About


 

The Global Alzheimer’s Association Interactive Network (GAAIN) has developed the first operational online integrated research platform, which links scientists, shared data, and sophisticated analysis tools. Investigators can address scientific questions of unprecedented complexity by accessing massive shared data sets and can share their own data by joining our global network of Alzheimer’s disease study centers. The GAAIN team has recruited data partners and affiliates all over the world to join the effort to accelerate Alzheimer’s disease research. These groups provide resources and data enabling investigators to perform comparative data analysis and cohort discovery. GAAIN, funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, continues to improve and expand while reaching out to new potential data partners, developing and refining a comprehensive, efficient platform where investigators can search, access, and analyze Alzheimer’s disease data (as well as data related to dementia and aging) in a collaborative and innovative manner.



GAAIN is powered by the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI) at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles



The Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI) strives to improve our understanding of the brain in health and disease. LONI is a leader in the development of advanced computational algorithms and scientific approaches for the comprehensive and quantitative mapping of brain structure and function. LONI acts as the hub of an international neuroimaging resource, which supports over 60 brain-imaging collaborations worldwide. These collaborations apply novel image analysis approaches to investigate brain structure and. In addition, LONI has designed and maintains an extensive infrastructure that facilitates modern informatics research and supports hundreds of projects, including several multi-site national and global efforts.

DirectorArthur W. Toga, Ph.D.
Assistant ProfessorScott Neu, Ph.D.
Project SpecialistJyl Boline, Ph.D.
MIS ManagerKaren Crawford

People

Board of Governors

Maria C. Carrillo, PhD

Chief Science Officer
Alzheimer’s Association

Dr. Carrillo is a senior member of the Alzheimer's Association science staff and an Alzheimer's Association spokesperson on a wide range of medical and scientific issues. She leads the Association’s International Research Grant Program (the world's flagship nonprofit initiative to advance Alzheimer's science, and the Alzheimer’s Association Research Roundtable (a consortium of scientists from academe, industry and international public agencies collaborating to overcome universal barriers to progress in developing Alzheimer’s treatments). Dr. Carrillo’s core areas of expertise include the emerging effort to identify biomarkers, measurable indicators of underlying physical changes linked to Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, through brain imaging, spinal fluid protein analysis and other strategies.

Arthur W. Toga, PhD

Founder and Director
Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI)

Arthur W. Toga is Director of the USC Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Director of the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, Provost Professor, Departments of Ophthalmology, Neurology, Psychiatry, and the Behavioral Sciences, Radiology and Engineering at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. His research is focused on neuroimaging, informatics, mapping brain structure and function, and brain atlasing. He has developed multimodal imaging and data aggregation strategies and applied them in a variety of neurological diseases and psychiatric disorders. His work in informatics includes the development and implementation of some of the largest and most widely used databases and data mining tools linking disparate data from genetics, imaging, clinical and behavior, supporting global efforts in Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease. He was trained in neuroscience and computer science and has written more than 1,000 papers, chapters and abstracts, including eight books. In the fall of 2013, he and the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging were recruited to the University of Southern California. Prior to his recruitment to USC, Dr. Toga was recruited to UCLA in 1987 where he directed the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging. This 80-member laboratory includes graduate students from computer science, biostatistics and neuroscience. It is funded with grants from the National Institutes of Health grants as well as industry partners. He has received numerous awards and honors in computer science, graphics and neuroscience. At UCLA, he was a Distinguished Professor of Neurology, held the Geffen Chair of Informatics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was the Associate Director of the UCLA Brain Mapping Division within the Neuropsychiatric Institute, and was Associate Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal NeuroImage and has held the chairmanship of numerous committees within NIH and a variety of international task forces. Dr. Toga is the principal investigator for GAAIN.

Giovanni B. Frisoni, MD

Deputy Scientific Director
Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) Fatebenefratelli
The Italian National Centre for Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Frisoni is a clinical neurologist and full professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and the Head of the Memory Clinical of the Geneva University Hospital. He co-founded the Italian Centre for Alzheimer’s Disease at IRCCS – Fatebenefratelli Hospital, where he led a multidisciplinary team of twenty-five clinical neuroscientists in the Laboratory of Epidemiology Neuroimaging and Telemedicine. For twenty years, Dr. Frisoni’s scientific interests have encompassed the clinical neuroimaging of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders. He is the imaging section editor of Neurobiology of Aging and an editorial board member for The Lancet Neurology. Over the past ten years, he has served as the principal or co-principal investigator or scientific coordinator for several research studies and has secured extensive funding to advance the study and understanding of cognitive disorders.

William H. Thies, PhD

Chief Medical and Scientific Officer
Alzheimer’s Association

Dr. Thies leads the Alzheimer’s Association’s medical and scientific relations department and its multifaceted research program. The research program aims to stimulate research toward effective treatment, prevention methods and ultimately a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. He led the integration of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference™ (AAIC) into the organization (previously a number of organizations had shared ownership). He also played a key role in launching Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association and in establishing the Alzheimer’s Association Research Roundtable, a consortium of senior scientists from academe, industry and public agencies.

Scientific Advisory Board

Paul Aisen, MD

Director, Alzheimer's Therapeutic Research Institute
University of Southern California

Dr. Aisen, has conducted therapeutic research on Alzheimer’s disease over 25 years. After graduating from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr Aisen received his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and pursued his clinical training as a resident in the Department of Medicine at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, and in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He completed his fellowship in the Division of Rheumatology at the New York University Medical Center before returning to Mount Sinai Hospital as chief resident in the Department of Medicine. Dr Aisen is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, with specialty certification in rheumatology. After 15 years on the faculty at Mount Sinai, Dr Aisen moved to Georgetown University, Washington, DC, in 1999 as professor in the departments of neurology and of medicine and became vice chair of the Department of Neurology in 2004. From 2007 until 2015 he was professor of neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, California, and Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study. At present he is Director of the University of Southern California Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute, located in San Diego, California. Dr Aisen has collaborated extensively with the biotech and pharmaceutical industries for many years. He has led numerous multicenter trials, and has authored more than 300 scientific papers.

Enrique Castro-Leon, PhD

Enterprise Architect
Intel

Dr. Enrique Castro-Leon is an enterprise and data center architect and technology strategist for Intel Digital Enterprise Group working in OS design and architecture, software engineering, high-performance computing, platform definition, and business development. Dr. Castrol-Leon’s work involves matching emerging technologies with innovative business models in developed and emerging markets. In this capacity he has served as a consultant for corporations large and small, nonprofits and governmental organizations on issues of technology and data center planning. He has taken roles as visionary, solution architect, project manager, and has undertaken the technical execution in advanced proof of concept projects with corporate end users and inside Intel illustrating the use of emerging technologies. Dr. Castro-Leon has published over 40 articles, conference papers and white papers on technology strategy and management as well as SOA and Web services. He holds PhD and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Purdue University.

Heather Snyder, PhD

Senior Director of Medical and Scientific Operations, Medical and Scientific Relations
Alzheimer's Association

Dr. Snyder is Senior Director of Medical and Scientific Operations at the Alzheimer’s Association. She manages the Alzheimer's Association International Research Grant Program, the mechanism through which the Association funds research applications. She oversees the Association’s relationship with the leading disease journal in clinical neurology, Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, and its companion open access journals Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring and Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions. Dr. Snyder is responsible for a number of specific research initiatives to further understand the underlying biology of Alzheimer’s, including the Alzheimer’s Association Women’s Alzheimer’s Research Initiative to explore the link between gender and vulnerability to Alzheimer's, and efforts to understand the role of vascular factors – including heart disease and stroke-related disorders – in Alzheimer's and dementia. Dr. Snyder also serves as the Program Officer for GAAIN

Alon Halevy, PhD

Structured Data Group
Google Research

Dr. Alon Halevy is the CEO of the Recriut Institute of Technology located in Mountain View, California. Prior to that, he was the head the Structured Data Group at Google Research, where he led the Google Fusion Tables project. He was a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Washington, where he founded the Database Research Group. From 1993 to 1997 he was a Principal Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories (later AT&T Laboratories). He received his Ph.D in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1993, and his Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1988. Dr. Halevy’s research interests are in data integration, structured-data on the Web, semantic heterogeneity, personal information management, management of XML data, peer-data management systems, query optimization, database theory, knowledge representation, and more generally, the intersection between Database and AI technologies.

William Klunk, MD

Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Co-Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

Dr. William Klunk is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is also the co-Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Klunk is an internationally recognized expert on the development and application of PET amyloid imaging agents for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and for the assessment of the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. He is the Vice Chair of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical Advisory Council. He has been honored with a MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging, the 2009 Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute Award for research in Alzheimer’s disease with colleague Chester A. Mathis, Ph.D., the 2008 Potamkin Prize and the 2004 MetLife Foundation Award. Dr. Klunk has published more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. In addition to his extensive research activities, he has established a reputation as a superb educator and mentor to students, trainees and junior faculty. Dr. Klunk is a highly respected and accomplished member of the scientific field. He received his MD and his PhD at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri.

Brady Davis

Director Healthcare Strategy & Innovation
Oracle

Mr. Brady Davis heads strategy, market development and product marketing for Illumina’s Enterprise Informatics Business Unit (EIBU). Brady works with the commercial and product development leads in order to help accelerate new market opportunities with a focus on using Genetics data as a clinical utility. Brady is also responsible for building strategic partnerships with both technology and services based organizations as well as working with Illumina’s Corporate Development Business Unit to identify investment and acquisition opportunities. He has been an innovator and leader in the hospital ACO space as well as the consumer health and wellness industry for over 15 years. He is a graduate from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Rhett Alden, PhD

Chief Architect, Performance Solutions, Division of HCIT
GE Healthcare

Dr. Rhett Alden is the Chief Architect for Performance Solutions within GE Healthcare. He is responsible for technical diligence activities for Merger and Acquisition activities in collaboration with the Business Development team for Performance Solutions, to evaluate both technical and market applicability within the GEHC portfolio. He is also driving the implementation of Cloud computing strategy for Performance Solution portfolio and Analytics as a Service (AaaS). Dr. Alden has been with GE for the past decade, and prior was the Director and Architect for Regulome Corporation, a biotech startup targeting regulatory markers for heart disease and other genetic diseases. He received his doctorate from the University of New Mexico in Major Physical Chemistry. Dr. Alden has over forty peer-review journal articles published in high impact journals such as Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Neil Buckholtz, PhD

Chief, Dementias of Aging Branch
National Institutes on Aging, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Neil Buckholtz is chief of the Dementias of Aging Branch of the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. He has overall programmatic responsibility for the development, coordination, and implementation of basic and clinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research. Specifically, he is the program administrator for grants and contracts portfolios, including AD drug discovery and development and AD neuroimaging and biomarker research. Dr. Buckholtz holds a doctorate in physiological psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and was a faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina, Department of Psychiatry, from 1970 to 1983 before coming to NIH.



GAAIN is a collaborative partnership between the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI) and our data partners and affiliates. Oversight for GAAIN is provided by our Governing and Scientific Advisory Boards and our sponsor, the Alzheimer’s Association. Hover over a person on the brain map to learn more.

Funders


 

GAAIN is funded by the Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer’s Association’s support helped launch GAAIN in partnership with the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI) at the University of Southern California (USC) and the National Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Care at the University of Geneva.

The NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) grant (Award Number U54EB020406) helped fund the computational infrastructure to help build the GAAIN Platform.