William Klunk, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Pittsburgh 
Department of Psychiatry

One of the nation’s leading experts in the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, William E. Klunk, M.D., Ph.D., is co-director of the Alzheimer Disease Research Center at UPMC and professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Pittsburgh.  Dr. Klunk is a pioneer in the field of in vivo amyloid imaging in humans.  His work spans from basic synthetic chemistry and neuropharmacological evaluation of amyloid imaging tracers to human positron emission tomography (PET) studies of these tracers.  His group’s paper on imaging the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease is the most frequently cited research paper on this disease since it was published in 2004. Dr. Klunk also was a member of the Pitt team that invented the groundbreaking Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB). PiB is a radioactive compound that, when coupled with PET imaging, can be injected into the bloodstream to enable researchers to visualize the brains of people with the memory-stealing illness and see the location and distribution of the beta-amyloid plaque deposits associated with Alzheimer’s.

Funded Research

Project Description Researchers Funding
Curcumin Collaborative Project

This collaborative project will identify and characterize novel curcumin-like derivatives for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. The purpose of the study is to develop means of overcoming obstacles to rapid breakdown and creating methodologies for precisely delivering curcumin derivatives to appropriate locations within the brain.

2010
$400,000

Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.

Klunk WE, Perani D, Amyloid and neurodegeneration: converging and diverging paths, Neurology, 81(20), November 12, 2013, 1728-1729
Hughes TM, Kuller LH, Barinas-Mitchell EJ, Mackey RH, McDade EM, Klunk WE, Aizenstein HJ, Cohen AD, Snitz BE, Mathis CA, Dekosky ST, Lopez OL, Pulse wave velocity is associated with β-amyloid deposition in the brains of very elderly adults, Neurology, 81(19), November 5, 2013, 1711-1718
Snitz BE, Weissfeld LA, Lopez OL, Kuller LH, Saxton J, Singhabahu DM, Klunk WE, Mathis CA, Price JC, Ives DG, Cohen AD, McDade E, Dekosky ST, Cognitive trajectories associated with β-amyloid deposition in the oldest-old without dementia, Neurology, 80(15), April 9, 2013, 1378-1384