Schaeffer Center Post-Doctoral Fellow Receives Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles Young Investigator Award

Douglas Barthold has been selected as the recipient of the Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles Young Investigator Award for his research on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and his potential to contribute significantly to the field in the future.

“I am thrilled Doug has been recognized by Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles. He is a promising young scholar who is dedicated to making an impact on Alzheimer’s disease research,” said Julie Zissimopoulos, Schaeffer Center associate director and Barthold’s faculty advisor.

AD poses an enormous burden for society which is projected to only increase as society ages. Though development of a cure is still years away, previous research led by Zissimopoulos has shown delaying disease onset by just one year would result in substantial health care costs savings.

Barthold and other scholars at the Schaeffer Center are using rich longitudinal data sources available at the Center to examine risk of AD onset and treatments for the disease.  Recently they investigated the association between statin use and AD incidence using data from medical and drug claims of millions of Medicare beneficiaries. The results of the study are forthcoming in JAMA Neurology. Zissimopoulos is the senior researcher on the project along with colleagues Roberta Brinton and Geoffrey Joyce.

“If pharmaceutical therapies currently prescribed to treat chronic conditions can be shown to reduce the risk of AD, they may provide a relatively inexpensive means through which the burden of the disease can be dramatically reduced,” said Barthold.

Barthold is starting his second year as a Schaeffer-Amgen post-doctoral fellow at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from McGill University in 2015. Amgen supports several fellows at the Center.

The Schaeffer Center is dedicated to helping young health policy researchers to advance and hone their research skills through mentor based training programs. The Center currently provides pre and post-doctoral fellowship opportunities with support through a gift from Amgen. The Center also hosts internships, research assistantships, and the USC RCMAR program.