Joshua D. Grill

Picture of Joshua D. Grill
Professor, Psychiatry & Human Behavior
School of Medicine
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 BrightFocus Foundation, the Hartford Foundation, the American Federation for Aging Research, and the University of California. He is the co-leader of the Internal Ethics Committee and the Recruitment Unit for the NIA-funded Alzheimer's Clinical Trial Consortium. He is the Chair of the Internal Ethics Committee for the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and for HFC (formerly Hilarity for Charity). 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. In 2021, he was an invited presenter and contributor to "A Workshop on Biomarkers and Other Pre-Clinical Diagnostics of Alzheimer's Disease," sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and convened by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.
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.
Awards and Honors
2023, Carla Liggett and Arthur S. Liggett, MD, Endowed Chair, in honor of Frank M. LaFerla, School of Biological Sciences
2022, Distinguished Alumni Lecture, Wake Forest University Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
2014, Community Spirit Award, OPICA Adult Day Care and Caregiver Support Center
Grill JD, Sperling R, Raman R. What should the goals be for diverse recruitment in Alzheimer’s clinical trials? JAMA Neurol. 2022 Aug 15. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2022.2274. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35969392.
Raman R, Aisen P, Carillo MC, Detke M, Grill JD, Okonkwo OC, Rivera-Mindt, M, Sabbagh, M, Vellas B, Weiner M, Sperling R, CTAD Task Force. Tackling a Major Deficiency of Diversity in Alzheimer’s Disease Therapeutic Trials: An CTAD Task Force Report. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease. 2022;9(3):388-392. doi: 10.14283/jpad.2022.50.PMID: 35841239.
Grill JD, Karlawish J. Disclosing Alzheimer’s biomarker results to research participants. JAMA Neurol. 2022 Jul 1;79(7):645-646. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2022.1307.PMID: 35666532.
Salazar CR, Ritchie M, Gillen D, Grill JD. Strategies associated with retaining participants in the Longitudinal National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center Uniform Data Set study. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2022 Apr 25. doi: 10.3233/JAD-215537. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35491778.
Largent E, Bhardwaj T, Clapp JT, Sykes OS, Harkins K, Grill JD. You’ve Got a Friend in Me: How Cognitively Unimpaired Older Adults Select a Study Partner to Participate with Them in Alzheimer’s Disease Research. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2022 Mar 18. doi: 10.3233/JAD-220061. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35311710.
Hakhu N, Gillen D*, Grill JD*, for the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study. Dyadic enrollment in a phase 3 mild cognitive impairment clinical trial. Alzheimer’s Disease Associated Disorders. 2022 Apr 29. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000506. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35482891.
Ta Park V, Meyer OL, Tsoh J, Kanaya A, Tzuang M, Nam B, Vuong Q, Zhu J, Bang J, Hinton L, Gallagher-Thompson D, Grill JD. The Collaborative Approach for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Research and Education (CARE): A Recruitment Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias, Aging and Caregiver-related Research. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. 2022 Apr 14. doi: 10.1002/alz.12667. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35420258.
Lewis CK, Bernstein OM, Grill JD, Gillen DL, Sultzer DL. Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms and Cortical Amyloid-ß Burden in Cognitively Unimpaired Older Adults. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease. 2022;9(2):286-296. doi: 10.14283/jpad.2022.13. PMID: 35543002.
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
NIA RF1AG059407-01 (with Dr. Daniel Gillen) Effects of Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial study partners
BrightFocus Foundation A2018405S, Improving recruitment to prodromal Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials
NIA R01AG077628 (with Drs. Daniel Gillen and Amy Kind). Recruiting and retaining participants from disadvantaged neighborhoods in registries
NIA RF1AG080591 (with Dr. Jennifer Lingler) Patient and Family Member Reactions to Biomarker-Informed ADRD Diagnoses
Research Centers
Co-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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