Structure and Cores

Administrative Core

The Administrative Core provides leadership and oversight of all Wisconsin ADRC-related activities. Leaders foster collaborative research on campus and beyond in healthy aging, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s disease, and related disorders. The Administrative Core oversees the distribution of Wisconsin ADRC resources, data and biospecimens through the Resource Distribution Committee.
Core Leader: Sanjay Asthana, MD
Core Co-Leader: Sterling Johnson, PhD
Executive Administrator: Nicole Smialek, MBA

Clinical Core

The Clinical Core manages the Wisconsin ADRC’s Clinical Core longitudinal study. It provides infrastructure and resources to collect biennial or annual clinical evaluations and biomarker assessments to support translational research in preclinical dementia, dementia, and normal cognitive aging.
Core Leader: Cynthia Carlsson, MD
Core Co-Leader: Sanjay Asthana, MD
Core Co-Leader: Nathaniel Chin, MD

Data Management and Statistical Core

The Data Management and Statistical Core provides and maintains quality protocol and data management for projects affiliated with the Wisconsin ADRC. Its members provide comprehensive statistical support to all Wisconsin ADRC-affiliated projects, as well as biomedical computing infrastructure and services.
Core Leader: Richard Chappell, PhD
Core Co-Leader: Yue Ma, PhD

Neuropathology Core

The Neuropathology Core administers the Wisconsin Brain Donor Program, which is open to participants in the Wisconsin ADRC Clinical Care and the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, as well as elderly controls. Core staff manages antemortem and postmortem biospecimens from enrolled participants, and distributes biospecipmens and data to support approved research projects locally, nationally, and around the world. Staff neuropathologists also provide post-mortem diagnoses for the families of people who were enrolled in the Wisconsin Brain Donor Program.
Core Interim Leader: Thomas Montine, MD, PhD
Core Co-Leader: Shahriar Salamat, MD, PhD 
Core Co-Leader: Luigi Puglielli, MD, PhD

Outreach, Recruitment & Engagement Core

The Outreach, Recruitment & Engagement Core plans and executes education and training to enhance research and clinical skills in the area of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. It supports the Wisconsin ADRC in recruiting and retaining a diverse population of research subjects for the Clinical Core study, as well as Wisconsin ADRC-affiliated studies. The core staff also provides outreach programs to engage health professionals, families and caregivers and encourage participation in the activities of the Wisconsin ADRC.
Core Leader: Dorothy Farrar-Edwards, PhD
Core Co-Leader: Art Walaszek, MD

Inclusion of Under-Represented Groups Core

The Inclusion of Under-Represented Groups Core at the Wisconsin ADRC works to identify and resolve barriers to research participation by people from groups traditionally underrepresented in research. Staff members are focused on the enrollment, participation, and retention of African Americans and American Indians in the Clinical Core study and Wisconsin ADRC-affiliated studies. The group manages cultural competency training of Wisconsin ADRC faculty, staff, and trainees, and develops and implements retention programs for participants from underrepresented groups.
Core Leader: Carey Gleason, PhD
Core Co-Leader: Dorothy Farrar-Edwards, PhD

Biomarker Core

The Biomarker Core is a service core that provides infrastructure and standardized protocols enabling our center’s investigators to study biological markers of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. We collect markers of amyloid plaque burden (A), tau neurofibrillary tangles (T), neurodegeneration (N), and neurovascular disease (V). We utilize advanced PET and MRI techniques as well as CSF and plasma assays. The Biomarker Core provides support for the Wisconsin ADRC Clinical Core study and the center’s many linked studies including WRAP. The biomarker core offers implementation guidance and best practices for investigators and their staff, including consultation and training on neuroimaging and bioassay methods, quality control and analysis techniques pertaining to neurodegenerative disorders, methodology infrastructure and imaging informatics support.
Core Leader: Sterling Johnson, PhD
Core Co-Leader: Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS
Core Co-Leader: Howard Rowley, MD

Research Education Component

The Research Education Component (REC) supports educational activities that complement and enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation's biomedical, behavioral and clinical needs in Alzheimer's disease-related research. It provides a platform for Alzheimer's disease-centered training to individuals who range from undergraduate to faculty level, with an emphasis on training for junior faculty. The REC supports three ADRC REC Scholars through individualized career coaching and mentorship; works with training programs across UW-Madison to infuse Alzheimer's disease-related research concepts into predoctoral, postdoctoral, and junior faculty training programs; and plans and executes the annual campus-wide Alzheimer's Disease & Related Disorders Research Day.
Core Leader: Barbara Bendlin, PhD
Core Co-Leader: Luigi Puglielli, MD, PhD
Core Co-Leader: Amy Kind, MD, PhD

Care Research Core

The Care Research Core provides novel expertise and resources to conduct innovative studies that will enhance patient care and change clinical practice. It provides guidance and training in multiple aspects of care research, including models of care, caregiver support, end-of-life and palliative care, mobile health technologies, telemedicine, geospatial analytics, and dissemination and implementation research. The Care Research Core at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center offers researchers consultations and study design support. If you would like to learn more about care research resources, please contact Bonnie Nuttkinson at
Core Leader: Amy Kind, MD, PhD
Core Co-Leader: Andrea Gilmore-Bykovskyi, PhD, RN
Core Co-Leader: Nicole Rogus-Pulia, PhD