Dr. Julia Kofler is the head pathologist and director of the Alzheimer’s Bank at the University of Pittsburgh. She is directing all of the research on the donated Krabbe samples that are received at the bank.
In 2012, Dr Kofler became the director of theNeuropathology core of the Alzheimer’s disease research center, where she oversees the banking, diagnostic evaluation, and annotation of donated brains and spinal cords and manages the distribution of neurodegenerative brain tissue samples to interested local, national and international researchers. The brain bank at the University of Pittsburgh is in existence for over 30 years now and has collected 1600 cases, including Alzheimer’s disease and otherdementias, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, and traumatic brain injury. While the original focus of the brain bank was on adult neurodegenerative disease, in 2015 the brain bank was expanded to include pediatricleukodystrophies and storage disorders, with a special focus on Krabbe disease. In collaboration with Dr Maria Escolar at Children’s hospital of Pittsburgh, nine cases of Krabbe disease have been donated to the brain bank in a two year period, which now represents the largest collection of Krabbe disease tissue samples in the country. Examination of these invaluable specimens will increase our understanding of the pathologic disease spectrum, possible associations with genetic mutations, underlying pathobiologic processes and impact of new treatment modalities. We are extremely grateful to all families who made the selfless decision to donate their loved ones brains to our bank and to support our research mission.
After completing a residency in Anatomic Pathology and a fellowship in Neuropathology, she joined the pathology faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 2010, where she is engaged in clinical, teaching and research activities. Her clinical responsibilities include coverage of the surgical neuropathology, autopsy neuropathology and ophthalmic pathology services. Her research interests focus on neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disease processes witha special emphasis on identifying the neurobiologic correlates of the psychosis phenotype in Alzheimer’s disease, and the association of genetic risk factors with pathology phenotypes and disease burden in Alzheimer’s disease.
Brain and Tissue Banking
In the Spotlight
Meet Dr. Julia Kofler