Elizabeth Head

Picture of Elizabeth Head
Professor, Pathology
School of Medicine
Vice Chair for Research, Pathology
School of Medicine
Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1997, Neuroscience
B.S., University of Toronto, 1991, Neuroscience
M.A., University of Toronto, 1992, Psychology
Phone: (949) 824-1225
Email: heade@uci.edu
University of California, Irvine
1111 Gillespie Neuroscience Facility
Mail Code: 4540
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Aging, Alzheimer Disease, Down syndrome, neurobiology, neuroscience
Academic Distinctions
06/1991 Honors List, University of Toronto, Academic
09/1992 University of Toronto Open Masters Fellowship, Academic
01/1993 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Graduate Award
09/1993 University of Toronto Open Doctoral Fellowship, Academic
05/1995 Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Academic
06/1996 Scarborough Campus Graduate Student Award (Ph.D. level), Academic
04/1998 International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease and Related Disorders Travel Award
09/2003 Research Award, University of California College of Medicine Committee on Research and Graduate Academic Programs for “Abeta Degrading enzymes as a function of age in Down syndrome”, Academic
09/2004 van den Noort Award for Outstanding Research by a Junior Faculty Member, University of California at Irvine, Academic
03/2014 Mary Carter Award to our Down syndrome Aging Research Team from the Down Syndrome of Louisville, Inc., Honorary
Research Abstract
The overarching goal of my laboratory is to use multidisciplinary approaches to identify targets for interventions for people with Down syndrome (DS) to slow or prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). I have been active in the DS research space for ~20 years working at the University of California Irvine (UCI) and at the University of Kentucky (UKY). While at UKY, I initiated a longitudinal study of aging in adults with DS to test the hypothesis that white matter integrity, cerebrovascular dysfunction and neuroinflammation contribute to cognitive decline and dementia (R01HD064993 – now in year 9 with the cohort now harmonizing and joining the ABC-DS program). By identifying key factors modifying or associated with the development of dementia in DS, my laboratory focused on identifying novel targets for intervention that are highly likely to be unique to this vulnerable group of individuals. My laboratory also has a strong track record and emphasis on the study of autopsy samples from people with DS and brings expertise in autopsy protocols and molecular studies of DS brain At UCI, I serve as the Alzheimer Disease Research Center Neuropathology Core Co-Investigator and Director of the UCI Brain Tissue Repository.
Papers from 2019 -

Helman, A.M., Siever, M., McCarty, K., Lott, I.T., Doran, E., Abner, E., Schmitt, F.A., Head, E. (2019). Microbleeds and cerebral amyloid angiopathy in the brains of people with Down syndrome and Alzheimer disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease, 67(1): 103-112. PMCID: PMC6424116.

Abrahamson, E.E., Head, E., Lott, I.T., Handen, B.L., Mufson, E.J., Christian, B.T., Klunk, W.E., Ikonomovic, M.D. (2019). Neuropathological correlates of amyloid PET imaging in Down syndrome. Dev Neurobiol., 79(7): 750-766, PMCID: PMC6892598

Hamburg S, Lowe B, Startin CM, Padilla C, Coppus A, Silverman W, Fortea J,Zaman S, Head E, Handen BL, Lott I, Song W, Strydom A. Assessing general cognitive and adaptive abilities in adults with Down syndrome: a systematic review. J Neurodev Disord. 2019 Aug 30;11(1):20. PMCID: PMC6716931.

Gross TJ, Doran E, Cheema AK, Head E, Lott IT, Mapstone M. Plasma metabolites related to cellular energy metabolism are altered in adults with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. Dev Neurobiol. 2019 Jul;79(7):622-638. PMID: 31419370.

Hamburg S, Lowe B, Startin CM, Padilla C, Coppus A, Silverman W, Fortea J, Zaman S, Head E, Handen BL, Lott I, Song W, Strydom A. Assessing general cognitive and adaptive abilities in adults with Down syndrome: a systemtatic review. J. Neurodev. Disord., 2019, 11(1) 20. PMCID: PMC6716931.

Thalman, S.W., Powell, D.K., Ubele, M., Norris, C.M., Head, E., Lin, A.L. Brain-Blood Partition Coefficient and Cerebral Blood Flow in Canines Using Calibrated Short TR Recovery (CaSTRR) Correction Method. Front Neurosci., 2019, 13: 1189., PMCID: PMC6848028.

Tramutola, A., Lanzillotta, C., Di Domenico, F., Head, E., Butterfield, D.A., Perluigi, M., Barone, E. (2020). Brain Insulin Resistance Triggers Early Onset Alzheimer Disease in Down Syndrome. Neurobiology of Disease, in press.

Parikh, I.., Yanckello, L.M.,White, R.S., Hartz, A.M., Taylor, C.E., McCulloch, Thalman, S.W., Xia, M., McCarty, K.L., Ubele, M., Head, E., Hyder, F., Sanganahalli, B.G., Lin, A.L.(2020) APOE Genotype-Dependent Pharmacogenetic Responses to Rapamycin for Preventing Alzheimer's Disease. Neurobiology of disease, in press.
Graduate Programs
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Research Centers
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