Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center

David A. Bennett, MD

David A. Bennett, MD, is director of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and the Robert C. Borwell Professor of Neurological Sciences. Dr. Bennett is internationally known for his research and is principal investigator of several studies funded by the National Institute on Aging, including the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Core Center, the Religious Orders Study (ROS), the Rush Memory and Aging Project (MAP), and Pathology, Alzheimer's and Related Diseases Study (PARDoS). He also directs the Regional Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center for Northern Illinois. He serves on numerous national and international advisory and editorial boards. He is currently on a member of the National Advisory Council on Aging for the National Institutes of Health. In 2018, Dr. Bennett received the Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick's, Alzheimer's, and Related Diseases, He has more than 900 peer-reviewed manuscript publications, with more than 135,00 citations and an h index = 170.


Jose Farfel, MD, PhD

Dr. Farfel is mentor of the Health Sciences Program at IAMSPE. He is also Assistant Professor at the Rush Alzheimer´s Disease Center, and a member of the Department of Pathology at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Farfel is an internist and geriatrician, with a PhD in neuropathology of neurodegenerative diseases. He has extensive experience with large neuropathologic studies and successfully supervised data and biospecimen collection of thousands of legacy cases for this project.

Lisa Barnes, PhD

Lisa L. Barnes, PhD is a professor in the departments of neurological sciences and behavioral sciences at Rush University Medical Center, and a cognitive neuropsychologist in the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. She earned her PhD in biopsychology from the University of Michigan in 1996 and completed postdoctoral training in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California, Davis, before joining the faculty at Rush in 1999. Her research focus is on social determinants of health and cognitive aging among minority populations. She is principal envestigator of the Minority Aging Research Study (MARS; R01 AG22018), core leader of the Clinical Core of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center (CORE; P30 AG10161), and director of the Rush Center of Excellence on Disparities in HIV and Aging (CEDHA; P20 MD6886). Barnes has received numerous honors and awards, and has published extensively on risk factors for cognitive aging and dementia in older African Americans. She is nationally recognized for her contributions to the study of minority aging and health disparities and is an advocate for Alzheimer’s disease awareness in the minority communities in which she serves.

Annie Barz, MS

Annie Barz, MS, is currently the Research Administrator at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Her primary responsibilities include working with faculty members on grant submissions, managing the RADC's active grants and overall departmental budgeting. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University in 2001 and her master’s degree in health systems management from Rush University in 2005. Prior to earning her master’s degree she worked as a research assistant and then as an assistant coordinator in the Rush Memory Clinic.

Ana Capuano, PhD

Ana W. Capuano, MPS, MS, PhD, is assistant professor of neurological sciences and statistician of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center. Capuano received a master's in probability and statistics, a master's in biostatistics and a PhD focused in biostatistics in occupational and environmental health from the University of Iowa. Capuano worked as a biostatistician for the University of Iowa Department Of Epidemiology from 2005 to 2012. She worked on several international multilanguages including the International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysm and studies for the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases. In 2012, she joined Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, where she collaborates with neurologists, neuroscientists and other researchers in the application of modern statistical methods in epidemiological studies and clinical trials that seek to understand environmental and behavioral risk factor for age-related conditions. Capuano’s methodological interests include non-linear mixed model, as well as constrained ordinal class of models and extensions. She authored more than 50 original peer-review publications, cited more than 2,162 times and have an i10-index of 29.

Chris Gaiteri, PhD

How do interaction networks at the levels of genes, proteins and cells support healthy cognitive function? How do semi-independent regulatory systems such as epigenetics, chromosome configuration, miRNA and transcription factors combine to support homeostasis? How do biological networks that operate on vastly different spatial and temporal scales, mesh together seamlessly? Are there collective network “signatures” of disease? How does the connectivity of a network condition its dynamics? How can we use network insights to identify key mediators of pathology?
Chris Gaiteri is interested in answering these questions, and in the context of Alzheimer's disease uses several types of omics data to identify networks of molecules that are closely related to brain pathology. He has also used related approaches to study major depression and schizophrenia. Living in between computation and biology is a tricky place, so he's always on the lookout for collaborators. Feel free to email and stop by and discuss how a network approach may benefit your research.

John Gibbons, MS

John Gibbons is the manager of information systems for the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center. His responsibilities include providing a secure and advanced computed environment for the faculty, study coordinators and staff to conduct the clinical and research activities of the Rush Memory Clinic, RADC laboratory, epidemiologic studies and patient-oriented research programs.

Sue Leurgans, PhD

Sue Leurgans, PhD, is core leader, Data Management and Statistics Core of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and professor of neurological sciences and preventive medicine. As a biostatistician with experience collaborating with neurologists, neuroscientists and other researchers, she seeks to exploit modern statistical methods to best advance knowledge about the brain in the context of chronic diseases of aging. She has more than 200 publications.

Sukriti Nag, MD, PhD

Sukriti Nag is a neuropathologist at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and a professor of pathology (neuropathology) and senior consultant in the Department of Pathology. She trained in anatomic pathology at Rhode Island Hospital (Brown University) Providence, R.I., and Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, and trained in neuropathology at Queen's University where she also obtained MSc and PhD degrees in the field of neuropathology. Her research initially at Queen’s University and later at the University of Toronto was in the area of the biology of cerebral endothelium and the reactivity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in health and disease with emphasis on the pathogenesis of BBB breakdown in CNS disorders. She has received numerous research grants and awards for her work. She has extensive experience in diagnostic and research neuropathology. She started at the Rush ADCC in August of 2010. She oversees laboratory staff in autopsies and evaluation of brains, performs data collection and diagnoses for the Rush Religious Orders Study and the Memory and Aging Project.

Julie Schneider, MD

Julie Schneider, MD, is a professor of neurology and neuropathology and is associate director of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center. She received her training at University of Chicago and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research is focused on the brain changes underlying the cognitive and motor changes associated with aging. She is also active in longitudinal epidemiologic studies including the Rush Religious Orders Study and the Memory and Aging Project. Schneider's clinical interests include the diagnosis and treatment of age-related cognitive impairments and the post-mortem neuropathologic diagnosis of dementias.

Karen Skish, MS

Robert Wilson, PhD

Robert S. Wilson, PhD, is the senior neuropsychologist of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, having been with the center since its inception in 1985. He is a professor in the Departments of Neurological Sciences and Psychology at Rush University Medical Center, and he directs the section of cognitive neuroscience within the Department of Neurological Sciences. Wilson earned his bachelor's degree in history and political science in 1970 from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio; his master's degree in psychology in 1973 from Akron University in Akron, Ohio; and his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1976 from Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich. From 1976-78, he was a postdoctoral fellow in clinical neuropsychology in the Department of Psychology at Rush University Medical Center, and he has been on faculty of the Department of Psychology since 1976 and the Department of Neurological Sciences since 1993.
Wilson has been an Illinois-licensed clinical psychologist since 1979 and has been boarded in clinical neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology since 1984. He is a consulting editor for several journals, including Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition; Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology; Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society; and Clinical Neuropsychologist. His research focuses on factors that may influence cognitive and motor abilities in adulthood and old age.

Michael Yang, PhD

Michael Yang, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences and a faculty statistician in the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. He received his Ph.D. in statistics from the Pennsylvania State University. He was then a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and a postdoctoral fellow at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He worked as a research associate at the Methodology Center of Pennsylvania State University before he joined RADC. His research interests include genetic and epigenetic study of complex disorders/diseases including Alzheimer's disease, gene-, pathway-based and meta-analysis of effects of genetics variants and gene and environmental interactions. Yang has published extensively on genetic studies of various diseases, including (but not limited to) diabetes, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome and major depression. He is also actively involved in collaborative studies with researchers from a variety of fields. He is committed to a better understanding of the complex mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Lei Yu, PhD

Lei Yu is a statistician with Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and assistant professor, neurological sciences with Rush University. His current research activities focus on providing statistical advice on design and analysis to RADC investigators, and developing methods and applications tailored to the studies on aging and Alzheimer's disease.
Yu received his PhD in statistics from the University of Kentucky. He has a particular interest in longitudinal data analysis and statistical modeling of late onset dementia. Yu has also been actively involved in genome wide association studies to explore the association between genetic markers and aging-related traits.

Instituto de Assistencia Medica ao Servidor Publico Estadual

Jose Farfel, MD, PhD

Dr. Farfel is mentor of the Health Sciences Program at IAMSPE. He is also Assistant Professor at the Rush Alzheimer´s Disease Center, and a member of the Department of Pathology at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Farfel is an internist and geriatrician, with a PhD in neuropathology of neurodegenerative diseases. He has extensive experience with large neuropathologic studies and successfully supervised data and biospecimen collection of thousands of legacy cases for this project.

David A. Bennett, MD

David A. Bennett, MD, is director of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and the Robert C. Borwell Professor of Neurological Sciences. Dr. Bennett is internationally known for his research and is principal investigator of several studies funded by the National Institute on Aging, including the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Core Center, the Religious Orders Study (ROS), the Rush Memory and Aging Project (MAP), and Pathology, Alzheimer's and Related Diseases Study (PARDoS). He also directs the Regional Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center for Northern Illinois. He serves on numerous national and international advisory and editorial boards. He is currently on a member of the National Advisory Council on Aging for the National Institutes of Health. In 2018, Dr. Bennett received the Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick's, Alzheimer's, and Related Diseases, He has more than 900 peer-reviewed manuscript publications, with more than 135,00 citations and an h index = 170.


Maria Carolina de Moraes Sampaio, RN.

Ms. Sampaio is a registered nurse and has a master’s degree in quality of care. She has extensive experience in consenting and interviewing legal informants in post-mortem studies. Ms. Sampaio has been supervising the consent and interviewing procedures of the legacy cases of the project since the first consent.

Jaques Waisberg, MD PhD

Dr. Waisberg is Dean of Graduate Studies at IAMSPE, and Coordinator of the Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences at IAMSPE. He is also Full Professor of the Discipline of General Surgery and Digestive System at ABC Medical School (FMABC). Dr. Waisberg has large experience in supervising research projects at IAMSPE.

IAMSPE Interview and Consent Team

Débora Santos Hunter

Graduated in Nursing at Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas- UniFMU, São Paulo, Brazil.

Karina Barci

Graduated in Nursing at Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas- UniFMU, São Paulo, Brazil.

Bruna Suelen Carvalho

Bruna is currently in the last semester of Graduation in Nursing School at Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas- UniFMU, São Paulo, Brazil.
Iamspe Autopsy team

Juliana de Rosa Briones

Previous experience in molecular biology and tissue collection. Aline is graduated in Biomedicine at Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas (FMU), Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Other Institutions

Alkes Price, PhD

Broad Institute
Associate professor in the Program in Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Biostatistics. I am an associate member of the Program in Medical and Population Genetics at the Broad Institute, and a member of the Program in Quantitative Genomics at HSPH. Our research focuses on the development of statistical methods for uncovering the genetic basis of human disease, and on the population genetics underlying these methods. Areas of interest include functional components of heritability, disease mapping in structured populations, and common vs. rare variant architectures.

Philip De Jager, MD, PhD

Columbia University
Dr. De Jager’s research focuses on understanding the role of human genetic variation in neuroimmunologic function and neurologic disease, with a particular interest in the pathophysiology and treatment of an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as in the understanding of cognitive decline in healthy, aging individuals. Specifically, in MS, he is (1) using genome-wide association testing methods to find susceptibility loci and disease-modifying loci for MS, (2) pursuing the functional characterization of susceptibility alleles that we have recently discovered, (3) refining a gene expression signature for MS, and (4) using association mapping techniques to discover genetic determinants of MRI and neuropsychologic phenotypes in MS and healthy individuals. In relation to cognitive decline associated with aging, Dr. De Jager and his research team are using the same techniques to explore the human genome as well the aging brain's epigenome and transcriptome for determinants of (1) the rate at which individuals lose cognitive function with aging and (2) the extent Alzheimer’s disease-related neuropathology accumulated by aging individuals at the time of death.

Lori Chibnik, PhD

Harvard School of Public Health