Timothy M Hughes PhD, MPHPostdoctoral Scholar, Roena B. Kulynych Center for Memory and Cognition Research, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
My research focuses on elucidating the relationships between cardiometabolic risk factors and brain abnormalities commonly seen in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and ‘normal’ brain aging. This research builds upon my training in cardiovascular epidemiology and neuroepidemiology, as well as my experience with: the development and evaluation of blood-based biomarkers in the context of cognitive impairment; the techniques used to assess sub-clinical vascular disease (e.g. pulse wave velocity and carotid ultrasound) commonly used in cardiovascular studies; and the multimodal neuroimaging techniques used in brain aging studies, including PET and MRI. My research describes novel associations of cardiometabolic risk factors (e.g. cholesterol metabolism and peripheral arterial stiffness) with evidence of cerebral small vessel disease and amyloid deposition in the brains of older adults. My current postdoctoral training with Drs. Jeff Williamson and Suzanne Craft at Wake Forest incorporates the role of metabolic dysregulation in vascular dysfunction, cognitive impairment and AD. My early career research goal is to identify modifiable risk factors for the prevention of AD and age-related cognitive dysfunction.