Round I: Best Hypothesis Awardee
Elizabeth Mormino, PhD
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.