2021 Virtual DIAD Family Conference: Beyond Abeta

The seventh annual DIAD family conference was a series of virtual events held between July 26 and August 1, 2021. See below for the full agenda. Click here for a summary of live events. Welcoming remarks by Dr. Eric McDade’s gave an overview of the conference agenda.

Welcome Remarks

Eric McDade, DO (Washington University School of Medicine)

Eric McDade, DO, has research interests that include the application of cerebrospinal fluid and neuroimaging measures to identify early pathology of Alzheimer’s disease, with the ultimate goal of identifying early markers of Alzheimer’s disease progression that could be used in testing disease-modifying therapies. Most recently, in collaboration with Drs. Randall Bateman and Nicolas Barthelemy, he has identified a soluble phosphorylated tau signature of Alzheimer disease that tracks both the presence of amyloid pathology, as well as the preclinical states of AD in dominantly inherited AD. This work may be instrumental in AD prevention studies, where a reliable marker of both hallmark pathologies of AD can now be tracked prior to symptom onset.  As Associate Director of the DIAN-TU, he is the Principal Investigator of the first ever primary prevention trial in familial Alzheimer disease, which will test whether preventing the development of amyloid plaques will prevent the development of dementia in those with a genetic form of Alzheimer’s disease that leads to young-onset dementia. Additionally, he serves as the Principal Investigator of the DIAN Expanded Registry, which serves as a major pathway for identifying families with dominantly inherited AD. More recently, he has been overseeing efforts to use the DIAN EXR as a platform to implement remote and digital clinical assessments in order to better test opportunities for performing remote clinical trials.


Pre-Recorded Presentations

Youngtimers Ask the Expert: Understanding DIAD in the Context of Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Participation with Dr. Randall Bateman

Interviewer Lindsay A. Hohsfield, PhD (University of California, Irvine)

Lindsay Hohsfield, PhD, currently works as a Project Scientist at the University of California, Irvine in the laboratory of Kim Green. Her work focuses on understanding the role of microglia, the primary immune cells of the brain, in Alzheimer’s disease. Lindsay’s path to become an Alzheimer’s researcher began at the age of 18 years old when her father was diagnosed with the disease, from that point on she’s been devoted to finding a cure. In 2020, Lindsay and a group of DIAD stakeholders launched Youngtimers, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that is dedicated to providing support and resources to individuals and families affected by dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s disease.

DIAD 201: Advanced Understanding of Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Disease

Nick Cochran, PhD (HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology)

Nick Cochran, PHD, obtained his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Auburn University in 2010 and his PhD in neuroscience from UAB in 2015. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Richard Myers at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and investigates the human genetics of neurological diseases. As both a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher, Nick has contributed to research for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Inflammation: A “Hot” Topic in AD

Cynthia Lemere, PhD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School)

Cynthia A. Lemere, PhD, is a scientist in the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Dr. Lemere’s research focuses on understanding and using the immune system therapeutically to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Lemere earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and education from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s in neurobiology from SUNY Albany. Dr. Lemere examined Alzheimer’s-related brain changes in people with Down syndrome in the Selkoe Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) while pursuing her doctorate in Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine. After receiving her Ph.D., she remained at the BWH Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases within the Department of Neurology where she is an associate professor. Her current research involves: 1. non-clinical studies of antibody treatments targeting a pathogenic form of amyloid-beta protein in Alzheimer’s disease; 2. the role of complement signaling in aging and Alzheimer’s disease; and 3. the effects of deep space galactic cosmic radiation on brain aging and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in studies in mouse models and human neural cells in preparation for NASA’s first manned mission to Mars in the 2030s.  Her lab is funded by NIH and NASA. Dr. Lemere is a member and the past chair of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Group and a former member of the Association’s board of directors. She is a member of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Leadership Group. In addition, she serves as a scientific advisor for several foundations, conferences and companies.

Tau Biology in Alzheimer’s Disease: The Basics

Erik Roberson, MD, PhD (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Erik Roberson, MD, PhD is a physician-scientist dedicated to reducing the impact of age-related cognitive impairment. He received his A.B. with highest honors from Princeton University and then earned his M.D. and Ph.D in neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine where he studied molecular mechanisms of learning and memory. He completed a residency in neurology at the University of California San Francisco, where he also served as Chief Resident in Neurology. After residency, he completed a clinical fellowship in behavioral neurology with Dr. Bruce Miller at UCSF and resumed basic research in the laboratory of Dr. Lennart Mucke at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, initiating his current studies of neurodegenerative disease using mouse models. He joined the neurology faculty at UAB in 2008.

The Roberson lab studies the neurobiology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), with a focus on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of these disorders and identifying new therapeutic strategies. Focus areas include tau and its binding partners in neuronal dysfunction in AD, the mechanisms by which genetic risk factors drive AD, and how progranulin deficiency causes FTD.

In addition to directing his laboratory, Dr. Roberson directs the UAB Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Roberson also cares for patients with memory disorders and dementia at the Kirklin Clinic and directs clinical trials related to tauopathies.

DIAN-TU Tau NexGen Biomarker Trials

Randall Bateman, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)

Randall Bateman, MD, is the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Director of the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN), and Director of the DIAN Trials Unit (DIAN-TU). Dr. Bateman’s research focuses on the pathophysiology and development of improved diagnostics and treatments of Alzheimer’s disease. His lab recently reported on an accurate blood test for Alzheimer’s disease plaques. His research in DIAN has provided evidence for a cascade of events beginning decades before symptom onset that leads to AD dementia, supporting development of Alzheimer’s disease prevention trials. Dr. Bateman directs the DIAN-TU, which launched the first prevention trial in families with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2012. The DIAN-TU trial is an advanced world-wide adaptive trial platform that tests the most advanced therapeutics targeting early onset dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s disease. The DIAN-TU goal is to slow, stop or reverse Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Bateman has received a number of awards including the Beeson Award for Aging Research, Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Award, Scientific American top innovator, the Glenn Award for Aging Research, the MetLife Foundation Award for Medical Research, and the Potamkin Prize.

DIAN-TU Primary Prevention Updates

Eric McDade, DO (Washington University School of Medicine)

2021 Family Video Presentation

Family Members


This recording is password protected. Please email dianexr@wustl.edu for password if you are a member of a family living with dominantly-inherited Alzheimer’s disease.

Past Conference Family Presentations

Family Members

Click here to visit gallery

LIVE Virtual Events

Practical Information Session: Mental Health (FAMILY Registrants Only)  Session live-streamed on July 31, 2021

Fighting the Phantom of AD: Psychological Aspects and Coping Strategies (30 min.)

Pablo Bagnati, MD (FLENI Institute, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Pablo Bagnati, MD, is a psychiatrist and serves as Chief of the Neuropsychiatry Section in the Department of Cognitive Neurology at Fleni Institute, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He also is a professor of Neuropsychiatry at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and Professor of Psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires. Dr. Bagnati directs the scientific committee of GAMA (Alzheimer Help Group) in Argentina and has authored the first book in the country for caregivers of patients with Alzheimer and other dementias.  He works as part of DIAN Argentina, giving support and help to all participants included in the study since 2017 through present day. His area of interest is behavioral issues surrounding dementia, especially psychological and psychiatric repercussions on the patient and their environment, and therapies for them. Dr Bagnati has received a number of awards, including two from ALMA (Argentine Association against Alzheimer Disease): the ¨Lifetime Achievement Award¨ in 2019 and the ¨Merit in the Fight against Alzheimer’s Disease Award¨ in 2015. In 2016, he was the recipient of the “Lobo de Mar” award for Scientific Investigation about Successful aging as Principal Investigator, School of Medicine, UFASTA University.

Breakout sessions for discussion/support (60-90 min):

  1. Grief –  facilitated by Kelli Moorehead (Alzheimer’s Association)
  2. Coping With Risk – facilitated by Michael Kocher (Alzheimer’s Association)
  3. Caregiving – facilitated by Kate Madl (Alzheimer’s Association)
  4. Survivor’s Guilt – facilitated by Wendy Roth (Alzheimer’s Association)

Practical Information Session: Planning Ahead (FAMILY Registrants Only) Session live-streamed on July 31, 2021

Overview of Key Terms and Concepts (30 min.)

Beth Kallmyer, MSW (Alzheimer’s Association)

Beth Kallmyer, MSW, is the Vice President of Care and Support for the national Alzheimer’s Association based in Chicago.  As Vice President of Care and Support, Ms. Kallmyer oversees Association programs and services nationwide for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their families and outreach to long-term care professionals. These services include information and referral though the Association’s 24/7 Helpline, consumer education workshops, support groups for caregivers, programming for persons with early stage dementia.  They also include the Association’s strategy to influence care in long term services and support programs.   Ms. Kallmyer has more than 30 years experience working for not for profit organizations in both direct service and leadership roles.  She has been with the Alzheimer’s Association since 2001.  Prior to working for the Alzheimer’s Association, she was employed as a social worker in various settings including emergency services, community mental health and hospice.  Ms. Kallmyer has a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame and an MSW from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Breakout sessions for discussion/support (60-90 min):

  1. Pre-Testing and Family Planning – facilitated by Katie Neimeyer, MS (Genetic counseling student)
  2. Open Conversation on Post-Testing – facilitated by a family member
  3. Caregivers – facilitated by Beth Kallmyer, MSW (Alzheimer’s Association)

Panel: Question & Answer Session about Inflammation, Tau, and DIAN-TU Research (For ALL Registrants) – Session live-streamed on July 31, 2021

Moderator: Eric McDade, DO (Washington University School of Medicine)


Randall Bateman, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)

Maria Carrillo, PhD (Alzheimer’s Association)

Lindsay Hohsfield, PhD, (University of California, Irvine)

Cindy Lemere, PhD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School)

Erik Roberson, MD, PhD (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Michael Irizarry, MD, MPH, (Eisai)

Michael C. Irizarry, MD, MPH, is Vice-President of Clinical Research and Deputy Chief Clinical Officer at Eisai, responsible for the overall strategy and clinical development of the neurosciences portfolio. He earned undergraduate and medical degrees from Georgetown University and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed neurology residency and Memory Disorders Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and continued as Harvard Medical School faculty in the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. His research encompassed molecular mechanisms, clinical-pathological correlations, animal models, biomarkers, and epidemiology of neurodegenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer’s disease. Prior to joining Eisai in 2018, Dr. Irizarry held a series of leadership positions at Eli Lilly (Vice-President, Early Clinical development, Neurosciences), and GlaxoSmithKline (including acting Vice President for Worldwide Epidemiology).

Sheila Seleri, MD, PhD (Genentech)

Sheila Seleri, MD, PhD, is a psychiatrist by training and has a PhD in Neuroscience, having all her training completed in her home country, Brazil. Dr. Seleri practiced psychiatry for 7 years with focus on the care of people diagnosed with substance abuse and eating disorders, disease areas in which she was also involved in clinical research in the academic setting. She joined the pharmaceutical industry in 2000 and, since then, has worked in medical affairs and clinical development in several psychiatric and neurological conditions including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. She currently leads the Alzheimer’s disease US Medical Affairs team at Genentech/Roche, contributing to the company’s efforts in the development of diagnostic and pharmacological programs in AD, including gantenerumab in sporadic AD. Together with her colleagues at Genentech/Roche, Dr. Seleri collaborates with Washington University researchers in the DIAN-TU network to advance pharmacological treatments for individuals with dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s disease.

Sunday Mental Health Break: A Yoga session sponsored by Youngtimers

Scott from Home Yoga

Watch Session

Practical Information Session: Taking Action (FAMILY Registrants Only) Session live-streamed on August 1, 2021

Pre-Group Introduction (5 min.) – Ellen Ziegemeier, MA (Washington University School of Medicine)
Breakout session topics offered twice (1:00 PM and 2:00 PM, via same Zoom link) to allow registrants to attend 2 topics of their choice:

Advocacy – John Funderburk (Alzheimer’s Association)

Healthy Living – Nick Cochran, PhD (HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology)

Not Recorded

Get Involved with Youngtimers – Lindsay Hohsfield, PhD, (Youngtimers)

Research Participation – family research participants; Jorge Llibre, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)

Zoom Social Hour (FAMILY Registrants Only) – Session live-streamed on August 1, 2021

Thank You for Joining Us!

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