VCoA*The Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award Fund (ARDRAF) was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1982 to stimulate innovative investigations into Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders along a variety of avenues, such as the causes, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of the disorder; public policy and the financing of care, and the social and psychological impacts of the disease upon the individual, family, and community. The awards this year have been enhanced by a $50,000 donation from Mrs. Russell Sullivan of Fredericksburg, in memory of her husband who died of dementia. Sullivan awards are indicated by an asterisk (*). The ARDRAF competition is administered by the Virginia Center on Aging in the School of Allied Health Professions at Virginia Commonwealth University. Questions about the projects may be directed to the investigators or the ARDRAF administrator, Dr. Constance Coogle (ccoogle@vcu.edu).


Organization Authors Project Title
Eastern Virginia Medical School Dianne C. Daniel, PhD and Edward M. Johnson, PhD Cellular Mechanisms of Pur-based Peptides for Frontotemporal Dementia*
Virginia Commonwealth University Joseph M. Dzierzewski, PhD Cognitive and Inflammatory Consequences of Sleep in Older Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Caregivers*
University of Virginia Heather A. Ferris, MD, PhD Mechanisms of Diabetes-Mediated Increases in Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia*
Old Dominion University Patrick C. Sachs, PhD, Peter A. Mollica, PhD, MB(ASCP), Robert D. Bruno, PhD, and Shu Xiao, PhD Investigating the Effects of Sub-Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Fields as a Potential Protein Disaggregation Agent in Huntington’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease Neurons*
VA Tech Webster Santos, PhD, and Kyle Hoehn, PhD Novel Small Molecule Mitochondrial Uncouplers as Therapeutics for Parkinson’s Disease
Randolph College A. Katrin Schenk, PhD Interactive Caregiver Portal for the Visualization of Activity and Location Data in an Alzheimer’s Population
George Mason University Janusz Wojtusiak, PhD, and Catherine Tompkins, PhD Analysis of Wandering Patterns of Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease


2018-2019 ARDRAF Awards Committee

  • Paul Aravich, PhD – Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Severn B. Churn, PhD – Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Jorge A. Cortina, MD, DFAPA – UniCare Health Plan of West Virginia
  • Leslie Davidson, OTR/L, PhD, FAOTA – The George Washington University
  • Christine J. Jensen, PhD – Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health
  • Hamid Okhravi, MD – Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Mikell Paige, PhD – George Mason University
  • Linda Phillips, PhD – Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Beverly A. Rzigalinzki, PhD – Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Patricia A. Trimmer, PhD – Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Gregorio Valdez, PhD – Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
  • Ning Zhang, PhD – Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Shijun Zhang, PhD – Virginia Commonwealth University


Review additional years: