Upcoming ALZTalks

Our ALZTalks series has ended for 2022 - please stay tuned for additional future dates. In the meantime, all previous sessions are available as recordings.

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Percy Griffin, Ph.D.

Alzheimer's Association, Director of Scientific Engagement

Percy Griffin, Ph.D., is director, Scientific Engagement for the Alzheimer’s Association, where he leads efforts to accelerate the organization’s scientific agenda through the creation and delivery of ongoing research education. He engages with more than 75 Association chapters across the country, informing staff and the public of scientific initiatives and the organization’s crucial role in advancing research to improve the lives of all those facing Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Prior to joining the Association, Dr. Griffin held a number of roles that honed his expertise in research and scientific communication. Most recently, he was a strategic analyst for Purohit Navigation, where he conducted and analyzed research for pharmaceutical clients. He also served as a consultant for the Biotechnology and Life Sciences Advising Group and as a scientific editor and illustrator for InPrint, a publication editing service at Washington University in St. Louis.

As a researcher, Dr. Griffin has led independent translational projects in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease focused on protein degradation and neuroimmunology, in addition to research on the role of proteostasis in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis and organic chemistry synthesis. He is a co-author of several papers, including “Circadian clock protein Rev-erba regulates neuroinflammation,” published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Dr. Griffin holds a doctorate in molecular cell biology from Washington University in St. Louis, a master’s degree in pharmacology from the University of Minnesota Medical School and a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Macalester College. During his graduate studies, Dr. Griffin participated in the optional Entrepreneurship for Biomedicine Research Training Program and earned a credential in Science Communication. He is a recipient of the Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation and the Neuroscience Scholars Program Fellowship from the Society for Neuroscience.

Dr. Heather M. Snyder, Ph.D.

Alzheimer's Association, Vice President of Medical and Scientific Relations

Dr. Snyder is the vice president of Medical and Scientific Relations at the Alzheimer’s Association. In this role, she oversees Association initiatives that accelerate innovative Alzheimer’s research and provide opportunities for the global dementia community to connect and collaborate.

Dr. Snyder is responsible for the progress the Association has made in Alzheimer's and dementia research funding. She leads the Association’s International Research Grant Program, the vehicle through which the Association funds promising investigations that advance understanding of Alzheimer's and moves the field toward solutions for the global Alzheimer's crisis. As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research, the Association is currently investing over $208 million in 590 active best-of-field projects in 31 countries.

As part of this effort, Dr. Snyder is instrumental in advancing grant programs to explore sex and gender-based disease vulnerability, which contributed to the Women's Alzheimer's Research Initiative, one of the only focused funding programs in this area. This grant program funds studies to uncover how biological and genetic factors shape disease development and progression in women as compared to men, a factor that may influence diagnostic and treatment options as research moves closer to precision medicine.

To increase knowledge about prevention and risk reduction, Dr. Snyder serves on the executive team for the U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (U.S. POINTER). In addition, she oversees the development and management of the leading clinical neurology journal, Alzheimer's & Dementia®: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, and its companion open-access journals, which help bridge the knowledge gaps across a wide range of dementia research disciplines.

Dr. Snyder sits on the programmatic review committee for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs for Alzheimer's Disease. She has been a peer reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, the Polish government, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the state of California Alzheimer's funding program.

An expert in the field, Dr. Snyder has been featured in numerous TV interviews and print and online news articles, including "The Dr. Oz Show," The New York Times, The Washington Post, Crain's Chicago Business "40 under 40" and The Wall Street Journal.

She holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and a bachelor's degree in biology and religious studies from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Claire Sexton, DPhil

Director of Scientific Programs & Outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association

Claire Sexton, DPhil, is director of Scientific Programs & Outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association. In this role, she leads research programs and initiatives to accelerate the Association’s scientific agenda.

Dr. Sexton works alongside a committee of expert researchers to develop scientific programming for the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), the largest and most influential international meeting dedicated to advancing dementia science. Annually, AAIC offers over 2,000 posters and more than 100 podium presentations on basic science, risk factors, diagnosis, causes, risk factors, and potential methods of treatment and prevention to nearly 6,000 of the world’s leading researchers.

To expand the Association’s reach, Dr. Sexton also manages the AAIC Satellite Symposia, which bring researchers together to network and explore emerging dementia science in targeted areas around the world. She oversees conference programming, including speakers, poster sessions and opportunities to foster collaboration.

As an expert in the field, Dr. Sexton delivers presentations to audiences around the country on the Association’s role in scientific advancements and the overall state of Alzheimer’s and dementia research. 

Dr. Sexton received her doctoral degree in psychiatry from the University of Oxford, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Manchester. Prior to joining the  Association, Dr. Sexton served as an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute, where her research focused on modifiable factors associated with risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.