Anne Fagan, PhD
Professor of Neurology
Anne Fagan, the Fluid Biomarker Core Leader, is a Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis. She received her BA in Psychobiology from Wellesley College and her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego under the mentorship of Dr. Fred “Rusty” Gage where she studied the role of glial cells and trophic factors in rodentmodels of neuronal injury and repair. Following her post-doctoral training at Bristol Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, she was recruited to Washington University by David Holtzman, MD, to study the role of apolipoprotein E (apoE) in AD. Her interests expanded into human biomarker research in 1997 after she became an investigator at the Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center. Together with colleagues Drs. Holtzman and John Morris, they initiated visionary, longitudinal studies investigating the potential of a variety of fluid measures as biomarkers of preclinical (antecedent) AD pathology in elderly and at-risk middle-aged cohorts. Evaluation of fluid biomarkers in autosomal dominant AD (Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network, [DIAN]) and itsassociated DIAN Trials Unit (DIAN TU) soon followed, as has the recent expansion into AD due to Down syndrome (Alzheimer’sBiomarkersConsortium –Down Syndrome [ABC-DS]) and early-onset AD (Longitudinal Early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease [LEADS]). Other non-AD multi-site research studies with whom the Fluid Biomarker Core laboratory collaborates include the ARTFL LEFFTDS Longitudinal Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (ALLFTD) study and the North American Prodromal Synucleinopathy Consortium (NAPS2). Fagan serves on a variety of scientific advisory boards for institutions and companiesinvestigating AD and is the 2019 recipient of the Fellows Award from the Academy of Science –St. Louis in recognition of her “outstanding achievement in science.” A complete list of Fagan’s published work can be found here.
Research Technician II
Bryce Baker joined the Fagan lab in April of 2021 as a research technician. He graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, with an emphasis in ecology and conservation. Previously, he worked as a tech in a COVID-19 lab. His passion for research and lab work led him to pursue a position at the Fagan lab.
In his free time, Baker enjoys travel, hiking, baking, visiting the national parks and the occasional home improvement project.
Research Lab Supervisor
Julia Gray is a research lab supervisor in the Fagan lab and manages projects for external collaborations and the DIAN Observational study. She has a BS in Biology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a BS in Psychological & Brain Sciences from Washington University. She is currently in the process of pursuing a Master of Science in Biostatistics and Data Science at Washington University.
Gray has a broad variety of research experiences and interests and started off her career focusing on the evolution of avian malaria in the lab of Dr. Robert Ricklefs. While she enjoyed avian field work, her interest in psychology, neurology, and genetics drew her to the WUSTL Memory Lab of Dr. Henry Roediger, then to the McDonnell Genome Institute, and in 2016, to the Department of Neurology Biomarker Core Lab under Dr. Fagan.
When not working or in school, Gray enjoys hanging out with her partner and their two dogs, hiking, mycology, reading, gardening and playing games.
Elizabeth Herries received her BA in Chemistry/BA in Botany from the University of Vermont (1983) and then began a long and successful career developing and performing immunoassays. She spent four years at Montana State University Department of Plant Pathology, as lab supervisor responsible for 300,000 ELISA tests run annually for potato virus detection. She then worked for 20 years at the University of Vermont Pathology Department, Laboratory for Clinical Biochemistry Research, Core lab for many epidemiology studies with a focus on cardiac health, stroke and aging, including CHS, MESA, TIMI and REGARDS studies.
At the LCBR, her assay development work included a high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein assay that yielded data for the Physician’s Health Study. She was also responsible for validation of commercial assays and evaluation of novel assay platforms, including Luminex. In 2007, she joined Singulex, Inc. in St. Louis and working in collaboration with Jack Ladenson’s laboratory at Washington University, worked on several assay development projects for markers of brain injury. Since 2009 she has been employed at Washington University, by Ladenson and other investigators. In 2016, she joined Department of Neurology Biomarker Core Lab. Through collaboration between Jack Ladenson and Anne Fagan for studies of brain injury, she performs his VILIP1, SNAP25 and Neurogranin assays. Herries has co-authored multiple research publications concerned with validation of immunoassays or their use in clinical studies.
Gina Jerome received her B.S from Eastern Illinois University where she majored in botany and her M.S from Louisiana State University with an emphasis on plant physiology. She started her career in pharmaceutical research and developed a keen interest in this field, never looking back. She spent 20 years at a pharmaceutical company in small molecule drug discovery research where she focused on identifying small molecules to modify inflammation, primarily osteoarthritis. While there she co-authored many research publications. Her most fulfilling project involved research for an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, a proposed mechanism of action in the numerous, inflammatory pathways of osteoarthritis.
Her role as staff scientist currently centers on the Biomarker Core Lab for the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Observational Study (DIAN-OBS) and external collaborations. This includes laboratory and biorepository functions and assorted duties that keep the lab running. The analysis of DIAN OBS samples is an important aspect of her job which includes planning/execution of various analyte determinations and development/validation experiments. She manages sample collection, CSF and plasma, intake from over 20 sites worldwide for DIAN-OBS.
Outside of the office she enjoys Netflix binges, gardening, reading, all music and has recently joined Shutter Bee, a research project enlisting “citizen scientists” with backyard bee photography to improve conservation practices. Her time in Louisiana sparked an interest in cooking all thing’s Creole and Cajun and an appreciation of the culture in southern Louisiana -Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Matt Minton joined the Fagan lab’s Biomarker Core near the end of 2022. He graduated from the University of Missouri St. Louis in 1999 with a BS in Biology. He’s worked for various labs at Washington University School of Medicine ever since including Dr. Pui Kwok, Dr. Howard Mcleod, Dr. Sharon Cresci and most recently Richard Head. Within those lab’s he mainly performed Sanger and Pyrosequencing for SNP genotyping and discovery. Genotyping was usually carried out for SNPs with known disease associations and drug interactions. Most of this work contributed the NCBI’s dbSNP project. For the past 10 years he’s worked at the Genome Technology Access Center (GTAC@MGI) in both research and clinical settings. Mainly focused on RNA-seq and Exome Capture library preparation for NGS sequencing. The last few years there were spent on systems improvements involving automated liquid handling systems.
Outside of lab life Matt enjoys spending time with his family and working on home improvements. He also enjoys spending time with friends and skateboarding in his free time.
Clinical Research Specialist
Sam Preminger started with the team as a clinical research specialist in 2022 and serves as the project manager for all things related to the Biomarker Core within the DIAN Trial Unit. He received his BS in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from UC Davis and has been working within the clinical research industry for seven years. Over the years, he has provided clinical research support to trials covering dermatology, traumatic brain injury, stroke and now Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Disease.
He works with the Fagan lab remotely from Dallas, Texas, but has the opportunity to meet the fantastic members of the team in person while traveling to meetings. For fun, Preminger loves delving into one of his many varied hobbies including cooking, playing music, reading fantasy books and playing chess and video games.
Jennifer Stauber joined the Fagan Lab in 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, to work in the DIAN-TU Biomarker Core.
Stauber received an MS in Cell & Molecular Biology from the University of Missouri‐St. Louis. She has been working at the Washington University School of Medicine since 2011, most recently for the McDonald Genome Institute. Prior, she led investigations into biomarkers of disease severity in C. dificile infection and Environmental Enteropathy. She loves being a part of the collaborative WUSM research community and finds great satisfaction in impactful human subjects’ research.
Outside of science, Stauber enjoys gardening, reading, hiking and salsa dancing. Besides three boys, she and her husband are currently raising a flock of runner ducks.