or multiple measurements over time on the same person (longitudinal studies). Dr. Harvey’s independent research focuses on deriving hypothesis-driven summaries of neuroimaging data that utilize the known structure of the brain as well as the hypothesized biology of the disease process.
Lee-Way Jin, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Director of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Neuropathology Core Leader
Dr. Jin is Associate Professor, Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Director of the Division of Neuropathology. Dr. Jin is a neuropathologist and neuroscientist with expertise in the molecular analysis of brain diseases. He is currently the principal investigator of the NIA- funded Neuropathology Core of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at UC Davis. He is also the UC Davis principal investigator of the “University of California Pediatric Neuropathology Consortium,” with the mission to collect and study cells and brain tissues from patients with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, fragile X syndrome, and Rett syndrome. Dr. Jin also conducts basic science research in his laboratory. His scientific goals include identifying potential cellular and molecular therapeutic targets and designing and testing small molecule compounds specific for these targets.
David K. Johnson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Neurology
Core Leader, Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core
Dr. Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology. He directs the California State Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in the East Bay. His research program focuses on improving the sensitivity and specificity of cognitive and biological markers of Alzheimer’s disease and on developing and testing clinical interventions that inhibit disease progression. His expertise is in clinical and neuropsychological assessment of healthy aging and dementia and advanced longitudinal research methodology. Additionally, his primary academic interest is to investigate the biologic bases of behavior that identify healthy aging and distinguish it from dementia. Fundamental to all his research is a broad appreciation of how dementia affects individuals as well as the social networks that support them.
Pauline Maillard, Ph.D.
Associate Professional Researcher
Dr. Pauline Maillard is an Associate Professional Researcher in the Neuroimaging Core for the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Dr Maillard’s research interests focus on better understanding trajectories of cognitive decline and brain differences in association with vascular risk. Her research strategy includes two specific emphases: analytical by developing methods for MRI image analyses and identifying new neuroimaging biomarkers of vascular disease, and epidemiological by studying the association of new developed MRI derived measures with cognition.
Dr. Meyer is Assistant Professor of Neurology. Dr. Meyer’s research interests focus on social determinants of health as they affect underrepresented populations, in particular racial/ethnic minorities and older adults. She is currently examining neighborhood effects on health and she plans to continue this unique aspect of research. Having been trained as a social psychologist and collaborating with scholars from multiple disciplines (e.g., clinical and community psychology, neuropsychology, epidemiology, sociology, medicine, psychiatry), her research emphasizes the importance of utilizing innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to studying cognitive and mental health.
Dan Mungas, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Director, UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Data Core Leader
Dr. Mungas is Professor of Neurology. His research interests are in measuring cognition in ethnically and linguistically diverse older populations and in studying determinants of cognitive health and cognitive decline. His research has utilized innovative psychometric methods associated with item response theory and related latent variable modeling methods to develop sensitive measures of cognitive decline relevant to diverse older populations. It has used these measures in longitudinal studies to identify demographic, environmental, and biological variables that influence late life cognitive trajectories. In addition, Dr. Mungas is the PI of the “Advanced Psychometric Methods in Cognitive Aging Research” conference grant that trains early career and established investigators in advanced psychometric and statistical methodology for cognitive aging research.
John Olichney, M.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Neurology and Center for MIND and Brain
Clinical Core Co-Leader
Professor of Neurology, is a Behavioral Neurologist and Dementia specialist. He serves as Co-Leader of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center’s (ADC) Clinical Core. His research interests include electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies of memory and language processes, early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, and other higher cognitive disorders. He directs the Cognitive Electrophysiology and Neuroimaging (CEAN) laboratory in the Center for Mind and Brain (CMB) and a UCNS-accredited Fellowship on “Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry in Neurodegeneration and Aging”. He has expertise in dementia diagnosis, pathophysiology and the interactions between Alzheimer’s disease and vascular pathology.
Kumar Bharat Rajan, Ph.D.
Professor, Division of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health Sciences
Data Core Leader
Kumar B. Rajan, PhD, is a professor of Public Health Sciences, Division of Biostatistics. His research focuses on statistical methods for the epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease and he has made significant contributions to this field. Using the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP), Dr. Rajan showed that the preclinical phase of AD may span nearly two decades. He has made several other contributions on the genetic epidemiology of APOE-4 allele on cognitive decline and risk of AD in older adults, and developed a two-part model for the onset and progression of disabilities in older populations.
Prior to joining UC Davis, he was a faculty member with the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging and the senior biostatistician for CHAP.
Alyssa Weakley, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
Dr. Weakley is a neuropsychologist offering comprehensive cognitive evaluations to geriatric and adult patients with a wide range of neurologic conditions. She has clinical and research expertise in neurodegenerative disorders including mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. She is also part of the Deep Brain Stimulation Program and Comprehensive Epilepsy Program and provides pre- and post-surgical evaluations, Wada procedures, and intra-operative language mapping.
Glen Xiong, M.D.
Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Director, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Education Core Co-Investigator
Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He is an internist-psychiatrist by training and has expertise in neuropsychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and Post-acute/Long-term Care Medicine. He is the Associate Director of the Outreach and Recruitment Core at the UC Davis ADRC. His active grants include a Behavioral Health Center of Excellent grant from the State of California to study telepsychiatry in skilled nursing facilities and a training grant on providing integrated behavioral health and primary care training to primary care providers and residents.
Chen Zhao, M.D.