Meet the 1Florida ADRC Team!

1Florida ADRC is a growing group of researchers, scientists, and faculty from around Florida.


Malek Adjouadi

Malek Adjouadi


Malek Adjouadi is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. He is also a professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Florida International University.


Warren Barker

Warren Barker


Warren Barker is the Grants Administrator for the ADRC. He also works at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and the Wien Center for Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Florida International University.


Chris  Barnes

Christopher P. Barnes


Christopher P. Barnes is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. He also serves as the Director for the Clinical and Translational Science Informatics & Technology Department (CTS-IT) in the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. His areas of interest are data science, informatics and the semantic web. He works on translational research projects and multi-site clinical trials. He has served as a national development team Lead on the grant “VIVO: Establishing a National Network of Scientists”, funded by NCRR U24RR029822. Chris is currently the international working group chair for the VIVO Applications and Tools Working group sponsored by the DuraSpace foundation.


Russell Bauer

Russell Bauer


Dr. Russell Bauer is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. He is also a Professor of Clinical & Health Psychology and Neurology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. He received his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in 1979 after completing an internship in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida Health Science Center. He was Visiting Scientist at the Memory Disorders Research Center at the Boston VA in 1990. He directed the Internship Program in the Department of Clinical & Health Psychology (1987-1992), and was Program Director for the Ph.D. Program from 2000-2006. He was Department Chair from 2006-2011. He is Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.


David Borchelt

David Borchelt


David Borchelt is the PI of Project III for the ADRC. He is also a Professor of Neuroscience and Director at SantaFe Health Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Investigator, McKnight Brain Institute & CTRND at the University of Florida. He has been with the University of Florida since April of 2005 after 13 years on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was recruited to the McKnight Brain Institute of UF to direct research in Alzheimer’s disease that has been generously funded by an endowment from SantaFe HealthCare (a division of AvMed, Inc.). He has authored, or co-authored, more than 160 research papers focusing on human neurodegenerative disorders. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1986 where he studied the viruses that are similar to the virus that causes AIDS. After receiving his doctorate, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Stanley Prusiner at the University of California in San Francisco. In 1999 Dr. Prusiner won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on infectious proteins that cause Mad Cow disease, Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases of animals and humans.


Paramita Chakrabarty

Paramita Chakrabarty


Paramita is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Center for Translational Research and Neurodegenerative Disease (CTRND) at the University of Florida. Her research focus is to investigate how innate immune signaling affects the pathology of different disease associated proteins, such as amyloid β, Tau and synuclein, leading to selective neuronal death and impaired cognition. These data will inform neuroprotective strategies against these diseases and help to guide future studies as to what determines differential vulnerability of brain regions to a wider spectrum of inflammatory stimuli.


Ranjan Duara

Ranjan Duara


Dr. Duara is an Associate Director and PI of Core B for the ADRC. He is also the Medical Director of the Wien Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Through his work as co-director and clinical core leader of the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and principal investigator of the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative, Florida Brain Bank, Dr. Duara has helped to enhance what is known about the biology of the disease. In May 2005, Dr Duara and his team, in collaboration with the Johnnie Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of South Florida in Tampa, received a prestigious grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to become one of 31 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers (ADRC) in the U.S to conduct cutting-edge research on Alzheimer’s. Dr. Duara is an associate professor of medicine, neurology and psychiatry at the University of Miami School of Medicine. In addition, he was appointed to serve as a core courtesy Faculty Member, under the College of Medicine at the University of South Florida. He completed neurology residencies in the United Kingdom and at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and did a fellowship in neuroscience and neuroimaging at the National Institutes of Health. His research has focused primarily on early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, neuroimaging, genetic epidemiology and the methodology for staging the transition from normal cognitive aging to dementia. He has contributed to more than 150 articles in peer-review scientific journals and has been an investigator in numerous clinical trials of novel agents for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Duara is also the chair and organizer of the Mild Cognitive Impairment Symposium, which is held annually in Miami Beach.


Luis Colon-Perez

Luis Colon-Perez


Luis is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. He is also a Post Doctoral Fellow at the University of Florida. He received is BS in Physics from the Universidad de Puerto Rico in 2007 and went on to earn his Doctor of Philosophy in Physics from the University of Florida in 2013.


Rosie Curiel

Rosie Curiel


Rosie is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. She is also an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Miami.


Steven DeKosky

Steven DeKosky


Dr. Steven DeKosky is the Associate Director for the ADRC. He is also the Aerts-Cosper Professor of Alzheimer’s Research at the University of Florida College of Medicine, and is Deputy Director of the McKnight Brain Institute, positions to which he was appointed in July 2015. He also serves as Associate Director of the National Institute of Aging- funded Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at UF. His academic appointment is as Professor of Neurology in the UF College of Medicine.

His basic research centers on structural and neurochemical changes in human brain in aging and dementia and effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI). His clinical and translational research have centered on understanding the genetics,neuropsychiatric symptoms, neuroimaging, and treatment and prevention of AD. Beginning trauma studies as a Principal Investigator in the University of Pittsburgh Brain Trauma Research Center in 1992, he studied similarities in the injury cascades of TBI and AD. He was an author of the first reports of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in American professional football players. He was also a Principal Investigator in the clinical application of the breakthrough amyloid-imaging agent Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB). He directed an 8 year NIH-funded national multicenter trial to assess whether Ginkgo biloba can prevent or delay onset of dementia in normal elderly adults, the first large study of prevention of dementia/AD.


Marcelo Febo

Marcelo Febo


Marcelo is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. He is also an Assistant Professor and Director of Translational Research Imaging in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, FL. Dr. Febo’s research focuses on brain imaging of cocaine and maternal reward.


Cyndi Garvan

Cyndi Garvan


Cynthia Wilson Garvan, Ph.D. is a Biostatistician and an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Anesthesiology at the University of Florida (UF) and longtime member of ENAR (Eastern North American Region International Biometric Society)She is a Statistical Reviewer for the medical journal, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. She received her M.A. in Mathematics from The Pennsylvania State University and her Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Florida. She is recognized for her extensive and comprehensive experience in multidisciplinary research, garnering externally funded grants, publishing in diverse fields, teaching excellence, and managing and analyzing complex databases.


Benoit Giasson

Benoit Giasson


Benoit is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. He is also Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Florida and an investigator for both the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease and McKnight Brain Instistute. The main focus of his laboratory is to understand the basic cellular mechanisms, with a focus on protein aberrations, involved in the dysfunction and death of neuronal that result in these disorders. Ultimately, his goal is to find ways to prevent the harmful cellular processes that result in disease to occur such as to either prevent or reverse neuronal injury and demise.


Todd Golde

Todd Golde


Todd is the Center Director for the ADRC. He is also currently the Director of the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease at University of Florida where he directs a robust program of scientific discovery aimed at translating basic discoveries in neurodegenerative disease into diagnostics and treatments for patients. Although he believes the field as a whole has dramatically increased the understanding of the triggers of AD and other neurodegenerative conditions, they have yet to translate these into successful disease modifying therapies. Thus, his laboratory remains committed to opportunistically develop “proof of concept” for novel therapeutic strategies that one day benefit patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Though there is reasonable consensus that misfolded protein accumulation triggers neurodegenerative cascades, the downstream steps in the cascade are much less well understood. Thus, in addition to an “amyloid β protein entric” focus, his laboratory has recently been focusing on factors that may drive the downstream neurodegenerative cascade with a major focus on innate immunity and its role in protecting and driving neurodegeneration. In addition to these scientific foci, in recent years he has been active as an advocate for AD, at both the state and national levels, and has written reviews and perspectives that he believes has helped to focus the field on the issues of prevention and funding levels.


Maria  Greig-Custo

Maria Greig-Custo


Maria is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. She is also the house physician for the Wien Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorder Clinic and the supervisor of day to day Research Operation of the Florida ADRC. She attended the University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina for Medical School. Her research interests include Alzheimer's disease and depression.


Kevin Hanson

Kevin Hanson


Kevin is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. He is also a Team Lead software developer with the University of Florida's Clinical and Translational Science Informatics and Technology (CTS-IT) group.


Patricia Joy

Patricia Joy


Patricia is the Adminstrator for the ADRC. She is also the Director of Administrative Services for the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease (CTRND) at the University of Florida.


Jesse Kresak

Jesse Kresak


Jesse Lee Kresak, MD, is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. She completed medical school and anatomic pathology residency at the University of South Florida. Shelater attended the University of Florida for a neuropathology fellowship at the UF Department of Pathology, immunology and Laboratory Medicine, where she remained on as faculty in 2014. Dr. Kresak's comprehensive training included emphasis on surgical neuropathology, neuromuscular pathology, and ophthalmic pathology. She is a co-investigator on several brain tumor studies, and her funded research at the Preston A Wells, Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy focuses on the host immunologic interaction with primary brain tumors.

Dr. Kresak is also an attending within the Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology Division and has a passion for resident and fellow education.


Yona Levites

Yona Levites


Yona is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. She is also an Assistant Professor in Neuroscience and CTRND at the University of Florida. She received her B.S. in Food Science and Biotechnology and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Pharamacology both from Technion, Israel. She went on to her Post Doc in Neuroscience under Todd Golde at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.


Jada Lewis

Jada Lewis


Jada is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. She is also a professor of Neuroscience and a member of Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease (CTRND) at the University of Florida. Her overall goal is to develop a better understanding of the processes that occur during neurodegenerative disorders in order to facilitate therapies that may ultimately prolong cognitive or motor function in diseases such as Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s diseases (PD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A large part of her work involves the generation of constitutive and inducible model systems for the study of proteins that are thought to play a major role in disease progression including TDP-43, tau and lrrk2. These models comprise a critical resource for the CTRND as it strives to translate laboratory findings into diagnostics or therapies for human diseases. In particular she focuses on cellular pathways altered in these mouse models that may play a contributory role in disease and study the formation of pathological species of protein that are hallmarks of the human condition. Understanding these pathways is key to developing therapies against these pathological proteins or the damage that they cause. In addition to her generation and characterization of novel model systems for human neurodegenerative diseases, she interacts with other academic or pharmaceutical colleagues to determine the efficiency of novel therapies for the human diseases that we study. Recent and ongoing funding from the NIH (NINDS, NIA), DoD, ALSA, Alzheimer’s Association, and MJFF as well as private benefactors have been critical in helping her studies move toward the clinic.


David Loewenstein

David Loewenstein


Dr. Loewenstein is a Project Leader for the ADRC. He is also Director of Research and Neuropsychological Laboratories at The Wien Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, FL.

He is Principal Investigator on several large NIH and state funded grants and has a number of ongoing longitudinal investigations with new cognitive instruments developed in his laboratory. The Direct Assessment of Functional status Scale (DAFS) was one of the first performance-based scales for Alzheimer’s disease and has been translated into multiple languages. The Semantic Interference Test (SIT) and the Loewenstein- Acevedo Scales for Semantic Interference (LASSI) have shown considerable promise in the early detection and prediction of progression in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.


Michael Marsiske

Michael Marsiske


Dr. Michael Marsiske is the lead for Data Management and Statistics for the ADRC. is Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. Dr. Marsiske received his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in 1992 (Human Development and Family Studies). He followed this with a postdoctoral felllowship in Psychology and Human Development at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education in Berlin (1992-1995). Prior to joining the University of Florida in 2000, Dr. Marsiske was an Assistant Professor of Gerontology and Psychology at Wayne State University.

Dr. Marsiske’s research has focused on cognitive aging, with a particular emphasis on cognitive intervention strategies with older adults. Since 1997, Dr. Marsiske has been a principal investigator on the National Institute on Aging ACTIVE trial, a clinical trial of cognitive training for older adults with ten years of followup data. Marsiske has also been funded by NIA, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, McKnight Brain Institute for studies of a variety of cognitive intervention approaches with older adults including exercise promotion, exergames, aerobic fitness, action video games, self-administered computer training, and cognitive collaboration. Dr. Marsiske also leads the Recruitment, Retention and Adherence Core of the University of Florida NIA-funded Claude Denson Pepper Older Americans’ Independence Center (PI: Marco Pahor, MD), and collaborates with Dr. Carolyn Tucker in the University of Florida Program for Health Disparities Research. Marsiske also directs a UF NIA-funded institutional predoctoral training program (T32) in aging.


Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron

Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron


Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, Ph.D. is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Florida. Dr. Rodriguez received his Ph.D. from UF (Neuroscience) in 2005. He previously worked at the University of Iowa where he was a Research Assistant Professor. Dr. Rodriguez specializes in neurodegenerative diseases and gene therapy research.


Monica Rosselli

Monica Rosselli


Mónica Rosselli is a Co-Investigator for the 1 Florida ADRC. She is a professor and assistant chair at the Department of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and leads the Neuropsychology laboratory at FAU. Her areas of research include neuropsychological assessment, cognitive development, bilingualism, cross cultural neuropsychology and normal and abnormal aging.


Glenn Smith

Glenn Smith


Dr. Glenn Smith is Elizabeth Faulk Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. Dr. Smith is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist. Dr. Smith has authored or co-authored over 200 original articles, 14 book chapters and 2 books. He is the originator and director of HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence and Thinking™ program for persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment. He is principal investigator of the Comparative Effectiveness of Behavioral Interventions to Prevent of Delay Dementia and co-PI of the Alzheimer’s Disease Patient and Caregiver Powered Research Network projects funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. He is past president of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology and of the Society for Clinical Neuropsychology of the American Psychological Association (APA). He currently serves as Chair of the APA Committee on Aging. He is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. In his 25 years at Mayo he held many positions including Chair of the Division of Neurocognitive Disorders; Associate Director of Education, Center for Clinical and Translation Science; Co-Deputy Director of Education, Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Nebraska (1988), completed his internship in neuro and geropsychology at UCLA and a fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the Mayo Clinic (1991-1994).


David Vaillancourt

David Vaillancourt


David Vaillancourt is a Co-Investigator for the ADRC. He is also a Professor in the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida. Vaillancourt’s research focuses on how the brain regulates voluntary and involuntary movement with a specific focus on motor disorders. His research program uses advanced neuroimaging techniques to study the functional and structural changes in the brain of humans and animal models that span Parkinson’s disease, tremor, ataxia, and dystonia. He has conducted studies investigating interventions including rehabilitative, surgical, and pharmacological interventions, and published this work in journals that include Brain, Journal of Neuroscience, JAMA Neurology, Neurology, Human Brain Mapping, Neuroimage, Cerebral Cortex, and Neurobiology of Aging. He has been continuously funded by NIH since 1999, and now directs several grants from NIH. Active work in the lab includes progression studies focused on changes in the brain for Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonism, studies of tremor and brain connectivity and electrophysiology, and pharmacological and neuroimaging studies for dystonia in mouse and human. He is a currently Chair of the NIH Study Section Motor Function Speech and Rehabilitation and reviews grants for the Michael J. Fox Foundation and National Parkinson Foundation. At UF, he created the course entitled “Movement Disorders” which is now the foundation course for a new T32 training grant from the NIH for training doctoral students in movement disorders.


Anthony Yachnis

Anthony Yachnis


Anthony T. Yachnis, MD, MS, is in the Neuropathology Core of the ADRC. He has been a faculty member at the University of Florida College of Medicine sor more than two decades. He is certified in anatomic pathology and neuropathology by the American Board of Pathology and has authored more than 100 publications, including journal articles, book chapters and two books; given numerous invited national and local presentations; and won national and local awards for research and teaching, including the Horatio T. Enterline Award in surgical pathology and the Moore and Rubinstein Awards for the American Association of Neuropathologists.

Dr. Yachnis was the senior associate editor for the publication, Laboratory Investigation, from 2003 - 08 and is currently still active on its Editorial Board. He also served on the on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology from 1998 - 2003 and has served as a reviewer for numerous other pathology journals. His other professional assiciations include working for the College of American Pathologists Neuropathology Committee, Executive Council of the American Association of Neuropathologists (AANP), Education Committee of the United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology, and The Diagnostic Slide Session of the AANP.

Prior to his tenure at the UF College of Medicine, Dr. Yachnis completed pathology residency and a surgical pathology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania from 1986 to 1991. He then received specialized training in pediatric neuropathology at Philadelphia Children's Hospital in 1993.