Innovative research collaborations

Our researchers are dedicated to finding tomorrow’s treatments today through innovative research and clinical trials. We 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 National Institute of Aging-funded centers, to better understand the risks and predictors for Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment and related conditions.

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, Ph.D.

Bess Frost, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Cell Systems and Anatomy
Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies
Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases

Studies focus on the fundamental processes in cell biology that drive neurodegeneration. Employing a multi-system approach to rapidly identify, test, and validate hypotheses that are relevant to human disease. Early discovery takes place in Drosophila, a model organism that is well suited for investigating issues of causality in disease processes. To determine if studies are relevant to human disease, the research complements Drosophila work with comparative analyses in postmortem human brain.

A significant focus is on tauopathy. Tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease, are pathologically characterized by the deposition of neurofibrillary tangles composed of tau protein in the brains of affected individuals. Current objectives include investigating the cellular pathway whereby pathogenic tau mediates neuronal death, and developing a novel screening platform to identify cellular mediators of prion-like tau propagation.


Veronica Galvan4

Veronica Galvan, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies
Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases

Research focuses on the identification of molecular and biochemical alterations caused by Alzheimer’s disease. By understanding how the disease is triggered and how it develops, research will lead to devise ways to slow or prevent the disease. This research uses genetic manipulations in mouse models, behavioral, immunohistochemical and biochemical approaches, in vivo brain optical and functional imaging, in vivo brain blood flow measures, and cellular and molecular biology tools to understand the initiating molecular events in the disease, determine the effects of potential drug candidate molecules, and define the mechanisms involved.


Nicolas Musi2

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

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Population Neuroscience

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.

Our researchers

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.

Our researchers

Clinical Research

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.

Our researchers

Partner research areas

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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.

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Research extends from single cell studies to targeting specific neurological diseases, disorders and trauma.

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