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The Neuropathology Core serves as a repository of blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and autopsy tissues from participants evaluated and followed in the Clinical Core. The Pathology Core provides standardized assessment of histological lesions and neuropathological diagnoses focusing on normal aging, cerebrovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Tissues are prepared, stored and allocated for research projects at USC, as well as other Alzheimer Disease Centers and AD investigators. Interested investigators should contact Carol Miller, MD (email: carolmil@usc.edu)

Leadership team

Carol Miller, MD., Leader

Dr. Miller has longstanding expertise in the cell and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases. Using human AD postmortem tissues, she identifies gene expression related to the selective vulnerability of neurons and early changes in synaptic terminals. Characterization of Alzheimer pathology in the human eye may lead to improved clinical diagnosis. By combining the specificity of immunohistochemical staining with unprecedented tissue transparency achieved through the CLARITY method, Miller and K Clark (Institute of Neuroimaging and Informatics) hope to advance, at finer anatomical resolution, knowledge of neuronal vulnerability and loss of connectivity in Alzheimer’s disease.

Debra Hawes, MD., Co-Leader

Dr. Hawes began her education by pursuing a certificate in vocational nursing from Santa Ana College followed by a BA degree in French from Cal State Fullerton. She then attended medical school, and upon graduation she was first introduced to the Keck School of Medicine as a resident in the pathology department at LAC+USC Medical Center. While in medical school, Dr. Hawes demonstrated a profound aptitude for her studies when she was awarded to the Dean’s List of Outstanding Achievement in the Basic Sciences. Currently, Dr. Hawes is an assistant professor of clinical pathology and an instructor of the Pathology Multidisciplinary Laboratories at USC. She has reviewed manuscripts for the several medical journals, including the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. In addition to her vast academic and clinical responsibilities, Dr. Hawes has a number of research interests, such as cancer prevention, new technology development and biologic markers of disease progression. Dr. Hawes has co-authored nearly 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and a number of book chapters and abstracts.