Dr. David Loewenstein is the Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Aging and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences for the University of Miami School of Medicine. He is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist and Director of the Division of Neuropsychology. Previously, Dr. Loewenstein served as Director of Neuropsychology Laboratories and Research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, FL and Chief of Psychology for Jackson Memorial Hospital. He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health at the University of Miami for more than 25 years and has brought in over 21 million dollars in Federal and State grants. His work is regularly published in top scientific journals and is considered cutting-edge. Dr. Loewenstein’s laboratory has a long history in the development of innovative cognitive and neuropsychological instruments and examining their relationship with biomarkers of brain health (amyloid and tau PET scans and CSF, MRI, fMRI). Dr. Loewenstein developed the first scale for the direct assessment of functional capacity in Alzheimer’s disease which has been translated into numerous languages. Most recently, Dr. Loewenstein and associates developed the Loewenstein and Acevedo Scales for Semantic Interference and Learning (LASSI-L), a cognitive stress test to address the concern that current neuropsychological measures may not capture the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s disease. The LASSI-L is a sensitive marker of the early manifestations of AD and has been increasingly adapted by other laboratories.
Philip McCabe, Ph.D., is a Professor and Chairman of the Psychology Department at the University of Miami (UM). Previously, he served as the Associate Chairman of the department and as the Director of the interdisciplinary Undergraduate Neuroscience Program at UM. Dr. McCabe received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research examines the neurobiology of emotional behavior, and the impact of social-emotional behavior on the development of cardio-metabolic disorders. This research has been funded for over 30 years by NIH and NSF grants. More specifically, this research program examines the influence of social environment and CNS mechanisms on the progression of cardio-metabolic disorders in animal models of dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease. As Chairman of the Psychology Department, Dr. McCabe also oversees the departmental Cognitive Neuroscience Program and its functional MRI facility. Dr. McCabe is a Fellow of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine, and was elected President of that organization in 2010. He is a member of the UM university-wide Neuroscience Ph.D. Program, and in 2001 he was one of the co-founders of the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program.
William K. Scott, Ph.D. is Professor and Vice-Chair for Education & Training in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, and Professor of Neurology and Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is a core faculty member of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and Executive Director of the UM Brain Endowment Bank, one of six NIH-supported centers in the NeuroBioBank network. Dr. Scott¹s research focuses on the identification of gene and environment interactions that influence the risk of complex diseases. Dr. Scott is one of four principal investigators in a multi-center study examining genetic influences on the progression of symptoms in age-related macular degeneration, and one of three lead investigators of a study in Midwestern U.S. Amish communities aiming to identify genetic factors that protect from the development of age-related cognitive impairment. Other research examines genetic factors underlying primary open-angle glaucoma, genetic susceptibility to tuberculosis, and staphylococcal sepsis. He is the program director for the NEI-funded Ocular Genomics Training Program and the Master of Science in Genomic Medicine program and has served as primary mentor to four graduate students and three post-doctoral fellows.
Dr. Carrasquillo is a Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. He is a Puerto Rican born physician who was raised in the Bronx. He graduated summa cum laude from the Sophie Davis School of Bio-Medical Education at City College, and obtained his MD degree from the New York University School of Medicine. He completed a three-year internal medicine residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Harvard’s two-year General Medicine Fellowship and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to UM, Dr. Carrasquillo was Director of the Center of Excellence in Health Disparities Research at Columbia University.
For the last nine years he has been the Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine. He oversees a clinical, teaching and research enterprise of 44 full time faculty including six primary care practices and an additional ambulatory hospital based clinic at Jackson Health System (Miami Public Hospital system). Dr. Carrasquillo is a national expert in minority health, health disparities, community based participatory research, access to care and community health worker interventions. He has over twenty years of experience leading large NIH Center grants and randomized trials, totaling over $60 million in funding. His work includes research in diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, HIV, cancer and most recently in precision medicine. His research has been published in many of the nation’s top medical journals and he servers on numerous NIH grant review committees. He is also active in various national organizations, including numerous current and past leadership roles in the Society of General Internal Medicine, Physicians for a National Health Program, National Hispanic Medical Association and Latinos for National Health Insurance. In Miami, he is a Board Member of the Miami-Dade Area Health Education Center and the South Florida Health Council. He is often called upon by the media to discuss his research as well as health care topics of particular relevance to the Hispanic community including being a frequent guest on most of the major Latino television networks.
Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., is the Chairman of Neurology, Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders, Miller Professor of Neurology, Public Health Sciences, Human Genetics, and Neurosurgery, Executive Director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, and Chief of the Neurology Service at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
A graduate of Cornell University in Bio-electrical Engineering and a cum laude graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, he also holds an MS in Epidemiology from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Sacco completed his neurology residency training and postdoctoral training in Stroke and Epidemiology at Columbia Presbyterian in New York. He was previously Professor of Neurology, Chief of Stroke and Critical Care Division and Associate Chairman at Columbia University before taking his current position as Chairman of Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.
He is the founding Principal Investigator of the 26-year NINDS-funded Northern Manhattan Study, the Florida Puerto Rico Collaboration to Reduce Stroke Disparities, and the Family Study of Stroke Risk and Carotid Atherosclerosis, as well as co-investigator of multiple other NIH grants. He has also been the Co-Chair of international stroke treatment and prevention trials. Dr. Sacco has published extensively with 726 articles (H-index of 115) in the areas of stroke prevention, treatment, epidemiology, risk factors, vascular cognitive impairment, brain health, human genetics and stroke recurrence. His research has also addressed health care disparities. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including, the Feinberg Award of Excellence in Clinical Stroke, the Chairman’s Award from the American Heart Association, the NINDS Javits Award in Neuroscience, AAN Wartenberg Lecture Award, and WSO Global Leadership Award. He has lectured extensively at national and international meetings. He served on the National Academy of Medicine panel on Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia, 2017, and is an elected member of the NAM.
Dr. Sacco is a fellow of both the Stroke and Epidemiology Councils of the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Neurology, and the American Neurological Association, and serves as the past-President of the American Academy of Neurology. He is also a member of the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Sacco has been a member of the World Stroke Organization since 2008 and is on the Board of Directors. He was the first neurologist to serve as the President of the American Heart Association – 2010-2011.
A major emphasis in our group is directed towards understanding the mechanisms of neuroprotection by ischemic preconditioning (IPC) against cerebral ischemia (as elicited by a stroke or cardiac arrest). We have demonstrated in brain that IPC is mediated by two key signaling pathways. One of these pathways is a protein kinase C isozyme epsilon. Another signaling pathway involves the NAD+-dependent class III histone deacetylase SIRT1. Our laboratory is fully engaged in defining how these signaling pathways protect neurons against cell death. We are currently studying how these pathways alter synaptic plasticity and ameliorate mitochondrial function.
Another area of emphasis in our group is defining mechanisms by which some signaling pathways alter synaptic function following cardiac arrest. Cardiopulmonary arrest remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S.A. The chances of survival following cardiac arrest are poor, despite fast emergency responses and better techniques of defibrillation. Cardiac arrest with its consequent disruption of blood flow sets in motion a cascade of cellular derangements that result in brain damage.
A third area of emphasis in our group is the definition of the mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction following cerebral ischemia. It has been postulated that delayed cell death after brain ischemia may result from two different mechanisms: apoptosis and/or necrosis. In both pathways however, mitochondrial dysfunction appears to play a pivotal role. We are currently investigating the signaling pathways that lead to mitochondrial dysfunction following cerebral ischemia.
Dr. Tatjana Rundek is a Professor of Neurology, Epidemiology and Public Health with tenure, Vice Chair of Clinical Research, and Director of the Clinical Translational Research Division in the Department of Neurology of the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She holds a secondary faculty appointment at the Department of Neurology at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Rundek is a stroke neurologist, clinical researcher and principal investigator of several NIH/NINDS funded R01 grants on genetic determinants of carotid atherosclerosis and stroke. Dr. Rundek is a recipient of a NINDS K24 Midcareer development award. She participates in large stroke genetic consortia including the NINDS Stroke Genetic Network and International Stroke Genetic Consortium. Dr. Rundek was a Fulbright Scholar and the recipient of the research awards from the Hazel K. Goddess and the Dr. Gilbert Baum Funds. Dr. Rundek serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals including Stroke, Neurology, Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine and Cerebrovascular Diseases. She has published over 210 scientific publications, editorials, reviews, and book chapters. She is a fellow of the American Neurological Association, a member of the American Heart Association and American Academy of Neurology. She is past President of the Neurosonology Communities of Practice of the American Institute in Ultrasound in Medicine, the largest professional medical ultrasound organization in the U.S. Dr. Rundek serves on the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) Vascular Testing Board of Directors, a national organization that accredits clinical echocardiography, nuclear/PET, MRI, CT and Dental laboratories and carotid stenting programs.
Dr. Sun started her medical career as a neurologist in China. She obtained her Ph.D. in neuroscience in Japan. She completed her neurology residency training at the Medical University of South Carolina in the United States. She completed a cognitive and behavioral neurology fellowship at the VA Boston Healthcare System in the United States. Her research activities have been primarily focused on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Her earlier work includes characterization of biochemical properties of tau protein in the axonal transport and roles of amyloid protein in Alzheimer’s disease. She is one of the earliest researchers to establish quantitative amyloid ELISA in the field. Her long-term efforts are dedicated to identifying biomarkers for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, she is working on the role of CSF synaptic proteins in cognitive function. She has been invited to be a reviewer for multiple journals on Alzheimer’s research. Dr. Sun provides clinical care to patients with cognitive disorders at the Memory disorder clinic of the University of Miami. She is also involved in educational programs for medical students, neurology residents, and is the Education Director for the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Miami. She is a co-director of the brain endowment bank in University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.[/av_textblock]
Dr. Bonnie Levin is the Alexandria and Bernard Schoninger Professor of Neurology and Director of the Division of Neuropsychology in the Department of Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She received her BS from Georgetown University and her PhD from Temple University. She completed an internship at the Boston Children’s Hospital where she was a clinical fellow in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an externship at the Boston VA Hospital.
Dr. Levin is a neuropsychologist whose research examines neurocognitive and affective changes associated with neurodegenerative disease and the normative aging process. Her work examines the role of cardiometabolic risk factors in cognitive decline. Another focus has been the inter-relationship between behavioral and motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease and the neural circuitry underlying memory and age related cognitive change. Her current work is aimed to advance our understanding of frontal striatal circuit function in cognition and to generate data that will improve our knowledge of key clinical parameters associated with differential rates of cognitive decline. Current projects include: examining which components of the metabolic syndrome predict cognition, identifying imaging and clinical correlates of white matter changes associated with the aging process and linking structural and metabolic markers underlying different symptom profiles in neurodegenerative disease.