The conference

Smart homes. Video games. Artificial intelligence.

Learn how new technologies are being used to accelerate science and care for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Join international experts for UCI MIND and Alzheimer’s Orange County’s first-ever virtual conference in its 30-year history.

  • Half-day educational conference free and open to the public
  • Event will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube
  • Sponsorship opportunities are available
  • CEUs will not be offered this year

Who should attend

Healthcare providers

Senior/social service providers



Patients and families


UCI MIND is one of 32 congressionally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers in the nation and the only center in Orange County. For more than 30 years, UCI MIND has served at the forefront of Alzheimer’s disease research, gaining international recognition for its scientific accomplishments.

Alzheimer’s OC

Alzheimer’s Orange County is dedicated to providing quality care and support services to the thousands of residents of Orange County who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementia, and also partnering with local researchers to populate clinical trials to help find a cure.


Each talk features a 30 minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of LIVE Q&A

7:30 – 8:00 AM PST
8:00 – 8:15 AM PST
Joshua Grill, PhD, University of California, Irvine (Moderator) | Jim McAleer, MPA, Alzheimer’s Orange County
8:15 – 8:55 AM PST
Dorene M. Rentz, PsyD, Harvard Medical School
8:55 – 9:00 AM PST
9:00 – 9:40 AM PST
Craig Stark, PhD, University of California, Irvine
9:40 – 9:45 AM PST
9:45 – 10:25 AM PST
Ruth Benca, MD, PhD, University of California, Irvine
10:25 – 10:30 AM PST
10:30 – 11:10 AM PST
Edwin Monuki, MD, PhD, University of California, Irvine
11:10 – 11:15 AM PST
11:15 – 11:55 AM PST
Alex Mihailidis, PhD, PEng, University of Toronto, Canada
11:55 AM – 12:00 PM
Joshua Grill, PhD, University of California, Irvine


Joshua Grill, PhD

University of California, Irvine

Dr. Grill is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior and Neurobiology & Behavior at UCI. He serves as Director of UCI MIND, Associate Director of the UCI Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and Leader of the Recruitment & Retention Unit for the UCI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science. His research focuses on clinical trials across the spectrum of Alzheimer’s disease, and he has published a number of important findings on trial design, recruitment and retention, and research ethics.

Jim McAleer, MPA

Alzheimer's Orange County

Jim McAleer began his career in the nonprofit world at age eighteen while pursing an undergraduate degree in Savannah, Georgia. For the next 22 years, McAleer worked in leadership roles with non-profit organizations assisting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He earned a master’s degree in Public Administration at Northeastern University in 1994. After relocating to Southern California, McAleer began a comprehensive nonprofit consulting business specializing in organizational leadership and change, management transitions, strategic planning, and fundraising. McAleer & Associates, Inc. served dozens of clients over the next six years including Friends of El Faro, Street Poets, Crystal Cove Alliance, and more. Since 2004, Jim has held the role of President/CEO of Alzheimer’s Orange County, serving the 84,000+ people living in OC with, or at risk of, dementia. He manages 13 million dollars in income and a staff of 160. He has presented more than 100 professional presentations and has served on five nonprofit board of directors including Cal Optima.

Dorene M. Rentz, PsyD

Harvard Medical School

Dr. Rentz is a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School with dual appointments in the Departments of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. She completed her degree in clinical psychology/neuropsychology in 1987 and has worked as a clinical neuropsychologist for 30 years. She serves in multiple capacities as the Co-Director of the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment; the Director of Neuropsychology of the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (MADRC); Director of the Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core and Clinical Core Director of the Harvard Aging Brain Study. Her research interests include early detection of cognitive and behavioral changes in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease using novel cognitive assessments as well as amyloid and tau PET imaging. On an international level, Dorene is involved in designing cognitive outcome measures for secondary prevention trials in AD and is a proponent of validating at-home computerized assessments.

Craig Stark, PhD

University of California, Irvine

Dr. Stark earned a doctorate in Cognitive Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a Professor of Neurobiology & Behavior, the James L. McGaugh Chair in Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, and serves as Director of the UCI Campus Center for Neuroimaging and the state-of-the-art Facility for Imaging and Brain Research (FIBRE). Dr. Stark’s research utilizes brain imaging and experimental psychology to increase understanding of long-term memory in humans, particularly those affected by age-related brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s.

Ruth Benca, MD, PhD

University of California, Irvine

Dr. Benca is a Professor and Chair of Psychiatry & Human Behavior in the UCI School of Medicine and Founding Director of UCI’s new Sleep Medicine Center in Newport Beach that opened in 2018. Her research focuses on the interface between sleep and brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and she has served as principal investigator for a number of important research studies funded by agencies including the NIH and the Department of Defense. Dr. Benca has authored over 150 articles, reviews, and book chapters, including a guide for clinicians on the diagnosis and management of sleep disorders.

Edwin Monuki, MD, PhD

University of California, Irvine

Dr. Monuki is a neuropathologist, meaning he specializes in the diagnosis of brain diseases by examining post-mortem tissue. His research aims to improve understanding of an understudied brain tissue known as the choroid plexus in an effort to develop potential new therapies for brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Dr. Monuki earned his medical and doctoral degrees from UC San Diego and currently serves as Professor and Warren L. Bostick Chair of Pathology for the UCI School of Medicine. Dr. Monuki's Joint Appointment is in Developmental & Cell Biology for the School of Biological Sciences, he is Associate Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program, Director of the Neuropathology Core for UCI's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and CLIA Director for UCI Labs.

Alex Mihailidis, PhD, PEng

University of Toronto, Canada

Dr. Mihailidis is the Barbara G. Stymiest Research Chair in Rehab Technology at U of T and Toronto Rehab. He is the Scientific Director of the AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence, which focuses on the development of new technologies and services for older adults. He is a Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. He has been conducting research in the field of and intelligent systems in health for the past 15 years, with a specific focus on the development of intelligent home systems for elder care.