Scientific Advisory Board


Rudy Tanzi, PhD

Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Tanzi is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Child Neurology and Mental Retardation and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Tanzi’s main focus is on identifying and characterizing Alzheimer’s disease associated gene mutations and variants with the ultimate goal of defining the molecular, cellular, and biochemical events leading to neuronal death in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Dr. Tanzi’s lab has been involved in the discovery of three of the four genes implicated in playing a role in familial Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Tanzi has focused his research on determining the pathogenic mechanisms by which defects in these genes contribute to the neurodegenerative process in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. With the use of cell and animal models, Dr. Tanzi is gaining an in-depth understanding of the normal function of the Alzheimer’s disease genes and how mutations and variants of these genes can lead to amyloid deposition, neuronal death, and dementia. This research has a direct impact of the development of an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and Dr. Tanzi’s work is key to the pathways that AZTherapies is pursuing.

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Keith A. Johnson, MD

Professor of Radiology and Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Johnson is an Associate Radiologist and the Director of Molecular Neuroimaging in the Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (Department of Radiology) at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Johnson also serves as an associate physician and staff neurologist in the Memory Disorders Unit at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital as well as a Clinical Associate in Neurology at MGH. Dr. Johnson is co-director of the Neuroimaging Program of the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and its Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) research initiatives. He oversees the Clinical Brain Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Service at MGH and practices as a neurologist specializing in neurodegenerative disorders.

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Sangram S. Sisodia, PhD

Professor Neurosciences University of Chicago

Dr. Sisodia is the Thomas A. Reynolds Sr. Family Professor of Neurosciences, University of Chicago, and the Director of the Center for Molecular Neurobiology. Dr. Sisodia is a leading expert on the molecular and cellular biology of Alzheimer’s disease. He has been at the forefront of learning how the familial Alzheimer’s disease genes, including the amyloid precursor protein and the presenilins, function normally, and contribute to Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis.

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Steven L. Wagner, PhD

Professor at UCSD Med School

Dr. Wagner’s research focuses on the discovery, design and preclinical development of therapeutic small molecules known as gamma-secretase modulators. These drug-like small molecules are aimed at preventing and/or delaying the buildup of specific neuropathological lesions known as neuritic plaques that are invariably abundant in the brains of both patients with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Wagner served as Director of Biochemistry at the Salk Institute Biotechnology/Industrial Associates, Inc., followed by a position as Chief Scientific Officer at Neurogenetics, Inc./Torrey Pines Therapeutics, Inc. In 2009 he joined UC San Diego’s Department of Neurosciences, where he currently is an associate professor and principal investigator.

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Shahin Tabatabaei, MD

Associate Professor Harvard Medical School

Dr. Tabatabaei is a urologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Urology. He specializes in the treatment of cancer, benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH), and related research.

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Seth Paul Finklestein, MD

Senior Lecturer in Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Finklestein is currently a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, a Senior Lecturer in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and the Chief Executive Officer at Stemetix, Inc. Additionally, he is the former Head of the CNS Growth Factor Research Laboratory at MGH and the former VP and Head of the Neuroscience Division at Viacell, Inc. Dr. Finklestein is a graduate of Haverford College and Harvard Medical School.

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