Mechanisms of Aging and Dementia Training Program (M.A.D.)

The multidisciplinary Mechanisms of Aging and Dementia (M.A.D.) Training Program provides a select group of postdoctoral and predoctoral trainees a comprehensive research and training opportunity in fundamental and clinical aspects of aging and dementia, especially Alzheimer’s Disease, that is not available through the individual departmental or graduate programs. Program courses and research activities provide a broad overview of the different areas of aging and dementia research, including molecular/cell biology, signaling, systems, neuropsychology and behavioral neuroscience and brain imaging. In particular, the proposed program brings molecular/cellular approaches together with cognitive neurological and clinical approaches, which are a major strength in the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at the Medical School.

An important feature of the Training Program is that it brings together researchers in fundamental and clinical neuroscience, providing a highly productive, interdisciplinary research environment for trainees in aging and dementia. In addition to providing research training, the program will help trainees develop skills in written and oral communication, grant writing/grantsmanship, networking and career development. Instilling a clear awareness of ethical issues facing neuroscientists and responsible conduct in science is also a major training goal.

The M.A.D. Training Program supports 4 predoctoral and 4 postdoctoral trainees per year. Trainees are selected by a Steering Committee from among nominations solicited from preceptors. Selection is based on outstanding evaluations from research rotation and thesis advisors, strong performance in coursework, strong letters of support from faculty, and a detailed research plan consistent with the training program objectives.


Disterhoft, John, PhD

Associate Director:

Weintraub, Sandra, PhD

Steering Committee:

Gottfried, Jay, MD, PhD
Kessler, John, MD
Klein, William, PhD
Paller, Ken, PhD
Vassar, Robert, PhD
Weintraub, Sandra, PhD

View list of all Faculty Profiles associated this grant


Bevan, Mark Mesulam, Marek-Marsel
Bigio, Eileen Miller, Richard Voss, Joel
Chan, Savio Morimoto, Richard Wang, Lei
Contractor, Anis Nicholson, Daniel Weintraub, Sandra
Csernansky, John Opal, Puneet Wong, Patrick
Disterhoft, John Ozdinler, P. Hande Wright, Beverly
Dombeck, Daniel Paller, Ken Zee, Phyllis
Ferreira, Adriana Penzes, Peter
Geula, Changiz Reber, Paul
Gottfried, Jay Rice, Sarah
Kessler, John Rogalski, Emily
Klein, William Shepherd, Gordon
Krainc, Dimitri Siddique, Teepu
Kraus, Nina Surmeier, D. James
Li, Liming Swanson, Geoff
Ma, Yong Chao Vassar, Robert

Predoctoral Trainees:

Ellie Hong (Advisor: Savio Chan, PhD)
Daniel Ohm (Advisor: Emily Rogalski, PhD)
Clarissa Valdez (Advisor: Dimitri Krainc, MD)
Anil Wadhwani (Advisor: Jack Kessler, MD)

Predoctoral Affiliate Trainees:

Stephanie Kielb (Advisor: Sandra Weintraub, PhD)

Postdoctoral Trainees:

Erika Cline, PhD (Advisor: Bill Klein, PhD)
Tristan Hedrick, PhD (Advisor: Geoff Swanson, PhD)
Mark Howe, PhD (Advisor: Dan Dombeck, PhD)
Dina Simkin, PhD (Advisor: John Disterhoft, PhD)

For more information, contact Dr. John Disterhoft: