At the UW ADRC, we tackle the questions of Alzheimer’s through many different kinds of research, yet we believe that every research study must have improved clinical care as its ultimate end goal. Below, we have listed the doctors and staff members that you may meet if you participate in research at the VA Puget Sound location of the UW ADRC—these investigators seek to combine research with the hands-on work of serving the Alzheimer’s community. Together, these clinical team members work to make the research experience as seamless and informative as possible for participants and their families.

For more details about our clinical research at the UW ADRC and information about how our clinical research is complemented by other kinds of research, see the web pages that describe our Research Cores and Projects.


Clinical Core Doctors at VA Puget Sound


Elaine Peskind, MD

Associate Director, UW ADRC, and Leader, Clinical Core

In addition to her leadership in the UW ADRC, Dr. Peskind is Friends of Alzheimer’s Research Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the UW and Co-Director of the VA Northwest Network Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). Over the past twenty-five years, she has studied stress hormones, brain imaging scans, and spinal fluid biomarkers in aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and combat-related traumatic brain injury. Dr. Peskind researches treatments for memory impairment and behavioral problems in Alzheimer's disease, and she is funded by the National Institute on Aging to lead several studies, including an investigation of the drug prazosin for treating disruptive agitation in Alzheimer's disease.
Biosketch for Elaine Peskind, MD


Gail Li, MD, PhD

Co-Leader, Clinical Core

Dr. Li is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UW. She received her masters and doctorate in psychiatric epidemiology from Beijing Medical University. Dr. Li has studied the genetics of schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, and she is currently working closely with fellow UW ADRC investigator Dr. Elaine Peskind to study spinal fluid biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Li also investigates vascular risk and protective factors for Alzheimer's disease in community-based populations like the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study, which is led by UW ADRC Associate Director Eric Larson. Dr. Li was the PI for a clinical trial funded by the National Institute on Aging, the SimBio study; this study investigated the potential protective effects of a cholesterol medication known as simvastatin for preventing Alzheimer’s disease in normal middle-aged participants.
Biosketch for Gail Li, MD, PhD



Debby Tsuang, MD, MSc


Dr. Tsuang is a co-investigator of the Clincial Core of the UW ADRC. She is also Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Director of the VA Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, and a founding member of the VA Northwest Network MIRECC. She is a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist who seeks to advance our understanding and treatment of complex aging-related disorders. To this end, Dr. Tsuang has pursued clinical, pathological, and genetic research on dementia with Lewy bodies, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia. These studies have been funded by multiple mechanisms, including the National Institutes of Health, the VA, and several private foundations.
Biosketch for Debby Tsuang, MD, MSc


Other Clinical Staff at VA Puget Sound

George Avtandilov

Clinical Trials Research Assistant


Debbie Burges, RN

Research Nurse


Sean Meichle

Psychometrist; Research Coordinator


Daniel Morelli

Study Coordinator / Supervisor


James O'Connell, MSW

Research Social Worker


Anita Ranta

Clinical Trials Study Coordinator


Jon (JP) Reid

Registry Research Assistant


Manard Stewart

Registry Coordinator and Autopsy Co-Coordinator


Robert Turner, PA-C

Research Clinician and Recruitment Specialist