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Dr. John Trojanowski is
In addition, he co-directs the Marian S. Ware Alzheimer's Program established in 2004. He is the principal investigator on the Penn Biomarker Core of the NIH/NIA Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a landmark study launched by the National Institute on Aging to find methods for monitoring the progression of AD and improving methods of imaging, and the validation of biomarker data. Dr. Trojanowski is responsible for the neuropathology cores in several studies in collaboration with Alzheimer's Disease Centers across the nation and Parkinson's disease research projects.
Director, Penn Memory Center
Dr. Steven E. Arnold is a Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and Director of the Penn Memory Center. He is board certified in both psychiatry and neurology.
Dr. Arnold received his MD from Boston University. He completed a residency in Psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute / Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, and in Neurology at the University of Iowa. He also completed a fellowship in Behavioral Neurology / Cognitive Neuroscience and was a post-doctoral associate in Neuroanatomy there.
His leadership roles include serving as: Associate Director and Clinical Core Leader of the National Institute on Aging-designated Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center; Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Section in the Department of Psychiatry; Director of the Cellular and Molecular Neuropathology Program in the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, and Associate Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute on Aging (IOA).
Dr. Arnold has authored over 150 scientific articles and his research has garnered numerous awards. He is principal investigator for research spanning clinical trials, phenomenology and neuropsychology, molecular neuroimaging, biochemical biomarkers, epidemiology-scale molecular neuropathology in postmortem tissues, and rodent models of chronic stress effects on aging, behavior, and neuropathology. He has conducted longstanding studies into neurodegenerative disease pathology in relation to cognitive decline in late life, and he leads a broad clinical and translational research program examining brain and mind aging.
His major interests include clinical biomarker identification of neuropathology in the aging brain, the long-term neurobiological effects of stress, anxiety, and depression on memory and risk for dementia, and protective factors that account for cognitive resilience in aging. Dr. Arnold has also had longstanding interest in the neurobiology of severe mental illnesses and leads a clinicopathological and neurobiological studies program focused on the cellular, biochemical and molecular neuropathology of schizophrenia using human postmortem tissues.
Dr. Roy H. Hamilton is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He is board certified in neurology.
He graduated from Harvard University Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with degrees in Medicine and Health Sciences Technology. He completed residency in Neurology and a fellowship in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, both at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
In addition to evaluation and care he provides patients through the Penn Memory Center, Dr. Hamilton is actively engaged in neurology research. The central aim of his research is to define the mechanisms and limits of functional plasticity in the intact and injured adult human brain. As the co-director of the Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation at Penn, Dr. Hamilton uses a combination of behavioral measures and noninvasive brain stimulation techniques, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), to elucidate structure-function relationships related to normal cognition and to promote therapeutic reorganization of neural representations of cognitive functions in individuals who have suffered from stroke.
Outside of his research, Dr. Hamilton teaches medical students and neurology residents in multiple venues and is the associate director of Penn’s Clinical Neurosciences Training Program. Dr. Hamilton is also deeply involved in issues related to diversity in graduate and medical education, and has spearheaded curricular enrichment initiatives for underrepresented students and trainees at the post-doctoral, graduate, undergraduate, and high school levels.
Dr. Steven F. Huege is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He is board certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry.
He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University, and MD from the University of Texas- Southwestern Medical School. He completed a residency in psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He is a Fellow with the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP). He serves as associate program director for Penn’s geriatric psychiatry fellowship program.
Dr. Huege specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of older adults with chronic and new-onset mental illness, Alzheimer’s disease, or other dementias, and mood and psychotic disorders in the elderly. He also conducts dynamically-oriented psychotherapy with adult and geriatric patients. At the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center, he consults in the Community Living Center, and evaluates and treats patients in the geriatric medicine clinic. At Penn, Dr. Huege also works in investigational drug trials to evaluate novel treatments for dementia, with special emphasis on biomarkers and natural/herbal compounds.
Dr. Jason Karlawish is a Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He is board-certified in geriatric medicine.
Dr. Karlawish is a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, a fellow of the University of Pennsylvania's Institute on Aging, Director of the Penn Neurodegenerative Disease Ethics and Policy Program, and Associate Director of the Penn Memory Center. He is also Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center's Education, Recruitment and Retention Core.
His research focuses on neuroethics and policy. He has investigated issues in dementia drug development, informed consent, quality of life, research and treatment decision-making, and voting by persons with dementia. To learn more about his research and scholarship, visit www.jasonkarlawish.com.
Dr. Nicholas Tsopelas is an adult and geriatric psychiatrist at the Penn Memory Center and Associate Director of Psychosomatic Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is board certified in psychiatry.
Born and raised in Athens, Greece, Dr. Tsopelas graduated from the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He completed a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical School in New York and another fellowship in psychosomatic medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at the Harvard School of Medicine. Dr. Tsopelas served on the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh from 2004-2008. While working at the University of Pittsburgh he worked closely with emerging PET technology in patients with dementia.
In addition to seeing patients at the Penn Memory Center Dr. Tsopelas sees patients at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) to consult on behavioral and medical problems in patients admitted for medical needs or undergoing surgical procedures. A member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology since 2001, Dr. Tsopelas’ interests include the interface of medicine with neuropsychiatry and the executive function mechanisms of the brain in both healthy patients and those with dementia.
Dr. David Wolk is an Assistant Professor of Neurology in the Cognitive Neurology Division of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He is board-certified in Neurology.
Dr. Wolk is Assistant Director of the Penn Memory Center. He completed his medical training at Johns Hopkins University, a Neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, and clinical Fellowship training in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He also completed a post-doctoral research fellowship studying memory in Alzheimer’s Disease there. Prior to his return to Penn, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and their Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
Dr. Wolk’s research has focused on memory measures and other markers that allow for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). One of the major challenges in the diagnosis of very early Alzheimer’s disease is differentiating the memory failures associated with the normal aging process from those reflecting early AD pathology. As such, his research currently focuses on memory changes in healthy aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and AD using Event-Related Potentials (a form of EEG), MRI (including structural and functional measures), and novel psychometric testing. It is hoped that these methods will contribute to early detection and intervention with emerging treatment modalities.
Olga Achildi, MD
Dr. Achildi is a fellow in geriatric psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, obtained her MD at Temple University School of Medicine, and completed her Psychiatry residency at Temple University Hospital. Dr. Achildi is also a certified psychodynamic psychotherapist by the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia.
Melanie Asbury, MD, MBA
Dr. Asbury is a fellow in geriatric psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her adult psychiatry residency training at UCLA. She earned her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and obtained her MBA from Duke University.
Sean McBride, MD, PhD
Dr. McBride is a psychiatry resident at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his undergraduate degree from Swartmore College, took post baccalaureate classes at the University of Pennsylvania while working as a research associate in the Department of Physiology, and then earned his M.S., Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology and M.D. degrees from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.
Samir Patel, MD
Dr. Patel is a fellow in geriatric psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency in adult psychiatry at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. He earned his MD from the B J Medical College in India and MPH in Health Education and Behavior from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Dr. Mechanic-Hamilton earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Neuropsychology from Drexel University. She completed her internship at Brown University and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She joined the Penn Memory Center as an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry in 2012.
Dr. Mechanic-Hamilton’s research has focused on memory systems and functional imaging. Her clinical focus at the Penn Memory Center is on neuropsychological assessment and cognitive and behavioral intervention in patients with cognitive impairment. She is a co-facilitator of the Cognitive Fitness Program.
Marianne Watson, senior research nurse, has been with the Penn Memory Center since 1993. Marianne conducts screening evaluations and assessments of research participants, handles a wide range of research recruitment, and provides patient and family support. She has extensive clinical experience with the dynamics of the Alzheimer patient and their family.
She manages key aspects of our NACC program including the normal control cohort, our brain donation program, and biological samples collection. She is also involved in various aspects of our diagnostic and investigational drug trial research.
Marianne's commitment to research extends beyond her professional role at the PMC. She is a long-time participant in the Harvard Nurses Health Study II, the size, duration and scope of which is unmatched in the history of women's health research.
Dr. Melissa Livney is a licensed clinical psychologist.
She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She completed a predoctoral internship at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY. Her training at all levels emphasized work with older adults.
She initially joined the Section of Geriatric Psychiatry in 2007 as a postdoctoral researcher. Through Geriatric Psychiatry, she sees older adults, including Penn Memory Center patients or their family members, for individual psychotherapy related to depression, anxiety, and/or later life transitions such as retirement, physical difficulties, memory loss, and grief. She also leads a psychoeducational group for caregivers of family members with dementia.
Felicia received her Masters in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008. She began working with individuals affected by memory loss, and their families, in 2006. Trained to understand the unique problems experienced by families coping with cognitive impairment, Felicia provides individual, couples, group, and family therapy for people with memory loss, and for those who care for them.
Felicia also provides psychotherapy to help older adults adjust to changes that may occur in later life, such as depression and anxiety, retirement, caregiving responsibilities, grief or loss, changing relationships, communication problems.
In her work, Felicia applies a strengths-based approach, using a combination of Cognitive Behavioral, Problem-Solving, Relational, and Family Systems therapies.
Dr. Moberg serves as the consulting faculty neuropsychologist for the Penn Memory Center / Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC). He is also consulting neuropsychologist at the Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center (PADRECC) at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Dr. Moberg is an Associate Professor of Neuropsychology in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Otorhinolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is the Director of Clinical Services for the Brain-Behavior Laboratory (BBL) in the Neuropsychiatry program and is the Co-Director of the Olfaction and Gustation Laboratory in the BBL.
He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology/ Neuropsychology from the University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School and completed an internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Florida. Dr. Moberg is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) of APA, the Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA), and the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN). He is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).
Dr. Negash is a Research Associate in the Penn Memory Center. She received her doctoral training in neuroscience from Georgetown University. She completed her postdoctoral training in the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Mayo Clinic Rochester, where she also obtained a Master's of Science degree in the Clinical Research Program.
Her work focuses on investigating factors associated with successful cognitive aging, including lifestyle factors such as cognitive activity, and in developing interventions that enhance cognitive fitness in older adults. She also studies successful cognitive aging in minority populations, particularly African Americans. Her other area of work focuses on examining implicit and explicit learning and memory systems in healthy aging and in mild cognitive impairment.
Dr. Sharon Xie is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Biostatistics Core of Penn's Alzheimer's DIsease Core Center (ADCC).