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Up-And-Coming Neuroscientists and Mentors Honored at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference Neuroscience Next

Up-And-Coming Neuroscientists and Mentors Honored at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference Neuroscience Next
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April 18, 2023
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CHICAGO, April 18, 2023 — The Alzheimer’s Association recognized six pioneers in neuroscience research and mentorship at the third Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® Neuroscience Next (AAIC® Neuroscience Next). 

“The Alzheimer’s Association is proud to honor these six inspiring individuals who represent a bright and promising future of neuroscience,” said Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., chief science officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “They are committed to working in their communities and their passion, mentorship and emphasis on diversity is invaluable to the neuroscience field.”

AAIC Neuroscience Next provides students and early career scientists a platform to publish and promote their work in neuroscience research, including: cognitive, computational and behavioral topics.

Alzheimer’s Association Excellence in Neuroscience Mentoring Award

The Alzheimer’s Association Excellence in Neuroscience Mentoring Award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the mentoring of dementia scientists through either research mentorship, career mentorship or personal mentorship. Two individuals were recognized this year: 

Inés Moreno González, Ph.D., is a Ramon y Cajal Associate Professor and neuroscientist at the Department of Cell Biology of the University of Malaga-IBIMA in Spain, where she studies different risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and evaluates preclinical therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases. After receiving her doctorate in neurobiology in 2009, she moved to the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston as a postdoctoral fellow. Since 2013, she served as an assistant professor in the department of neurology at UTHealth and associate professor in 2019. She is the immediate past co-chair of the ISTAART AWARE PIA, She is a reviewer and editor of various scientific journals and a reviewer at the National Institutes of Health and Alzheimer's Association, among others. She is a member of CIBERNED. Ines has been awarded with several honors including two Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards. She has mentored over 25 graduate students and postdocs that have moved on to establish successful careers in academic research. Ines is actively involved in the organization of international and local mentoring initiatives for career development of early career investigators.

Edward B. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors from Stanford in 1997 and obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005, where he studied the pathophysiology of beta-amyloid under the mentorship of Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ph.D. After clinical training in neuropathology, Edward joined the faculty of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine, where he is an attending physician encountering the full spectrum of neurologic diseases, including brain tumors and muscle/nerve diseases. He is also the director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank, co-eirector of the Institute on Aging, associate director of the Penn Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and principal investigator of the Translational Neuropathology Research Laboratory (TNRL). Edward has published over 180 publications in high-impact journals, and has been awarded several academic and professional honors. Edward is dedicated to educating the next generation of neuroscientists and physician-scientists with service on over 50 thesis committees, in addition to being the course director for a national, NIA-funded career development workshop for neuropathology trainees.

AAIC Neuroscience Next ‘One to Watch’ Award

This award recognizes the next generation of leaders in neuroscience: the students, postdoctoral researchers and early career investigators who are trailblazers in scientific thinking, collaboration, communication and/or outreach. Four individuals were honored with a ‘One to Watch’ Award this year:

Claire Andre, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist with a research focus on the role of sleep in Alzheimer's disease. She completed her Ph.D. in psychology in 2019 under the guidance of Dr. Géraldine Rauchs and Dr. Gaël Chételat (Inserm, France). During her doctoral studies, she explored the connections between sleep and Alzheimer's disease biomarkers in older adults, utilizing neuroimaging techniques and polysomnography. Currently, as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine in Montreal, Claire is studying the associations between REM sleep, Alzheimer's disease risk factors, and the integrity of the cholinergic system under the mentorship of Dr. Nadia Gosselin and Dr. Julie Carrier. Her work has the potential to shed light on the relationship between sleep and the development of Alzheimer's disease. Claire is also an active member of the ISTAART Sleep & Circadian Rhythms PIA executive committee since 2020.

Chinmayi Balusu is a final-year Master of Public Health student pursuing neuro-epidemiology at Columbia University. Her current research projects focus on stroke, brain injury, cross-cultural neuroethics and youth science communication. Outside of academia, Chinmayi is the founder and CEO of Simply Neuroscience, a global non-profit organization expanding early and interdisciplinary access to neuroscience for students. Additionally, she serves in leadership and advisory roles with STEM advocacy platforms such as 500 Women Scientists, HFC, American Brain Coalition, ALBA Network and the International Neuroethics Society. For her community impact efforts, she has been recognized as a Global Teen Leader and Everyday Young Hero, among other honors.

Kacie Deters, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at University of California, Los Angeles in the department of integrative biology and physiology. Kacie’s lab focuses on markers for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias with a specific interest in Black individuals. She was the recipient of a 2018 Alzheimer's Association Research Fellowship to Promote Diversity to study genetic risk factors and cognitive decline in Black Americans. Kacie is also the Black in Neuro Seminar Series Program lead and is passionate about justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts.

Kao Lee Yang is a third-year Ph.D./MPA student in the neuroscience and public policy program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, training under the mentorship of Dr. Barbara Bendlin. She is a graduate of the Wisconsin Women's Network Policy Institute, a fellow of the UW-Madison Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars community, and a 2022-2023 community-engaged fellow in the UW-Madison Morgridge Center for Public Service. Her research focus is on using imaging and fluid-based biomarkers in the early detection of Alzheimer's disease. She launched Hmong in the Biological Sciences, a professional networking group intended to bring together scientists and trainees who identify as Hmong. Further, she is currently leading a community-based collaborative project, supported by funds from the Morgridge Center, to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate materials about dementia for Hmong and Cambodian elders.

About AAIC Neuroscience Next

AAIC Neuroscience Next is a global, no-cost virtual conference that showcases the work of students and early career investigators in cognitive, computational, behavioral, and other areas of neuroscience research. At AAIC Neuroscience Next, attendees will have access to information on funding and networking opportunities, further advancing their careers and accelerating the future of neuroscience. Visit to learn more.

About the Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. Visit or call 800.272.3900.

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