Skip to main content

Mechanisms of Aging & Dementia Training Program

The multidisciplinary Mechanisms of Aging & Dementia (MAD) 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 Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease at the medical school.

An important feature of the training program is that it brings together scientists 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, rigor and reproducibility, and responsible conduct in science is also a major training goal.

The MAD Training Program supports four predoctoral and four 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 advisers, strong performance in coursework, strong letters of support from faculty and a detailed research plan consistent with the training program objectives.


Our Team



  • Robert Vassar, PhD

  • Sandra Weintraub, PhD

Associate Director

  • Hongxin Dong, PhD

Steering Committee

  • John Kessler, MD

  • William Klein, PhD

  • Jeffrey Savas, PhD

  • John Disterhoft, PhD

  • Rodrigo Braga, PhD


  • Ravi Allada
  • Mark Bevan
  • Gabriella Caraveo Piso
  • Gemma Carvill
  • Savio Chan
  • Anis Contractor
  • John Disterhoft
  • Daniel Dombeck
  • Hongxin Dong
  • Adriana Ferreira
  • Margaret Flanagan
  • Tamar Gefen
  • Changiz Geula
  • Caterina Gratton
  • CongCong He
  • Robert Kalb


  • Ann Kennedy
  • John Kessler
  • Evangelos Kiskinis
  • William Klein
  • Yevgenia Kozorovitskiy
  • Dimitri Krainc
  • Talia Lerner
  • Liming Li
  • Joe Mazzulli
  • Marek-Marsel Mesulam
  • Richard Miller
  • Richard Morimoto
  • Daniel Nicholson
  • Puneet Opal
  • P. Hande Ozdinler
  • Ken Paller
  • Loukia Parisidou
  • Peter Penzes
  • Lucas Pinto
  • Murali Prakriya
  • Paul Reber
  • Angela Roberts
  • Emily Rogalski
  • Jeff Savas
  • D. James Surmeier
  • Geoff Swanson
  • Robert Vassar
  • Sandra Weintraub
  • Phyllis Zee
  • Christina Zelano 

Contact Us

For more information, contact Bob Vassar, PhD, at

Follow NUIN on