The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) focuses on the study and treatment of normal aging and dementia, as well as other memory disorders. Our Center is organized around six cores or specialty areas.
The Administrative Core is under the direction of Mary Sano, PhD, with the assistance of the Associate Directors of the ADRC: Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, and Patrick R. Hof, MD. This core integrates scientific, administrative, and clerical activities, sets the research direction for the ADRC, and fosters development of new research and new researchers. We aid in the submission of pilot projects and facilitate support for Alzheimer’s disease research that is not directly funded by the ADRC through sharing resources. We facilitate interactions among our cores and projects, as well among other Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADC’s), the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Studies (ADCS), Alzheimer’s Therapeutics Research Institute studies (ATRI), and Alzheimer’s disease-based research and service groups. We have also collaborated in several projects submitted to the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC), in cooperation with other Alzheimer’s Disease Centers.
The Clinical Core, under the leadership of Hillel Grossman, MD, and Mary Sano, PhD, performs comprehensive clinical and neuropsychological patient evaluations, coordinates data transfer to the Data Management Core, and conducts longitudinal follow-up of AD and non-demented individuals. We coordinate recruitment of subjects for our ADRC, ADCS, and other studies and pilot studies, some of which are funded by the National Institutes of Health. We train a wide range of individuals in data collection and recruit for possible participation in the autopsy program.
Data Management Core
Headed by Carolyn Zhu, the Data Management Core receives, stores, catalogues, tracks, and integrates data generated by the cores and other ADRC projects. The core advises on statistical analysis and develops statistical tools and techniques to advance research. The core has developed a highly secure data management infrastructure in the form of a data warehouse system within the Department of Psychiatry. We provide seamless integration of data acquired by ADRC cores and projects with NACC data sets and can offer turn-key generation of data sets to accommodate NACC data calls. We integrate data resulting from the Clinical Core and Neuropathology Cores into a centralized resource that enhances cross-fertilization of projects and provides ready access to all investigators.
Genetics and Genomics Core
The Genetics and Genomics Core, directed by Alison Goate, D.Phil., coordinates with the Clinical Core to collect biospecimens from all consented ADRC participants and maintains a repository and a database of the stored biological materials. We generate genetic and genomic information on samples of cognitively normal and demented individuals who are being studied as part of funded longitudinal studies of aging and dementia and provide easy access to genomic data on these subjects. Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array data and APOE genotype data are available on most ADRC participants. In addition to maintaining a local database within the core, we provide these data to the Data Management Core. It is anticipated that collection of these data will facilitate clinical and basic science investigations of the pathogenesis of AD. The Genetics and Genomics Core also contributes to the efforts of the Outreach, Recruitment, and Education Core by providing laboratory training for students participating in the ISMMS ADRC summer internship program.
Outreach, Recruitment, and Education Core
The Outreach, Recruitment, and Education Core, directed by Margaret Sewell, PhD, and Judith Neugroschl, MD, provides educational programming regarding Alzheimer's disease diagnosis, treatment, management, and research advances and training, to lay and professional audiences. We offer a lecture series for physicians and other healthcare professionals as well as community lectures, workshops, the Memory Enhancement Program, and Continuing Medical Education programs. Our outreach efforts include the ADRC newsletter, joint publications with NYCARE (the collaboration of the Education Cores of New York City's Alzheimer's Disease Centers and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, New York City, Inc., formerly the NYC Alzheimer’s Association), brochures, lectures, workshops, conferences, and health fairs. All programs and resources are available in English and Spanish and some in Chinese. Our ongoing collaboration with the Satellite Core and Mount Sinai's Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center further enables us to deliver educational programming and outreach to the Latino and Chinese community.
Directed by Dushyant Purohit, MD, and Vahram Haroutunian, PhD, the Neuropathology Core obtains autopsy-derived brain specimens from individuals who have been evaluated and followed longitudinally by the Clinical Core. We strive to obtain the brain specimens with the shortest postmortem interval; our mean postmortem interval is less than six hours. We dissect and preserve the specimens to maximize their utility for proposed experiments within the center as well as other AD and aging-related research projects. We carry out a detailed neuropathologic work-up to establish a neuropathologic diagnosis as well as to document the extent and distribution of relevant neuropathologic lesions and enter all data into an extensive database that can be integrated into the clinical database for cliniconeuropathologic correlative investigations. The tissues collected have been used extensively in a wide range of studies. Researchers within the ADRC, in the greater Mount Sinai research community, and by other researchers nationally and internationally request them frequently.
Under the direction of Judith Neugroschl, MD, the Satellite Core’s overarching goal is to insure that the ADRC has an adequate representation of minorities, particularly Latinos, as they are the predominant underrepresented group in our local community, and are at greater risk for dementia. We work with the Outreach Recruitment and Education Core to disseminate information to health professionals, trainees, and the lay community. In addition, we are responsible for the recruitment and retention of under-represented minorities, specifically Latino participants for the ADRC Clinical Core, to comprehensively characterize these subjects, and to facilitate participation in biomarker collection and other clinical studies. We work closely with all of the other cores as well as with the New York State-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Center.