Executive committee

Roxana Carare

Professor of Clinical Anatomy & Treasurer

Roxana Carare qualified in Medicine in Bucharest in 1994. During her basic clinical training, she became fascinated by anatomy and completed her PhD in neuropathology in 2006, in the University of Southampton, UK. The main international recognition for Roxana Carare has come from the interdisciplinary research she leads, relevant to drug delivery to the brain and to the causes and new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, with over 120 peer reviewed publications in the field.

Roxana is a member of the UK Medical Research Council Dementia Platform UK Vascular Experimental Medicine committee and the UK government advisory committee for the effects of pollution on the brain and has served as the only European member of the American NIH strategy committee for funding in dementia. Roxana has won prestigious awards, including a Dementia Research Leader award from Alzheimer’s Society UK. Roxana has served as Co-Chair for The International Alliance of Women Alzheimer’s Researchers in Alzheimer’s Association, Vice-Chair of the Vascular Professional Interest Area of Alzheimer’s Association, co-leads the Scientific Committee for Vas-Cog, Secretary of the British Neuropathological Society, member of the scientific committee of the Rainwater Foundation and serves as an expert for several international research funding boards. Roxana is a Visiting Professor in the University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science and Technology Targu Mures- Romania where she has co-founded the British-Romanian Academic Institute of Neuroscience.

Suvarna Alladi


I am Professor of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, India specialising in stroke and cognitive neurology. Developing strategies to reduce burden of dementia due to stroke and neurodegenerative disease are priority areas of interest. I established one of the first Memory clinics in India that works closely with a large Stroke registry. My research includes studying stroke-dementia in populations characterized by socio-economic, educational and linguistic diversity. I founded the NGO – ARDSI Hyderabad-Deccan that is committed to creating community support for dementia (www.ardsihyd.org). I have authored several publications in the field of dementia and stroke in journals that include Brain, Neurology, Stroke, Neuropsychologia and others.  I have represented the priorities of less-developed societies in international platforms. I am LMIC representative in the Vascular Professional Interest Area group of the Alzheimer’s Association and President of World Federation of Neurology, Research group on Aphasia & Cognitive disorders. My experience in harmonizing stroke and dementia research in less developed regions can be of much value to Vas-Cog. If given the privilege of serving as a member of the executive committee I shall work towards bringing together research communities from diverse regions to further understanding of vascular dementia.

Geert Jan Biessels


I am professor of neurology at the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus of the University Medical Centre Utrecht, the Netherlands. My major research interest is vascular cognitive impairment, with a particular focus on novel imaging markers and the role of diabetes. 

Using 7T-MRI my group has been able – for the first time – to detect cerebral microinfarcts in vivo and currently they are zooming in on structure and function of the small vessels themselves. We are addressing the functional impact of vascular lesions through brain network analyses and lesion symptom mapping. I am PI of the TRACE-VCI study, the META-VCI-map initiative, the Dutch Heart Brain Connection program, and two large multicenter RCTs on prevention of cognitive decline in patients with type 2 DM. I work with international collaborators in Munich, Edinburgh, Boston, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Singapore and participate in the EU-funded research program SVDs@target.  I have mentored over 40 PhD students and have over 300 publications.  I have received several prestigious Dutch personal research grants. In 2015 I received the senior investigator award of the European Stroke Organisation (ESO). 

I have been an active member of VasCog since 2007, including hosting the 2016 meeting in Amsterdam.

Marco Düring


Marco is Chief Scientific Officer at the Medical Image Analysis Center (MIAC AG) Basel (Switzerland), and Principal Investigator at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Basel and at the the Institute for Stroke and Dementia, University Hospital of LMU Munich (Germany). His focus is on advanced neuroimaging for exploring vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and for application in clinical trials. His group uses MRI to investigate mechanistic pathways in vivo and to develop new markers for brain diseases. One example is the imaging marker “PSMD”, which was established as an open source method (https://github.com/miac-research/psmd) for determining cerebral small vessel disease burden.

Deborah Gustafson

Deborah Gustafson, PhD MS, is a Professor at the State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences University (SUNY DHSU), Department of Neurology, Director of NeuroEpidemiology and a guest professor at the University of Gothenburg and University of Skövde, Sweden.

Prof Gustafson is a Principal Investigator of the Brooklyn site of the NIH-funded, multicenter MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study (mwccs.org), for which she co-chairs the Aging Working Group and leads efforts in assessments of cognition and frailty.

Dr. Gustafson has researched the epidemiology of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) for 30 years with over 200 peer-reviewed or invited publications. She is an Associate Editor for Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association; legacy Chair of the Vascular Cognitive Disorders Professional Interest Area (VPIA) for the Alzheimer’s Association; American Academy of Neurology, Neurology in the Clinic session chair; and member of the New York City Regional Obesity Forum (NYCROF).

Deborah received her educational training from the University of Minnesota (PhD, MS and BA), held an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in Genetic Epidemiology, and had a mid-career research award from the Swedish Research Council. She attained docentur at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Atticus Hainsworth

Reader in Cerebrovascular Disease

Atticus Hainsworth is Reader in Cerebrovascular Disease at St George’s University of London.

Atticus is an expert in cerebral small vessel disease, which is a major cause of vascular cognitive impairment. He was chief investigator on a phase-II clinical trial (PASTIS) testing the PDE5i drug tadalafil for possible repurposing in vascular dementia. His group has recently published on a large neuropathology study of collagen-IV. He is currently studying microvascular effects of endothelin-1 in a large animal model, iET1 transgenic pigs.

Atticus is a past Chair of the Vascular PIA, within ISTAART, and he currently leads the Vascular Experimental Medicine theme in Dementias Platform UK (DPUK). He serves as Deputy Editor in Chief of the VasCog house journal, CCCB.

Atticus has a LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/atticus-hainsworth-26650039/

Frank J. Wolters

assistant professor of neuro-epidemiology

Frank J. Wolters (MD PhD) is assistant professor of neuro-epidemiology at the departments of Epidemiology and Radiology & Nuclear Medicine at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Trained at Oxford, Rotterdam, and Harvard, he developed expertise in research methodology, applied notably to the prevention of cerebrovascular disease and dementia in clinical studies as well as large-scale datasets. Dr Wolters leads the nationwide BIRD-NL consortium on dementia prevention in the Netherlands, and is a co-investigator on various national and international initiatives including the Cross-Cohort Collaboration, Dementia Risk Prediction Project, and the Heart-Brain Connection collaborative research group. He is associate editor for the European Journal of Epidemiology and member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Stroke. His work is supported amongst others by a prestigious personal research grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO Veni).

Marseglia Anna

PhD, postdoctoral researcher

Dr Marseglia is an Assistant Professor at Karolinska Institutet, NVS Department, Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Stockholm, Sweden.Her research within the Westman Neuroimaging Group, with a multidisciplinary focus on cognitive disorders arising from neurodegenerative (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s disease) and cerebrovascular disorders.

She graduated from the University of Padova (Italy) in Clinical Psychology. In 2010, Dr Marseglia became a licensed (neuro)psychologist, while coordinating multiple projects for the Italian National Research Council-Aging branch on the impact of complex diabetes and dietary intervention on cognition. In 2014, she embarked on her Ph.D. journey at Karolinska Institute, Sweden. Her doctoral work delved into the impact of type 2 diabetes on cognitive and brain aging, along with the mitigating influence of lifestyle factors. After completing her Ph.D. in aging epidemiology (2018), she joined Prof. Westman’s group to specialize in neuroimaging for cognitive disorders linked to vascular and metabolic conditions. During her postdoc, she led projects to develop biological measures of brain resilience using deep learning and to determine the joint influence of social health and brain reserve on cognition.

Dr. Marseglia’s research interests focus on identifying risk and protective factors for cognitive disorders within the Vascular Cognitive Impairment continuum, the underlying pathological and resilience mechanisms, and potential sex differences.

 As a younger researcher, Dr Marseglia counts more than 45 peer-reviewed publications with high impact factors (e.g., Lancet Neurology, European Heart Journal, Diabetes Care, Alzheimer’s & Dementia, Ageing Research Reviews, Annals of Neurology), an average journal impact factor of 10, and several grants (e.g., KI-funding, CIMED, the Swedish Strategic Research Area Neuroscience, NIH sub-award, and the American Federation for Aging Research) as principal investigator. She served as early-career investigator member of the VasCog Society (2018-2023) and is a current member of the vascular, sex differences, and longitudinal data analytic Professional Interest Areas within the Alzheimer Association.

Audrey Low

Research Fellow & Young Investigators Representative

Audrey is a Race Against Dementia Fellow jointly at the University of Cambridge and the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota USA). She received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2022, funded by the Lee Kuan Yew Fitzwilliam PhD Scholarship. Audrey was the recipient of the 2023 ‘Rising Star Award’ from the Alzheimer’s Society (UK) and was awarded the NUS Development Grant from the National University of Singapore (NUS), where she holds the position of Young NUS Fellow. Her research interest lies in understanding the role of cerebrovascular dysfunction in dementia using multimodal neuroimaging techniques, fluid biomarkers, and clinical data in humans. In particular, her work focuses on identifying early biomarkers, and factors involved in risk and resilience towards dementia. Most recently, her research looks at the associations and interplay between cerebral small vessel disease, inflammation, and blood brain barrier permeability, and specifically the role of perivascular spaces. A strong advocate for dementia prevention, Audrey also actively organises and participates in public engagement events to improve the public’s understanding of dementia and fundraises for dementia research through pottery and half-marathons. Academic profile: https://audreylwn.github.io/

Gurpreet Hansra

PHD Student & Young Investigators Representative

Gurpreet is currently a PhD candidate and Research Assistant with the Centre for Health Brain Ageing in the department of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales under the supervision of Scientia Professor Perminder Sachdev. Her work involves the identification of molecular biomarkers in the blood for the detection and prognosis of vascular contributions to dementia. In addition to research, Gurpreet is involved in conducting laboratory classes in Biomolecular Sciences to university students.

Gurpreet holds a MPhil in Medicine from the University of Sydney, where she utilised microscopy and 3D imaging to investigate the link between cerebrovascular disorders (microvascular dysfunction) and Alzheimer’s disease in human brain tissue.

Apart from her academic endeavours, Gurpreet holds active positions in various capacities. She serves as the Early Career Investigator Representative for VasCog, oversees communications for VasCog journal CCCB and is the Vice President (Equity) for the Postgraduate Student Council at the University of New South Wales.

Eric Smith

Dr. Smith is the Medical Director of the Cognitive Neurosciences Clinic and a member of the Calgary Stroke Program. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary, and the inaugural holder of the Kathy Taylor Chair in Vascular Dementia.  

He obtained his MD degree from McGill University and completed his neurology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Smith’s research program investigates the risk factors and consequences of diseases of the cerebral microcirculation, with the goal of improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of vascular contributions to cognitive decline and vascular dementia. His research work has been funded by Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Alzheimer Society of Canada and the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. He has received the Robert G. Siekert Award from the American Heart Association for his research work. He is an Assistant Editor for Stroke and is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Neurology. Dr. Smith sees patients in the Cognitive Neurosciences Clinic and the Stroke Prevention Clinic.

Saima Hilal

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Dr. Saima Hilal is currently an Assistant Professor at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore. Trained in epidemiology (MPH) and neurology (MD, PhD), she possesses the ideal combination to explore the aging process of the healthy brain, the development of cerebrovascular disease and neurodegeneration, and the methodologies for studying these processes using brain imaging.

Her primary expertise lies in neuroimaging, epidemiology, plasma-based biomarkers, and cognition in the context of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and related disorders. Dr. Hilal’s research focuses on investigating both vascular and neurodegenerative causes of cognitive impairment in both community and hospital-based settings.

She leads two population-based studies: the Neurological Biomarkers of Blood, MRI, and Cognition (NEURO-BMC) study and the Multidimensional Healthy Aging in Population-based study in Singapore. Dr. Hilal has been awarded a Transition Award from NMRC, setting her on a path toward a Clinician Scientist career. Her dedicated passion for neuro-epidemiology and biomarkers of aging research has yielded prolific output, with over 200 publications, including lead authorships in prestigious journals such as JAMA Neurology, Stroke, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Neurology, Brain, and the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.

Annemieke ter Telgte

PhD, postdoctoral researcher

Annemieke ter Telgte is postdoc at VASCage in Innsbruck, Austria. In her work she focuses on cerebral small vessel disease and small acute brain infarcts. She conducted her PhD at Radboudumc, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, under supervision of Prof. Dr. Frank-Erik de Leeuw and Prof. Dr. Marco Duering. During her PhD, she designed and conducted the RUN DMC – InTENse study, a serial MRI study on small acute brain infarcts. She was visiting scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where she studied small brain infarcts microscopically. Annemieke is member of STRIVE-2. For VasCog 2023, Annemieke was member of the Scientific Committee.

scientific committee
  • Raj Kalaria, UK (Chair)
  • Lenore Launer, USA
  • Frederik Barkhof, The Netherlands
  • Sandra Black, Canada
  • Hugues Chabriat, France
  • Charles DeCarli, USA
  • Carole Dufouil, France
  • Frank-Erik H. de Leeuw, Netherlands
  • Toshiya Fukui, Japan
  • Gabriel Gold, Switzerland
  • Seol-Heui Han, S Korea
  • Masafumi Ihara, Japan
  • Paul Ince, UK
  • Anne Joutel, France
  • Mia Kivipelto, Sweden
  • Jose A. Luchsinger, USA
  • David Nyenhuis, USA
  • John O’Brien, UK
  • Michael O’Sullivan, UK
  • Leonardo Pantoni, Italy
  • Reinhold Schmidt, Austria
  • Stephen Salloway, USA
  • Julie Schneider, USA
  • Alan Thomas, UK
  • Hidekazu Tomimoto, Japan
  • Willian VanNostrand, USA
  • Elisabet Englund, Sweden
  • Martin Dichgans, Germany
Founding members
  • Gustavo Roman, USA
  • Ingmar Skoog, Sweden
  • Timo Erkinjuntti, Finland
  • Philip Scheltens, Netherlands
  • Raj Kalaria, UK
  • John O’Brien, UK
  • Charlie DeCarli, USA
  • Serge Gauthier, Canada
  • Larry Sparks, USA
  • Vladimir Hachinski, Canada
  • Helena Chui, USA
  • Monique Breteler, Netherlands
  • Steve DeKosky, USA
  • Philip Gorelick, USA
  • Rafael Blesa, Spain
  • Lenore Launer, USA
  • Clive Ballard, UK
  • Arne Brun, Sweden
  • Barry Reisburg, USA
  • Leonardo Pantoni, Italy
  • Tohru Sawada, Japan
  • Anders Wallin, Sweden
  • Kenneth Rockwood, Canada
  • Elisabet Englund, Sweden
  • Teodoro del Ser, Spain
  • Fredrik Barkhof, Netherlands
  • Rob Friedland, USA
  • David W. Desmond, USA
  • Jo Ghika, Switzerland
  • Julien Bogousslavsky, Switzerland
  • Reinhold Schmidt, Austria
  • Etsuro Mori, Japan
  • Domenico Inzitari, Italy
  • Albert Hofman, Netherlands
  • Jean-Marc Orgogozo, France
  • Franz Fazekas, Austria
  • Peter Paul de Deyn, Belgium
  • Didier Leys, France
  • Tony Broe, Australia
  • Hayley Bennett, Australia
  • Sola Ogunniyi, Nigeria
  • José G. Merino, USA
  • Pablo Martinez-Lage, Spain
  • Lars-Olof Wahlund, Sweden
  • David Nyenhuis, USA
  • Françoise Forette, France
  • David Munoz, Spain
  • Christopher Chen, Singapore
  • Florence Pasquier, France
  • Henri Weinstein, Netherlands
  • John Bowler, UK
  • Paul Ince, UK
  • Ken Nagata, Japan
  • Steve Salloway, USA
  • Lucilla Parnetti, Italy
  • David Steffens, USA
  • Gordon Wilcock, UK
  • Steve Greenberg, USA
  • Hannu Kalimo, Finland
  • Jack de la Torre, USA
  • David Smith, UK
  • Bengt Winblad, Sweden
  • Shotai Kobayashi, Japan
  • Murat Emre, Turkey
  • Hugh Hendrie, USA
  • Will Longstreth, USA
  • William Jagust, USA
  • Lon White, USA
  • Bruno Dubois, France
  • Sandra Black, Canada
  • Mary N. Haan, USA
  • Raul Arizaga, Argentina
  • Howard Crystal, USA
  • John C. S. Breitner, USA
  • Dave Snowdon, USA
  • Suzanne Tyas, USA
  • Constantine Lyketsos, USA
  • Giovanni B Frisoni, Italy
  • Irina Alafuzoff, Finland
  • Jose A. Luchsinger, USA
  • KS Lawrence Wong, Hongkong
  • Robert G. Robinson, USA
  • Stanley Rapoport, USA
  • Antonio Lobo, Spain
  • Lars Gustafson, Sweden
  • Thierry Dantoine, France
  • Gary W Small, USA
  • Thomas J Montine, USA
  • Walter A Kukull, USA
  • Howard Feldman, USA
  • David Russell, Norway
  • Peter Zandi, USA
  • David J. Libon, USA
  • Henry Brodaty, Australia
  • Gunhild Waldemar, Denmark
  • Moises Gaviria, USA
  • Isak Prohovnik, USA
  • Ronald A Cohen, USA
  • Christophe Tzourio, France