About Dr. Fagan

Anne Fagan, Professor of Neurology, Biomarker Core Lead

Anne Fagan, PhD, is a Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Her research interest and expertise is in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of Alzheimer Disease (AD), especially during the preclinical (asymptomatic) period. She received her BA in Psychobiology from Wellesley College in 1984, having done her undergraduate Honor’s Thesis with Dr. Howard Eichenbaum evaluating the role of the hippocampus in a rodent model of amnesia. After spending a year as a graduate student in the lab of Dr. David Olton at The Johns Hopkins University studying rodent learning and memory, she joined the lab of Dr. Fred “Rusty” Gage at the University of California, San Diego where she received her PhD (1992) in Neuroscience investigating the role of neurotrophins in injury-induced neuronal sprouting in rats. She expanded upon her interest in trophic factors during her post-doctoral training at Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Lawrenceville, NJ characterizing neuronal development in mice lacking the trk neurotrophin receptors (trkA, trkB, trkC) developed by Dr. Mariano Barbacid.

In 1995 Dr. Fagan was recruited to Wash U by Dr. David Holtzman to gain training in AD (and evaluate the role of apoE, at the time the newly identified genetic risk factor for sporadic AD) and was instrumental in developing the biomarkers program at the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). She is an ADRC investigator and serves as the Biomarker Core Leader for several large research programs including the Wash U Adult Children Study that supports all ADRC-related projects, the international Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) of autosomal-dominant AD and its affiliated first-of-kind prevention trial (DIAN Trials Unit [DIAN-TU]), and the international Alzheimer’s Biomarkers Consortium of Down Syndrome (ABC-DS). For years she and her lab have also been involved in global biomarker standardization efforts with the goal of bringing validated biomarkers to clinical practice.

On a personal note, Dr. Fagan is a sports fan, lover of good food/beer/wine and reading psycho crime/mystery novels and is an aficionado of irreverent, witty, smart humor. She spends much of her free time doing home and yard projects and weight training at the gym. Hot air balloons, traveling, late afternoons on a beach (obviously when not in St. Louis!)…big fan! Social media, ingratitude?… not so much.