The research of Prashanthi Vemuri, Ph.D., is geared toward developing and validating imaging biomarkers for early diagnosis, prognosis, tracking disease progression and answering key mechanistic questions related to neurodegenerative diseases and dementias using multimodal imaging. She develops technology based on MRI and PET scans.
Dr. Vemuri's research is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
- Biomarker development and validation. This set of projects entails developing and validating imaging-based biomarkers to improve the understanding and management of dementias, specifically Alzheimer's disease and vascular disease.
- Cognitive reserve in the elderly. Up to 30 percent of autopsied patients who qualify for a pathological diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease are cognitively normal in life. The goal of this project is to use imaging technology to improve the understanding of how some people with higher cognitive reserve, as measured through IQ, education or lifestyle, are able to compensate for high levels of Alzheimer's disease pathology.
Significance to patient care
A major problem with the current clinical diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease is that once patients begin to show symptoms, substantial brain damage has already occurred. From a public health perspective, diagnostic instruments for early diagnosis are urgently needed. Dr. Vemuri's research contributes to the development of such instruments.
- Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), National Institutes of Health, 2011-2016
- New Investigator Research Grant, The Alzheimer's Association, 2011
- Junior Investigator Award for Excellence in Aging and Imaging Research, American Federation for Aging Research-GE Healthcare, 2010