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:

Kessler, John MD
Klein, William, PhD
Paller, Ken, PhD
Savas, Jeffrey, PhD
Vassar, Robert, PhD
Voss, Joel, 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:

Timothy Hark (Advisor: Jeffrey Savas, PhD)
Adam Martersteck (Advisors: Todd Parrish, PhD & Emily Rogalski, PhD)
Maria Nguyen (Advisor: Dimitri Krainc, MD)

Predoctoral Affiliate Trainees:

Arin Pamukcu (Advisor: Savio Chan, PhD)

Postdoctoral Trainees:

Tamar Gefen, PhD (Advisor: Marsel Mesulam, MD)
Pouya Jamshidi, PhD (Advisors: Eileen Bigio, PhD & Changiz Geula, PhD)
Kyle Kelly, PhD (Advisor: John Disterhoft, PhD)
John Walker, PhD (Advisor: Joel Voss, PhD)

For more information, contact Dr. John Disterhoft: