Event Announcements

Speakers: Advancing Alzheimers Research: Characterisation, Diagnosis & Treatment – 13th – 15th June 2017


Alz 2017 Banner Speakers

These are the biographies of some of our accepted speakers. Not all our speakers are listed here.


Kerensa Broersen, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands

Dr. Broersen completed her PhD degree on protein aggregation at Wageningen University in The Netherlands in 2005. After a postdoctoral study at the MRC-LMB in the UK, she joined the Free University of Brussels (VUB) in 2007. Here she headed a research team that studied the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimers disease. This led to the discovery of molecular pathways of a number of risk factors that affect Alzheimers disease pathobiology. Subsequently, she joined the Nanobiophysics Group at the University of Twente/MIRA Institute in The Netherlands in 2011 as an assistant professor investigating further the impact of protein structures on human health with her team.

Niall Colgan, NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland

Niall Colgan is a Lecturer in Medical Physics in the national University of Ireland Galway. His research is in preclinical biomarkers in Alzheimers disease and drug discovery and his specialty area is Magnetic resonance imaging, metabolism and experimental therapeutics. Prior to this he was a research associate in the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging and lecturer in Medical Imaging in Swansea University. His main area of research is Alzheimers disease and traumatic brain injury. His primary research focus is magnetic resonance imaging, particularly MR metabolite imaging and diffusion MRI.

Robert C. Cumming, Western University, Ontario, Canada

My primary research interests include: brain metabolism, redox protein signalling, and regulation of antioxidant response using cell culture and animal models of aging and disease. I run an active and well funded research lab and serve on a number of private and federal grant review committees. I received my PhD in Molecular and Medical Genetics in 2001 from the University of Toronto. Between 2001 – 2006, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, USA. In 2007, I joined the Department of Biology at Western University and was promoted to associate professor in 2013.

Paula Desplats, University of California San Diego, Departments of Neuroscience and Pahtology, USA

Dr. Desplats’ research is focused on understanding the molecular basis of neurodegenerative pathologies, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, with special emphasis on epigenetics. Her studies, aimed at deciphering how gene expression programs become altered in the brain contributing to neuronal loss, have provided novel insights into neurodegenerative pathways and have pioneering Neuroepigenetics research. Currently Dr. Desplats is investigating the link of epigenetic deregulation and circadian impairment in Alzheimer’s disease and the role of methylation dynamics in microglial activation and inflammation. In addition, her lab is conducting novel research to identify methylation-based biomarker for the early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Hongxing LEI, Beijing Institute of Genomics, China

Positions and Honors:
2008-present: Professor in Computational Systems Biology, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2004-2008: Postdoctoral Research– Genome center, University of California at Davis, Computational Structural Biology (Mentor: Dr. Yong Duan)
2003-2004:           Department of chemistry and biochemistry, University of Delaware (Mentor: Dr. Yong Duan)
2008:      100-Talent of Chinese Academy of Sciences
2014-present:       Adjunct professor, Beijing institute for brain disorders
2012-present:       Associate Editor, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
2011-present:       Associate Editor-in-Chief, Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics.

Dan Milder, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

A clinical neurologist with interests in neuropathology and neuro-ophthalmology.

Syed Haris Omar, Local Health Advisory Committee (LHAC), Murrumbidgee Local Health District, NSW Health, Australia

Dr. Syed Haris Omar studied pharmacology and earned his PhD in neuropharmacology in the School of Biomedical Sciences at Charles Sturt University, Australia (2016). He established his reputation in the Alzheimer’s field as a researcher at Charles Sturt University (2011-2015). Haris uses transgenic mice models to contribute to a better understanding of the plant biophenols role as an alternative approach against the amyloid-beta toxicity in Alzheimer’s disease. He is an author of peer-reviewed scientific publications, including research, reviews, book chapters and conference papers, as well as member of various scientific organisation or societies. Currently, he is working with Murrumbidgee Local Health District as a Local Health Advisory Committee member, NSW Health, Australia.

Deborah A. Levine, University of Michigan and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System North Campus Research Complex, MI, United States

Anders Wallin, University of Gothenburg Memory Clinic, Sweden

Duygu Tosun, Assistant Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Center for Imaging of Degenerative Diseases, CIND, San Francisco, United States

Duygu Tosun-Turgut, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIND) at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Tosun obtained her BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Bilkent University, Turkey in 1999, and she received her MSE in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University, Maryland in 2001. In 2003, she completed her MA in Mathematics from The Johns Hopkins University, and she earned her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University in 2005, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Neurology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2008.

Dr. Tosun’s long-term research goal is to develop new algorithmic approaches for processing and analysis of multi-disciplinary/modality data including neuroimages, genetics, proteomics, as well as cognitive functioning measures in a unified framework by using recent advances in image processing, medical physics, and computation medicine. The primary aim is to identify multi-disciplinary/modality biomarkers for detecting the changes associated with disease specific neuropathology, improving understanding of pathophysiological progression and potentially providing a means of monitoring the efficacy and regional specificity of drug therapy for neurodegenerative diseases. This will have a broad use in early diagnosis, facilitating initiation of prevention strategies in those at risk, and boost the power of drug therapy trials by selecting those at greatest risk of neurodegenerative diseases.


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