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Clinical Investigator

Dimitrios Kapogiannis, M.D.

Human Neuroscience Unit
3001 S. Hanover St MSCNM531
Baltimore MD 21225
Office: 410-350-3953

Fax: 410-350-7308
kapogiannisd@mail.nih.gov

Dimitrios Kapogiannis earned his Medical Degree from the National University of Athens, Greece, and completed his Neurology residency training at the combined program of Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals, followed by a clinical fellowship at the Cognitive Neuroscience Section at NINDS/NIH. He is ABPN-certified in Neurology and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University. He conducts translational and clinical studies on cognitive aging and various neurodegenerative diseases, with a primary focus on biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease by deriving exosomes enriched for neuronal origin from plasma and using them as a source of biomarkers for various diseases.



The Human Neuroscience Unit at the Laboratory of Neurosciences conducts biomarker and clinical interventional studies on aging-associated neurological disorders, with a primary focus on Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Our first goal is the development of blood-based biomarkers for AD and other neurological disorders from circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) enriched for neuronal origin. A limitation of biomarkers measured in the soluble phase of blood has been their tenuous link to brain pathology given that they are often produced by multiple tissues. Our Lab has pioneered a new approach to biomarker discovery by deriving neuronal-origin EVs from peripheral blood. Given their origin, neuronal EVs can be used to interrogate brain pathogenic processes previously inaccessible in vivo, akin to a “liquid biopsy”. Completed and ongoing studies have been investigating the utility of EV biomarkers for diagnosis at the clinical and preclinical stage of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Our second goal is the study of brain insulin resistance (IR) and the development of EV and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) biomarkers reflecting brain metabolism. Ongoing studies demonstrate that EV biomarkers of brain IR can respond to interventions that target brain metabolism raising the possibility of using them for demonstrating target engagement in clinical trials. In addition, we have developed a novel bioinformatics approach linking regional brain gene expression with AD pathology and have implemented it to study how IR-related genes affect regional vulnerability to AD.

Our third goal is to conduct clinical interventional studies targeting brain metabolism and IR (exendin-4, intermittent calorie restriction) to treat or prevent AD. To test the underlying hypotheses in-depth, these studies utilize EV and MRS biomarkers alongside clinical outcomes.

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  • Jack Mullins, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    410-350-7308

  • Maja Mustapic, Ph.D.
    Visiting Fellow
    410-558-8318

  • Carlos Nogueras-Ortiz, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    410-558-8240

  • Joyce Tran
    Postbaccalaureate IRTA
    joyce.tran@nih.gov

  • 1) Goetzl EJ, Schwartz JB, Abner EL, Jicha GA, Kapogiannis D (2018)
  • High complement levels in astrocyte-derived exosomes of Alzheimer's disease
  • Ann Neurol
  • 2) Mullins RJ, Mustapic M, Goetzl EJ, Kapogiannis D (2017)
  • Exosomal biomarkers of brain insulin resistance associated with regional atrophy in Alzheimer's disease
  • Hum Brain Mapp, 38(4), 1933-40
  • 3) Mustapic M, Eitan E, Werner JK, Jr., Berkowitz ST, Lazaropoulos MP, Tran J, Goetzl EJ, Kapogiannis D. (2017)
  • Plasma Extracellular Vesicles Enriched for Neuronal Origin: A Potential Window into Brain Pathologic Processes
  • Front Neurosci, 11, 278
  • 4) Fiandaca MS, Kapogiannis D, Mapstone M, Boxer A, Eitan E, Schwartz JB, Abner EL, Petersen RC, Federoff HJ, Miller BL, Goetzl EJ (2015)
  • Identification of preclinical Alzheimer's disease by a profile of pathogenic proteins in neurally derived blood exosomes: A case-control study
  • Alzheimers Dement, 11(6), 600-7 e1
  • 5) Goetzl EJ, Boxer A, Schwartz JB, Abner EL, Petersen RC, Miller BL, Kapogiannis D (2015)
  • Altered lysosomal proteins in neural-derived plasma exosomes in preclinical Alzheimer disease
  • Neurology, 85(1), 40-7
View Pubmed Publication