Joshua D. Grill

picture of Joshua D. Grill

Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Human Behavior
School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior
School of Biological Sciences

Ph.D., Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Neuroscience

Phone: (949) 824-5905

University of California, Irvine
3204 Biological Sciences III
Mail Code: 4545
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Alzheimer's disease, clinical trials, recruitment and retention
Academic Distinctions
Dr. Grill has been the recipient of the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center Junior Investigator Award, the Alzheimer’s Association Turken Research Prize, the Community Spirit Award from OPICA Adult Day Services, and the P. Gene and Elaine Smith Term Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research. He has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Hartford Foundation, the American Federation for Aging Research, and the University of California. He serves on the Steering Committee of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study and the Internal Ethics Committee for this national body. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. In 2017, he co-chaired a workgroup as part of the NIH’s Inclusion Across the Lifespan workshop, a congressional mandate in the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255). He is part of a working group sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association charged with creating a national strategy for recruitment to Alzheimer’s disease clinical research.
Research Abstract
For any new Alzheimer’s disease drug to achieve FDA approval and widespread clinical use, it must be tested in human beings and demonstrated as both safe and efficacious. Studies to test the safety and efficacy of new treatments are called clinical trials. Clinical testing now represents the most costly and difficult phase of developing improved therapies. A major challenge of completing human clinical trials is the timely enrollment of participants who will enable adequate examination of therapeutic hypotheses. Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials now enroll people with Alzheimer’s dementia, people with mild cognitive impairment, and people with healthy memories but who are at increased risk to some day develop dementia. We are engaged in a variety of studies that aim to
• Identify means to improve Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial designs to enable adequate testing in fewer participants,
• Elucidate barriers to clinical trial enrollment in each Alzheimer’s disease population, so that trials and recruitment campaigns can be designed in a manner that maximizes the speed of accrual,
• Understand better which participants are at risk to be lost to follow-up, to guide clinician scientists when enrolling participants in Alzheimer’s disease trials, and
• Investigate the ethical challenges in clinical trials, especially those related to Alzheimer’s disease disclosure, including the disclosure of diagnosis, biomarker results, and genetic testing.
Melikyan ZA, Greenia DE, Corrada-Bravo MM, Hester MM, Kawas CH, Grill JD. Recruiting the oldest for clinical research. Alzheimer’s Disease Associated Disorders. 2018 May 4.
Pierce A, Cox CG, Nguyen H, Hoang D, Witbracht M, Gillen D, Grill JD. Participant satisfaction with learning Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial results. Alzheimer’s Disease Associated Disorders. 2018 Apr 20.
Grill JD, Hoang D, Gillen D, Cox CG, Gombosev A, Klein K, O’Leary S, Witbracht M, Pierce A. Constructing a local potential participant registry to improve Alzheimer’s disease clinical research recruitment. Journal Alzheimer’s Disease. 2018 Apr 28.
Grill JD, Karlawish J. Study partners should be required in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease trials. Alzheimer's Research & Therapy. 2017 Dec 6;9(1):93. doi: 10.1186/s13195-017-0327-x. PMID: 29212555.
Nuño MM, Gillen DL, Dosanjh KK, Brook J, Elashoff D, Ringman JM, Grill JD. Attitudes toward clinical trials across the Alzheimer's disease spectrum. Alzheimer's Research & Therapy. 2017 Oct 4;9(1):81. doi: 10.1186/s13195-017-0311-5. PMID: 28978335.
Grill JD, Apostolova LG, Bullain S, Burns JM, Cox CG, Dick M, Hartley D, Kawas C, Kremen S, Lingler J, Lopez OL, Mapstone M, Pierce A, Rabinovici G, Roberts JS, Sajjadi SA, Teng E, Karlawish J. Communicating Mild Cognitive Impairment diagnoses with and without amyloid imaging. Alzheimer's Research & Therapy. 2017;9(1):35. PMID: 28472970.
Grill JD. Recruiting to preclinical Alzheimer's disease clinical trials through registries. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions. 2017;3(2):205-212. PMID: 28439532.
Grill JD, Cox CG, Kremen S, Mendez MF, Teng E, Shapira J, Ringman JM, Apostolova LG. Patient and caregiver reactions to clinical amyloid imaging. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. 2017 Feb 4. pii: S1552-5260(17)30005-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2017.01.001. [Epub ahead of print].
Grill JD, Holbrook A, Pierce A, Hoang D, Gillen D. Attitudes toward potential participant registries. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2017;56(3):939-946. doi: 10.3233/JAD-160873. PMID: 28106553.
Zhou Y, Elashoff D, Kremen S, Teng E, Karlawish J, Grill JD. African Americans are less likely to enroll in preclinical Alzheimer's disease clinical trials. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions. Accepted.
For a complete list of publications,
“A Phase II, Proof-of-Concept, Double-Blind-Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Adaptive Design Trial of Nicotinamide.” University of California Office of the President
1R01AG059407-01 (with Dr. Daniel Gillen) Effects of Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial study partners
1R21AG056931 (with Dr. Daniel Gillen) The study partner requirement in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease trials.
BrightFocus Foundation A2018405S, Improving recruitment to prodromal Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials
Research Centers
Associate Director, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
Director of Accrual and Retention Consult Service, Institute for Clinical and Translational Science
Director, Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders
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