My clinical focus is on cognitive neurology and neurodegenerative disease including frontotemporal dementia, primary progressive aphasia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal syndrome and multiple system atrophy. I have a particular interest in young-onset dementia and the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia.
My research program focuses on the interface of clinical symptoms and underlying neuropathology in neurodegenerative disease. The purpose of this approach is to better identify clinically, pathologically and genetically homogeneous patient populations for inclusion into clinical trials to efficiently study emerging disease modifying treatments that target the pathogenic proteins specific for each neuropathological subtype of disease (e.g. FTLD-associated with tau or TDP-43 protein inclusions). Currently, the diagnostic standard is neuropathological examination at autopsy, which is a major obstacle for clinical trials in neurodegenerative disease. To address this problem our approach is to "work backwards" to study human brain tissue and measure neuropathology objectively using novel open-source digital image analysis tools; We use a "tissue-guided biomarker discovery” method to translate our findings with the ultimate goal to develop new laboratory and imaging tests to detect pathology in living patients.