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Advances in Dementia Care


The conference & who should attend

Join UCI MIND, Alzheimer’s Orange County, and Alzheimer’s Association for the 35th Annual Southern California Alzheimer’s Disease Research Conference. This hybrid conference will highlight the important advances being made in the diagnosis, treatment and care for people living with dementia.

  • Educational conference open to the public – all are welcome to register
  • Sponsorship opportunities are available
  • CEUs can be added onto your registration for in-person attendees

Who should attend

Healthcare providers

Senior/social service providers



People living with dementia & their families


Early Bird: $100

Regular: $125 (after 8/06/24)

Student: $75

CEUs: $30 (in-person only)

Virtual: $75


UCI MIND is one of 38 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 and 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 and related dementias, and also partnering with local researchers to populate clinical trials to help find a cure.

Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Chapter helps families, caregivers, health care professionals, and those living with the disease by providing education and support, advocating for the needs and rights of those facing Alzheimer’s disease and all other dementia, and advancing critical research to develop new treatments and, ultimately, a cure.

Each talk features a presentation followed by live Q&A

All times indicated are in Pacific Time (PT)
8:00 – 9:00 AM
9:00 – 9:10 AM
Opening remarks
Jim McAleer, MPA, Alzheimer’s Orange County | Deborah Levy, Alzheimer's Association Orange County Chapter | Joshua Grill, PhD, University of California, Irvine
9:10 – 9:40 AM
The first approved disease targeting Alzheimer’s disease therapies
Aimee Pierce, MD, Oregon Health Sciences University
9:40 – 10:10 AM
Genetic testing in the age of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease
Scott Roberts, PhD, University of Michigan
10:10 – 10:40 AM
10:40 – 11:10 AM
Pseudomedicine and the Marketing of Unproven and Unapproved Stem Cell Interventions for Dementia
Leigh Turner, PhD, University of California, Irvine
11:10 – 11:40 AM
The first approved treatment for agitation in Alzheimer's disease
Lydia Ann, MD, University of California, Irvine
11:40 – 12:10 PM
Access, accuracy, and equity in dementia diagnoses
Elena Tsoy, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
12:10 – 1:00 PM
1:00 – 1:30 PM
Clinical use of blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease
Suzanne Schindler, MD, PhD, Washington University
1:30 – 2:00 PM
Dementia CARE and the GUIDE Program
Lisa Gibbs, MD, University of California, Irvine
2:00 – 2:30 PM
2:30 – 3:10 PM
Caregiver panel: Navigating the dementia journey in a changing landscape
Moderator: Joshua Grill, PhD, University of California, Irvine
3:10 – 3:15 PM
Closing remarks
Joshua Grill, PhD, University of California, Irvine


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. 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.

Deborah Levy

Alzheimer's Association Orange County Chapter

Deborah Levy is an award-winning television news journalist and nonprofit executive with a broad and diverse background leading some of the world’s most recognizable and respected charities. She has raised more than $100 million during the course of her career for organizations that improve the lives of children and families, cancer research, and important capital projects. Deborah joined the Alzheimer's Association as executive director for Orange County in April 2021.

Joshua Grill, PhD

University of California, Irvine

Joshua Grill, PhD is a 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.

Lydia Ann, MD

University of California, Irvine

Dr. Ann is a geriatric psychiatrist who recently joined University of California, Irvine faculty. After graduating from David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, she completed her psychiatry residency at UC Irvine. Itching to work with the geriatric population, she completed her geriatric psychiatry fellowship at UCLA. She was the sole geriatric psychiatrist at the VA Medical Center in Sepulveda, Los Angeles where she headed the Memory/Neurobehavior Clinic and Geriatric Psychiatry Specialty Clinics. She is also an advocate for cohesive multidisciplinary care and worked with VA geriatricians to staff the cross-disciplinary Geri-PACT clinics and nursing homes. She is particularly interested in investigating modifiable risk factors for cognitive impairment.

Lisa Gibbs, MD

University of California, Irvine

Dr. Gibbs is the Chief of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology and the Ronald Reagan Endowed Chair of Geriatric Medicine at University of California Irvine (UCI). As Medical Director of the UC Irvine Senior Health Center, a primary care and consultative practice, Dr. Gibbs has led the development of innovative programs to advance the delivery of care.

Aimee Pierce, MD

Oregon Health Sciences University

Dr. Pierce is a geriatric neurologist focused on patient care and clinical research for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. She is the Director of the Clinical Care and Therapeutics Program of the OHSU Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center. She has been the principal investigator of more than 20 clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment, in phases 2 and 3. In addition to pharmaceutical clinical trials, she is also focused on testing novel behavioral interventions for AD including cognitive and physical exercise, as well as the incorporation and validation of digital biomarkers into Alzheimer’s research. Finally, she has a focus on clinical trial recruitment and the research participant experience.

Scott Roberts, PhD

University of Michigan

Dr. Roberts is Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health (UM SPH). At UM, he leads the Outreach, Recruitment & Engagement Core within the NIH-funded Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and also serves as Associate Director of the UM National Poll on Healthy Aging. He has longstanding research interests pertaining to the psychological and behavioral impact of disclosing genetic and biomarker information for Alzheimer’s disease.

Suzanne Schindler, MD, PhD

Washington University

Dr. Schindler is a clinical neurologist and neuroscientist focused on improving the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer disease. She completed the MD/PhD program, a Neurology residency, and a fellowship in dementia at Washington University. Dr. Schindler sees patients with memory concerns and coordinates biomarker testing for the Washington University Memory Diagnostic Center. She leads the Fluid Biomarker Core for the Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center. Her research is focused on the clinical validation of blood tests for Alzheimer disease.

Elena Tsoy, PhD

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Tsoy was awarded her PhD degree in counseling psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She completed her predoctoral internship in clinical psychology at Tewksbury State Hospital and her postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at UCSF Memory and Aging Center. Dr. Tsoy is a bilingual neuropsychologist with primary interests in early detection and diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease, multicultural neuropsychology, and social determinants of health and healthcare disparities in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). She works on elucidating social and structural factors underlying disparities in dementia diagnosis and care nationally and internationally and on the development and validation of novel cognitive assessment tools for the detection and diagnosis of cognitive disorders in underserved populations. An overarching goal of Dr. Tsoy’s research is to advance dementia prevention and care in diverse populations and lay the foundation for equity-based therapeutic and diagnostic practices which would improve the lives of all older adults.

Leigh Turner, PhD

University of California, Irvine

Dr. Turner is Director of the University of California, Irvine Center for Health Ethics, a Professor in the Program in Public Health’s Department of Health, Society, and Behavior, and a member of UCI’s Stem Cell Research Center. Professor Turner’s current research addresses ethical, legal, and social issues related to stem cells and regenerative medicine. His work pays particular attention to ethical concerns and regulatory challenges related to businesses marketing unapproved stem cell interventions and other purported regenerative medicine products. Turner has also written about ethical dimensions of health-related travel, crowdfunding for medical interventions, and end-of-life care in multicultural societies.


Friday, September 6, 2024

8:00 AM – 3:15 PM PT

Hilton Irvine Orange County Airport

18800 Macarthur Blvd.

Irvine, CA 92612


Your conference registration includes one-time hotel self-parking validation (not valet) per person on Friday, September 6th, 2024. Please bring your ticket inside for validation.

Room Reservations:

The Hilton Irvine offers a 10% discounted rate.

For more information about the hotel, click here.

To book your room, please call Sara Kobrin at 949.812.3728 or email her at


Where do I park for the event and how much is parking?

Your conference registration includes one-time hotel self-parking validation (not valet) per person on Friday, September 6, 2024. Please bring your registration email in print or on a mobile device inside to the registration booth for your validation ticket. Be sure to park in Hilton Irvine designated parking only. Cars parked in lots or structures of other businesses will not be validated.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

If you have general questions, please email or call 949.824.9896. If you have any questions pertaining to exhibitors, please email or call 949.824.5811.

What’s the refund policy?

Attendees can request refunds until Monday, August 23, 2024. No refunds will be given for any cancellations received after this date. A $25 administrative charge will apply for all cancellations. For questions or to request a refund, email or call 949.824.9475. No half-day registrations or partial CEUs will be provided.

Do I need to provide proof of registration?

You will receive an email confirming your registration. Please present the email in print or on a mobile device at conference check-in. Professionals requiring CEUs will need to check in at the Professional Registration table. Be sure to have your license number available. Exhibitors will need to check in at the registration table upon arrival.

Are there any COVID-19 policies?

We are continuously monitoring public health updates and will notify attendees if any COVID-19 related guidance comes out. We will abide by any local and federal ordinances in place at the time of the conference.

Will I be photographed and/or recorded?

As part of the 35th Annual Southern California Alzheimer’s Disease Research Conference, you may be photographed or you may be recorded on audio and/or video. These items may be used in promotion of future conferences or in other marketing related to the conference. Your in-person attendance at this event implies your consent to be photographed or recorded.

How will I know how to login for the virtual platform?

Attendees who register for the virtual component of the conference will receive an email with instructions a few days before the event with helpful information and tips for successful viewing.

What happens if my internet goes out?

UCI MIND, AlzOC, and Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Chapter shall not be held liable for any disruption in internet telecommunications during the event that is beyond the parties’ control. Technical assistance will be provided.