Investigators

Rong Zhang

Rong Zhang, Ph.D.

Dr. Zhang is Professor of Internal Medicine and Neurology & Neurotherapeutics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Director of Cerebrovascular Laboratory at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine Texas Health Resources Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. His research focuses on age-related changes in brain perfusion, structure and function, and the development of novel interventions to improve brain health and quality of life in older adults. Dr. Zhang serves as the chair of the rrAD Steering Committee and leads the Dallas research site in the rrAD study. View Dr. Zhang’s IEEM profile.

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Ellen Binder, M.D.

Dr. Binder is a Professor of Medicine and Occupational Therapy at Washington University (WU) in St. Louis, Director of the WU Geriatric Medicine fellowship training program, and is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. Dr. Binder’s research has focused on interventions to reduce or delay functional and cognitive decline in older adults, primarily through exercise and hormonal therapies. Dr. Binder leads the St. Louis site for the rrAD study, and is chair of the Ancillary Studies Committee. View Dr. Binder’s Washington University profile.

Jeffrey Burns

Jeffrey Burns, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Burns is Edward H. Hashinger Professor of Medicine, Department of Neurology, and the Associate Director of the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. He serves as Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Unit of Frontiers and Director of the Memory Care Clinic. Dr. Burns’ research program supports clinical trials testing new approaches to treating Alzheimer’s disease and a variety of research projects focused on how lifestyle issues such as diet and exercise can be used to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Burns leads the Kansas City site for the rrAD study, and is chair of the Recruitment and Outreach Committee. View Dr. Burns’ KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center profile.

Munro Cullum

Munro Cullum, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Cullum is Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neurological Surgery at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he holds the Pamela Blumenthal Distinguished Professorship in Clinical Psychology and directs the Clinical Core in the NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Center. He is a board-certified neuropsychologist with over 35 years of experience in research, teaching, and clinical service. His research focuses on cognitive disorders of aging, concussion, and neuropsychological assessment. He leads the Clinical Outcome Committee for the rrAD study. View Dr. Cullum’s UT Southwestern profile.

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Linda Hynan, Ph.D.

Dr. Hynan is a Professor of Biostatistics in the Departments of Clinical Sciences and Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW). She has more than 36 years of experience in statistical collaborations with extensive knowledge and experience in the design of clinical trials, experimental studies, statistical data analyses and the development of reliable and valid testing instruments. She is the primary statistician on the UTSW Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium. She leads the Database and Statistics Core in the rrAD study. View Dr. Hynan’s UT Southwestern profile.

Jeffrey Keller

Jeffrey Keller, Ph.D.

Dr. Keller is the founder and director of the Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention (IDRP) at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In September 2014, the IDRP received the designation of being a Center of Excellence for Clinical Alzheimer’s Research. Dr. Keller is also a professor and the recipient of the Hibernia National Bank Endowed Chair at Pennington Biomedical. His clinical research interest is focused on understanding the causes of dementia and developing interventions to prevent dementia in the elderly. He leads the Baton Rouge research site for the rrAD study and is chair of the Publications Committee. View Dr. Keller’s profile at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Diana R. Kerwin

Diana R. Kerwin, M.D.

Dr. Kerwin is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. Her areas of research and clinical interests include the identification of risk markers and prevention of cognitive decline and dementia. She has lectured extensively on cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease. She is a member of the National Board of the Alzheimer’s Association and is the Chairman of the Alzheimer’s Association-Dallas Chapter. She also served on the national Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Studies Steering Committee, and Chair of the Medical Safety committee for the LIFE (Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders) study. Dr. Kerwin leads the Safety Monitoring Committee for the rrAD study. Visit the Texas Health Physicians Group website.

Diana R. Kerwin

Heidi Rossetti, Ph.D.

Dr. Rossetti is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She is a neuropsychologist engaged in research, teaching, and the clinical evaluation of persons with known or suspected neurological disorders. She is co-investigator in the UTSW Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Dr. Rossetti’s research focuses on the relationship between vascular risk factors and development of mild cognitive impairment and dementia, as well as the early detection of mild cognitive impairment via neuropsychological screening measures.  She co-leads the Neurocognitive Clinical Outcomes Committee in the rrAD study. View Dr. Rosetti’s the UT Southwestern profile.

Ann Stowe

Ann Stowe, Ph.D.

Dr. Stowe is a translational researcher and Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology & Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. She has spent many years investigating the role of growth factors and inflammation during brain injury, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Stowe leads the Biomarker Core for the rrAD study, which will coordinate and analyze patient blood samples to identify potential biomarkers associated with changes in brain structure and neurocognitive function. Visit the Stowe Lab website.

Eric Vidoni

Eric Vidoni, Ph.D., P.T.

Dr. Vidoni is a licensed physical therapist and Director of the Outreach and Recruitment Core of the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. He oversees the exercise testing and training protocol for the rrAD study. View Dr. Vidoni’s University of Kansas profile.

Wanpen Vongpatanasin

Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D.

Dr. Vongpatanasin is Professor of Medicine in the Hypertension Section, Cardiology Division, at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She is recipient of the Norman and Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and specializes in caring for people with persistent high blood pressure, also known as resistant hypertension. She oversees the pharmaceutical blood pressure management protocol for the rrAD study. View Dr. Vongpatanasin  UT Southwestern profile.

David Zhu

David C. Zhu, Ph.D.

Dr. Zhu is an MRI physicist/engineer and a neuroscientist. He is Professor of Radiology, Psychology and (adjunct) Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University (MSU). He leads the Cognitive Imaging Research Center at MSU. He has extensive neuroimaging research experience. He leads the Imaging Core of the rrAD study, including MRI data acquisition protocol development, image quality assurance, data maintenance, and data analyses. View Dr. Zhu’s Michigan State University profile.

Staff Members

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Lauren Braunfeld, B.S.

Ms. Braunfeld joined the rrAD team as the Clinical Research Project Manager and will be leading the operations management for the study. She is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator with more than a decade of clinical research experience in multiple specialties. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Gerontology from UT Southwestern Medical Center School of Allied Health Sciences. She has experience in marketing and advertising for technology companies, and has worked on project management in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining the rrAD team she was a research development specialist in the Texas Health Research & Education Institute within the Texas Health Resources healthcare system.