A designated center of excellence for dementia research
Our researchers are dedicated to finding tomorrow’s treatments today through innovative research and clinical trials.
As a National Institute on Aging (NIA)-designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, we collaborate with other designated centers throughout the nation-collaborations that have produced many of today’s research findings and resources for addressing Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
We also work closely with the Sam & Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity & Aging Studies at UT Health San Antonio, the only aging-intensive research institute in the country to have two NIA-funded centers.
Together, with other leading institutions and our patients and their families, we work to find new and better ways diagnose, treat and prevent dementia.
Our faculty and principal investigators
Sudha Seshadri, MD, DM
Founding director, Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases
Robert R. Barker Distinguished University Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Senior Investigator, the Framingham Heart Study
Since 2005, she has served as professor of neurology and attending neurologist at Boston University School of Medicine. She also completed her residency and served as chief resident in neurology there. She earned her medical degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India.
She is a senior investigator for the seminal Framingham Heart Study, has had peer reviewed research continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for 10 years, and currently serves as the principal investigator on eight NIH U01 or R01 grants.
She has lectured extensively, nationally and internationally, on Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and the genetics of stroke and vascular brain injury.
Dr. Seshadri enjoys a superb reputation in both science and clinical care and is a recognized thought leader in Alzheimer’s disease having recently co-authored position papers disseminated by the National Academy of Sciences on Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward, and by the American Heart Association with a paper titled Defining Optimal Brain Health in Adults.
In addition to her title as founding director of the Glenn Biggs Institute, Dr. Seshadri is a professor of neurology in the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine with secondary appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Cell and Integrative Physiology.
Bess Frost, PhD
Bartell Zachry Distinguished Professor for Research in Neurodegenerative Disorders
Department of Cell Systems & Anatomy
Sam & Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity & Aging Studies
Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases
The research focus of Dr. Frost’s laboratory revolves around the basic neurobiology connecting toxic forms of tau to neuronal death and dysfunction. Dr. Frost’s contributions to neurodegenerative disease research have recently earned her an O’Donnell Award in Medicine from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas as well as a Standout Achievement Award from CurePSP. The Frost laboratory has discovered that the detrimental effects of pathogenic tau on nuclear and genomic architecture activate retrotransposons and alter RNA trafficking. Through this work, they have identified multiple new targets for therapeutic development, as well as compounds that interfere with these processes and suppress tau-induced neurotoxicity. Based on these findings, Dr. Frost and her team have recently initiated a Phase IIa clinical trial, ART-AD, in which they are testing the brain penetrance, target engagement and effects on neurodegeneration and inflammation of the reverse transcriptase inhibitor 3TC in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to her scientific efforts, Dr. Frost is a member of the Tau Consortium and serves on the scientific advisory board of CurePSP. She also leads the UT Health Aging Brain Working Group, which aims to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical research.
Nicolas Musi, MD
Director, Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies
Director, Center for Healthy Aging
Director, San Antonio Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center
Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases
Research expertise is in aging, insulin resistance and exercise physiology. Research program in metabolic/endocrine gerontology, is devoted to exploring the effects that aging has on numerous metabolic and cellular processes, and relevant to the patho-genesis of age-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and sarcopenia.
Clinical interests include pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of diabetes in the elderly, molecular mechanisms underlying sarcopenia of aging, and effects of exercise on glucose and lipid metabolism at the whole-body and cellular levels.
Primary research areas
Focuses on large, representative population samples to identify the full range of neurodegenerative diseases, risk factors and underlying biology with principles of conventional epidemiology supplemented by imaging, cognitive neuroscience, multidimensional omics, systems biology and data mining.
Biology and Innovative Research
Studies expand on all the core traditional areas of neurodegeneration research into biological pathways underlying Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to develop the understanding of the genetic and other omic findings from the population neuroscience core.
Using precision medicine, our team works to understand, prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases with individual variability in disease biology and genes, environment and lifestyle to provide focused screening, optimized treatment and personalized enrollment into clinical trials.
Partner research areas
Aging and Longevity
Extensive studies surrounding age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease to pursue solutions that minimize the effects of aging on the body and improve health throughout life.