Population Neuroscience Researchers

Claudia L. Satizabal, Ph.D.

Interests are centered on the lifestyle and genetic determinants influencing abnormal brain aging (cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative neuroimaging markers), stroke, cognitive decline and dementia. Ongoing research is focused on the impact of midlife obesity on the risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease and related endophenotypes, the association between fatty acids and the risk of stroke and understanding the relationship between mitochondrial DNA features and age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s Disease. Actively involved in the Neurology and Cognitive working groups of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium, leading projects investigating the genetic determinants of subcortical brain structures fine motor speed and visual memory. Other collaborations, include the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed), the Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP) and the Markers for Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (MarkVCID).

Research Areas
Population Neuroscience

Contact:
satizabal@uthscsa.edu

Mini E. Jacob, M.D., Ph.D.

Research focuses on the process of disablement among older adults, particularly on the intertwining pathways to mobility disability and dementia. Previous studies evaluated whether behavioral factors like diet and physical activity in early old age can continue to influence health and affect the length of terminal morbidity and disability. Ongoing projects examine patterns and burden of multi-morbidity as a risk factor for disablement, the role of cognitive impairment in the pathway to disability and how a combination of physical and cognitive impairment can influence disablement. Current objectives also include evaluating how physical function measures correlate with markers of Alzheimer’s disease in asymptomatic individuals and identifying mobility measures that reflect brain vascular pathology.

Research Areas
Clinical Research, Population Neuroscience

Contact:
jacobm@uthscsa.edu
Research Profile

Mitzi M. Gonzales, Ph.D.

Research broadly focuses on identifying mechanisms and biomarkers of advanced age-related cognitive decline and dementia in effort to aid timely diagnosis, prevent progression and advance treatment discovery. This research leverages clinical neuropsychology, structural and functional neuroimaging and genomics. A primary aim is to understand the underlying mechanisms linking cardiovascular disease with increased dementia risk and develop interventions that slow the rate of cognitive decline.

Research Areas
Clinical Research, Population Neuroscience

Contact:
Research Profile

Peter T. Fox, M.D.

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.

Research Areas
Biological & Innovative Research, Population Neuroscience

Contact:
Fox@uthscsa.edu
Research Profile

Kevin F. Bieniek, Ph.D.

Research focuses on elucidating the role of traumatic brain injury exposure on the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders like chronic traumatic encephalopathy and Alzheimer’s disease by studying the relationships between sports-related and military-related head trauma, underlying burden and distribution of tau and beta-amyloid pathology, hereditary genetic risk factors and resulting neurocognitive deficits.  Additional research interests include the impact of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury on the etiology and progression of TDP-43 pathology, on other concomitant neurodegenerative pathologies and on normal aging. Kevin F. Bieniek, Ph.D., also serves as the Director of the Biggs Institute Brain Bank, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary repository of central and peripheral nervous system tissues from a variety of neurodegenerative disorders.

Research Areas
Biological & Innovative Research, Clinical Research, Population Neuroscience

Contact:
bieniek@uthscsa.edu
Research Profile