Meet Our Investigators

The Consortium for Frontotemporal Dementia Research (CFR) and Bluefield Project to Cure FTD researchers comprise 19 top investigators at 10 academic research institutions in North America.

Adam Boxer, M.D., Ph.D.

University of California, San Francisco, Memory and Aging Center

Dr. Boxer directs the Clinical Trials program at UCSF’s Memory and Aging Center and conducted the clinical pilot to determine if the calcium channel nimodipine increases progranulin levels in mutation carriers. In addition, Boxer lab members study the natural history of progranulin in the blood and cerebral spinal fluid of mutation carriers and healthy controls.

Robert V. Farese, Jr., M.D.

Tobias Walther, Ph.D.

Harvard University

The Farese and Walther Lab created mouse models of frontotemporal dementia by mutating the progranulin gene. Researchers use these mice to study the cellular changes associated with frontotemporal dementia and to test potential therapies. The Farese and Walther Lab also studies progranulin biochemistry and progranulin's function in the lysosome. Dr. Farese also serves on the CFR's Internal Advisory Board.

Shawn Ferguson, Ph.D.

Yale University

The Ferguson Lab studies how progranulin contributes to normal lysosome function. Using proteomics and cell-based models, lab members study progranulin’s interactions and functions within the lysosome.

Li Gan, Ph.D.

The J. David Gladstone Institutes

The Gan Lab investigates progranulin’s role in neuroinflammation. In addition, lab members identified compounds that influence progranulin levels both in vitro and in vivo and are exploring their mechanisms of action.

Stephen Haggarty, Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Dr. Haggarty’s group investigates the regulation of progranulin expression by histone deacetylases. Lab members are also evaluating other mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and their contributions to FTD.

Joachim Herz, M.D.

Gang Yu, Ph.D.

University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center

The Herz and Yu Labs conduct small molecule screens to identify potential FTD therapeutics. Lab members also use mouse models of TDP-43 neuropathy to characterize TDP-43’s cell biology and role in disease pathogenesis. Dr. Herz also serves on the CFR's Internal Advisory Board.

Eric Huang, M.D., Ph.D.

University of California, San Francisco

The Huang Lab studies the expression and localization of progranulin in mouse brains. Lab members explore progranulin’s influence on neuronal health using injury models of neuronal damage.


Bruce L. Miller, M.D.

University of California, San Francisco, Memory and Aging Center

Dr. Miller is developing a cohort of familial and sporadic frontotemporal dementia cases and cell lines for longitudinal clinical, imaging, mRNA expression and proteomics studies. In addition, he oversees the Administrative Core at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, which provides centralized services to all CFR investigators. Dr. Miller also serves on the CFR's Internal Advisory Board.

Lennart Mucke, M.D.

The J. David Gladstone Institutes

Dr. Mucke is the Director of the Gladstone Institutes of Neurological Disease and Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Mucke serves on the CFR's Internal Advisory Board.

Rosa Rademakers, Ph.D.

Mayo Clinic, Florida

The Rademakers Lab uses genome wide association studies to indentify genes that regulate progranulin’s expression and processing with the ultimate goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets.

EriK Roberson, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Alabama at Birmingham

The Roberson lab characterizes behavioral changes in mouse models of frontotemporal dementia. Lab members also test whether promising compounds identified for their cellular effects also influence mouse behavior, a key step in the identification of effective therapeutics.

Jonathan Rohrer, M.D.

University College London

Dr. Rohrer co-coordinates the Genetic Frontotemporal Dementia Initiative (GENFI), a joint European-Canadian longitudinal study of ~500 individuals with genetic mutations in progranulin, tau or C9ORF72.  GENFI will increase our understanding of disease onset and progression and is critical to enabling future clinical trials.

Howard Rosen, M.D.

Brad Boeve, M.D.

University of California, San Francisco, Memory and Aging Center (Dr. Rosen) and Mayo Clinic Rochester (Dr. Boeve)

Drs. Rosen and Boeve study changes in patients carrying progranulin mutations over time. They use imaging techniques and fluid biomarker measurements to identify the earliest changes, even before carriers become symptomatic.

William Seeley, M.D.

Suzee Lee, M.D.

University of California, San Francisco, Memory and Aging Center

Dr. Seeley, together with Dr. Bruce Miller, runs the CFR Clinical Core which provides a tissue bank and research database that supports quantitative and region-specific cellular, molecular and genetic frontotemporal dementia investigations.

In addition, together with Dr. Suzee Lee, Dr. Seeley is developing imaging biomarkers for detecting and monitoring disease progression in progranulin mutation carriers. 

Michael Ward, M.D., Ph.D.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Dr. Ward is developing an induced pluripotent stem cell-based cellular model for progranulin haploinsufficency.