FTD Awareness and Fundraising Event

  • Hosted by: Vanderbilt FTD Clinic and Nashville Caregivers Support Group

    When: May 18th at 5:00 pm to 7:00pm

    Where: Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital - 1601 23rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212 (Luton Lecture Hall, VPH 1206) Click here for map 



  • Guest Speaker: Bruce Miller, MD 

    Dr. Bruce L. Miller directs the UCSF Dementia Center. His goal is to ensure that all patients who enter the clinical and research programs at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center receive exemplary care.

    Miller's focus is dementia, with special interests in the relationships between brain and behavior and in the genetic and molecular underpinnings of disease. His work in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) explores the behavioral and emotional losses that these patients suffer while simultaneously noting the visual creativity that can emerge in patients with FTD. He is the principal investigator of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as an NIH-funded project on FTD called Frontotemporal Dementia: Genes, Images and Emotions.

    Miller oversees a program on healthy aging supported through the Larry H. Hillblom Foundation and the Hellman Foundation, which includes an artist-in-residence program. In addition, he helps lead two philanthropically funded research consortia, the Tau Consortium and Consortium for Frontotemporal Research, which focus on developing treatments for these disorders.

    Miller has received many awards including the Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology, the Raymond D. Adams Lectureship from the American Neurological Association, the J. Elliot Royer Award from the San Francisco neurological community, the UCSF Annual Faculty Research Lectureship in Clinical Science, the UCSF Academic Senate Distinction in Mentoring Award, and the Gene D. Cohen Research Award in Creativity and Aging from the National Center for Creative Aging.

    Miller is author of The Human Frontal Lobes, The Behavioral Neurology of Dementia and many other publications on dementia. He has been featured in Fortune magazine, the "Charlie Rose" show, "PBS NewsHour," the New York Times and other media outlets. For nearly three decades, Miller has been scientific director of the John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation, a philanthropic organization that funds research for a cure.

    FTD Clinic Director/Neurologist: Ryan Darby, MD

    Ryan Darby is an assistant professor of neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He currently sees patients as the director of the Frontotemporal Dementia Clinic in the Department of Neurology at VUMC.

    He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in psychology and neuroscience, and his medical degree from Vanderbilt University. He trained in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital as part of the Partners Neurology/Harvard Medical School program. He then received the Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Research Fellowship in Clinical Neurosciences at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He simultaneously completed a clinical fellowship in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and McLean Psychiatric Hospital in Boston. 

    Geriatric Psychiatrist: William Petrie, MD

    Dr. Petrie is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and directs the outpatient geriatric psychiatry clinic.  He has had clinical and research interests in drug treatment of Alzheimer's disease including investigational treatments.  His clinical interests and activity includes psychiatric aspects of Parkinson's disease, the use of clozapine in elderly patients, and impulse disorders in neurodegenerative illnesses, and psychopharmacologic interventions in the elderly. 

    Senior Director of Programs, Association for Frontotemporal Dementia (AFTD): Sharon S. Denny, MA

    Sharon S. Denny joined AFTD in September 2008 where she directs strategic development of support, education and advocacy for people with FTD, their care partners and families, and healthcare professionals. Under her leadership, AFTD has expanded its HelpLine and built a national network of support groups facilitated by AFTD trained volunteers. She has created a national volunteer program and led an effort to include people living with FTD in fulfilling AFTD’s mission. An advocate for high-quality, responsive services, she has introduced initiatives to address the needs of families facing FTD, particularly those with young children and teens, and directed Partners in FTD Care, an FTD education initiative for healthcare professionals and families. She serves on national committees and workgroups addressing the development and delivery of dementia care and services. Ms. Denny has an MA in Clinical Psychology from West Chester University and a BA in psychology from the College of the Holy Cross.

  • Jerica Reeder, BS 

    Jerica Reeder is a Clinical Translational Research Coordinator 3 in the Department of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She earned her bachelors of science in psychology with a minor in biology and sociology from Tennessee Technological University. Jerica coordinates the ALLFTD research study involving patients with various dementia-related disorders such as Frontotemporal Dementia, Primary Progressive Aphasia, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Corticobasal Syndrome, FTD-Motor Neuron Disease and Alzheimer's Disease. She provides assistance with the FTD support group, FTD community outreach, and brain donation program for FTD. 

    Adriana Kipper-Smith PhD, HSP

    Adriana is a Clinical Psychologist at VUMC Work/Life Connections-EAP. She has led the Nashville FTD Caregivers Support Group since 2014, and has organized several other FTD Awareness Events at VUMC in recent years. Adriana has been personally impacted by FTD, and she is committed to supporting caregivers and families find resilience and meaning through the painful stages and losses caused by FTD.