Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge


Search for Gender Based Differences In Alzheimer’s Disease: Learn about our finalists and read their solution abstracts.

Enrico Glaab-profile

Enrico Glaab, PhD

I am a research associate at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, belonging to the University of Luxembourg. Originally from Frankfurt in Germany, I received my BSc and MSc degree in Computational Molecular Biology at Saarland University, Germany, and then started my doctoral studies as Marie Curie Research Fellow at Nottingham University, United Kingdom. After completing the PhD, I spent a short time as a postdoctoral researcher at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and then moved together with our Bioinformatics research group, headed by Dr. Reinhard Schneider, to the newly established Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB).

My research at the LCSB is centered around the development and application of statistical learning, pathway- and network-analysis techniques for large-scale biological data, in particular biomedical datasets for neurodegenerative diseases. Learn more about this submission

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Herve Rhinn, PhD

After an initial training in mathematics/physics and an engineering degree from the Ecole Polytechnique (France), Herve Rhinn obtained a PhD in molecular biology at Pierre and Marie University (Paris, France). He then joined Asa Abeliovich’s lab at Columbia University ( New York) as a postdoc to work on neurodegenerative diseases. He developed gene expression network tools and applied integrative functional genomics and genetic approaches to the study of the sporadic forms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases, relying for the most part on innovative re-analysis of publicly deposited dataset. He highlighted a pathogenic role for alpha-synuclein transcripts with extended 3’untranslated region in Parkinson’s Disease and identified molecular effectors of APOE in Alzheimer’s Disease. Now an assistant professor, he works between Paris and New York.

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Asa Abeliovich, MD, PhD

Dr. Abeliovich is currently an Associate Professor of Pathology, Cell Biology, and Neurology at Columbia University (with Tenure) and an Attending Physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is also a member of the Taub Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain. Dr. Abeliovich grew up in rural Illinois and subsequently attended MIT, where he received bachelor’s degrees in Life Sciences and Humanities. Dr. Abeliovich then earned MD and PhD degrees from Harvard Medical School and MIT, respectively, through a joint Medical Scholar Training Program Fellowship. At MIT, Dr. Abeliovich undertook thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Susumu Tonegawa, where he pioneered studies on the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals. Dr. Abeliovich completed clinical training in Neurology at UCSF. At Genentech, Inc., in South San Francisco, he initiated research on molecular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease in the laboratory of Dr. Arnon Rosenthal. He was awarded the Lamport award for excellence in basic science research at Columbia University in 2005.


Kimberly Glass, PhD and John Quackenbus, PhD

Kimberly Glass obtained her PhD in Physics from the University of Maryland in College Park in 2010. Her thesis research there focused on the mathematical theories behind complex network structure. While in Maryland she also simultaneously obtained training in biological science and analysis of genomic data through collaboration with bench biologists at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. After graduation, Kimberly became a postdoctoral fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard School of Public Health. Since joining, her main research focus has been on developing computational approaches to better understand the basic principles underlying organism development and diseases. In particular, she has recently developed a computational method to infer genome-wide regulatory networks.

John Quackenbush received his PhD in 1990 in theoretical physics from UCLA working on string theory models. Following two years as a postdoctoral fellow in physics, Dr. Quackenbush applied for and received a Special Emphasis Research Career Award from the National Center for Human Genome Research to work on the Human Genome Project. He spent two years at the Salk Institute and two years at Stanford University working at the interface of genomics and computational biology. In 1997 he joined the faculty of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) where his focus began to shift to understanding what was encoded within the human genome. Since joining the faculties of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard School of Public Health in 2005, his work has focused on the use of genomic data to reconstruct the networks of genes that drive the development of diseases such as cancer and emphysema.

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Round 1 Finalist


Elizabeth Mormino

I am currently a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Reisa Sperling at Massachusetts General Hospital. I completed my PhD in Neuroscience at UC Berkeley with Dr. William Jagust, where I used multi-modal neuroimaging approaches to examine different aspects of preclinical AD—beta-amyloid (Aβ) pathology with PIB PET imaging, neuronal atrophy with structural MRI, and brain activation with functional MRI. In general, I am interested in how multiple factors contribute to an individual’s susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease, and my submission to the Geoffrey Beene Foundation focuses on mechanisms that may underlie female’s heightened risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, I am interested in whether current biomarker data can determine whether females show increased quantities of AD pathology, or whether females show greater cognitive decline for a given level of pathological burden compared to their male counterparts. I have a personal family connection to Alzheimer’s disease, and am hopeful that research aimed at understanding early detection will be insightful for future prevention of this disease.