NACC-funded research

Since 2000, NACC has funded studies in Alzheimer’s disease and associated disorders. Awards are available only to investigators at the NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers:

Collaborative Grants, made from 2000 to 2017, supported projects involving three or more collaborating Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers. They were hypothesis-driven and addressed a scientific question outright or provided preliminary data for a subsequent R01 or other research grant.

Junior Investigator Grants, made from 2005 to 2017, were designed to support projects of ADRC researchers with the rank of assistant professor or below, and involved secondary analysis of data in the NACC UDS or Neuropathology Data Set.

New Investigator Grants, made from 2018 to the present, are designed to support projects of ADRC researchers with the rank of assistant professor or below; the use of NACC data is not required.


Grant #
New Investigator
Michael Devinney, MD, PhD
Proteomic Determination of Complement Activation in Postoperative Delirium
Delirium is a syndrome of disrupted attention and consciousness that occurs in approximately 20% of the more than 19 million older surgery patients in America every year. It is also associated with an
New Investigator
Shea Andrews, PhD
Evaluating clinical and polygenic risk scores for AD in diverse populations
Improving racial health equity in Alzheimer's disease (AD) outcomes necessitates the development of risk models to inform targeted interventions and strategies. These strategies aim to prevent or dela
New Investigator
Jaime Ramos-Cejudo, PhD
Studying the contribution of neutrophil mediated inflammation to AD risk
Vascular dysfunction and inflammation have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may influence disease progression, representing potential targets to delay or prevent progression. However, t
New Investigator
Andrew Yang, PhD
Understanding how human brain vascular cells mediate genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease 
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease in the world and afflicts ~6 million Americans. With no disease-modifying treatments available, this number is expected to doub
New Investigator
Yuriko Katsumata, PhD
Pathway-specific polygenic risk scores on mixed neuropathologies
Mixed neuropathologies (NPs) are commonly found in aged brains. Along with amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), other key proteinaceous disease markers such as α-synuclein an
New Investigator
Matthew Peters, MD
Traumatic brain injury and neuropsychiatric symptoms in individuals with dementia
The influence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) is increasingly established. It is also known that neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS; e.g., depression, a
New Investigator
Alberto Serrano-Pozo, MD, PhD
A brain atlas of astrocytes and microglia in healthy aging and Alzheimer’s disease
Besides amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain exhibits proiminent astrocytic and microglial responses, which typically localize around the amyloid plaq
New Investigator
Tamar D. Gefen, PhD
Clinicopathologic substrates of dementia syndromes with FTLD-tau
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a neurodegenerative disease found at autopsy that underlies a variety of clinical dementia syndromes, and is the second most common cause of dementia under
New Investigator
Corey T. McMillan, PhD
Primary age-related tauopathy: Epigenetic sources of resistance
Detailed neuropathological investigations suggest that nearly all adults >50 years of age have pathological evidence of neurofibrillary tau tangles (NFTs). As individuals age there is also an increase
New Investigator
Erin Boespflug, PhD
The intersection of amyloid and cerebrovascular pathology: The perivascular space
While the perivascular space (PVS) is at the intersection of demonstrated vascular and waste clearance mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease pathobiology, there presently are no data that directly ad
New Investigator
Erik Johnson, MD, PhD
A proteomic network comparison of autosomal dominant and sporadic Alzheimer's disease
The biological mechanisms that lead to Alzheimer's disease (AD) are poorly understood. Much of our current understanding of AD mechanisms comes from the study of patients with autosomal dominant
Junior Investigator
Shoshana Bardach, PhD, University of Kentucky
Barriers to engagement in genetic research
Genetic discoveries have played, and continue to play, a critical role in our understanding of underlying pathological processes contributing to the development of degenerative dementias. With scienti
Junior Investigator
Miyeon Jung, PhD, Indiana University
Testing a model of cognitive function with APOE and BDNF genes and heart failure
Heart failure (HF) is a risk factor for poor cognitive function in domains of memory, executive function, and attention.1-3 HF often co-exists with Alzheimer disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment
Junior Investigator
Mitsuru Shinohara, PhD
Effects of APOE genotype on longevity
Although the E4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (APOE4) and E2 allele (APOE2) are risk and protective factors, respectively, for Alzheimer’s disease, APOE is also associated with longevity; several cro
Junior Investigator
Aaron Koenig, MD
Lipophilic vs. hydrophilic statin exposure and post-mortem neuropathology
This project describes a proposed secondary analysis of NACC clinical and neuropathological data, designed to examine the relationship between lipophilic vs. hydrophilic statin exposure and post-morte
2016 – 2017
Junior Investigator
Rahul Desikan, MD, PhD
Predicting and quantifying Alzheimer’s disease risk
Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, places a large emotional and economic burden on patients and society. With increasing health care expenditures among cognitively
Junior Investigator
Zheyu Wang, PhD
Prognostic ability of MRI biomarkers for AD early detection and monitoring
The applicant proposes to modify a novel statistical approach and develop a tailored methodology to study the recently available magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data at the National Alzheimer’s Coord
Junior Investigator
Jonathan Graff-Radford, MD
Predictors of survival in Lewy body disease
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second most common cause of neurodegenerative dementia. Overall, DLB has a more aggressive course than Alzheimer’s dementia with shorter survival and earlier tim
Junior Investigator
Brittany Dugger, PhD
Relationship of cardiovascular risk factors to dementia subtypes
The increasing prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes has become a major national health concern. These risk factors have a high pro
Junior Investigator
Yorghos Tripodis, PhD
Predicting the cognitive status of an aging population
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, is a significant cause of disability and mortality among the elderly. The latest figures show that 5.2 million people in the US, approximate
Junior Investigator
Joshua D. Grill, PhD
Assessing disease progression among Alzheimer’s disease patients with adult child study partners
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) invariably results in decline in cognitive ability, functional impairment and dependence. The individual providing care to the AD patient is critical to the patient’s overall
Junior Investigator
Maritza Dowling, MS, PhD, University of Wisconsin
Missing Data and the Identification of Optimal Predictors of Conversion to AD
A major interest in ongoing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research is on identifying biomarkers that best predict which individuals will progress to AD. However, the accuracy in the identification of such
2012 – 2013
Junior Investigator
Katherine Gifford, PhD Boston University
Subjective Memory Complaint and Cognitive Aging
Alzheimer’s disease is a significant public health issue, affecting millions with billions of associated health care costs. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is purported to be a prodromal clinical phas
Junior Investigator
Heather Romero, PhD Duke University
Diagnostic Stability of Transitional States in a Diverse Population
This proposed Junior Investigator project will address the pressing need to develop diagnostically s table criteria for prodromal Alzheimer's disease (prAD) to aid in the identification of those
Junior Investigator
Berneet Kaur, MD, Univ of California, Davis
The Influence of Smoking History on the Phenotype and Pathology of Dementia
The project will improve the understanding of the role of smoking history in the clinical phenotype of pathology of dementia. A rapidly aging population presents a number of challenges, one of which i
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