CFR investigator Dr. Bill Seeley wins a MacArthur Genius Award

The Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia congratulates CFR Investigator Bill Seeley, M.D., recipient of a 2011 MacArthur “Genius” Grant. MacArthur awardees, who receive $500,000 over five years, are recognized for their creativity, dedication, and potential for future groundbreaking work.

Dr. Seeley observed that a specific type of neuron called a von Economo neuron, found only in great apes, whales, elephants and humans, is preferentially destroyed in early frontotemporal dementia. Further, Dr. Seeley pioneered functional MRI studies that correlated changes in brain connectivity with specific clinical subtypes of frontotemporal dementia. His foundational imaging studies hold promise as a noninvasive technique for monitoring disease progression, and importantly, individualized therapeutic efficacy of future treatments.

Dr. Seeley co-directs the CFR Clinical Core which provides a brain tissue bank and research database that supports quantitative and region-specific cellular, molecular and genetic frontotemporal dementia investigations.