Alireza Atri, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Scientist; Endowed Chair in Brain Health Research and Education, Ray Dolby Brain Health Center at CPMC

California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

Improving the diagnosis and care of patients with memory disorders and dementia

Research Overview

  • Dr. Atri is an internationally renowned cognitive neurologist, educator, and neuroscientist specializing in diagnostics, experimental therapeutics and care of individuals with memory disorders and dementia.
  • He leads the Ray Dolby Brain Health Center’s clinical and discovery research into healthy brain aging, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders.
  • Dr. Atri and colleagues published the first long-term study to show sustained benefits of combination therapy to slow clinical decline in Alzheimer’s disease. Through his research, Dr. Atri has investigated vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia, and has developed non-invasive biomarker techniques and neuroimaging advances to improve the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • As a lead investigator for international Alzheimer’s disease treatment trial programs, Dr. Atri studies new therapies for cognitive disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. Working closely with Dr. Catherine Madison and the Ray Dolby Brain Health Center team, Dr. Atri will broaden clinical trial opportunities for patients using Sutter Health’s extensive neuroscience programs throughout Northern California.
  • He is the International Coordinating Principal Investigator of the Starbright Study: A phase III, international, multicenter, randomized double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study of Lu AE58054 in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease treated with an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.
  • Dr. Atri’s laboratory research uses integrative multidisciplinary approaches from neuroimaging, computational modelling, clinical pharmacology, and cognitive neuroscience. These are used to develop quantitative methods to integrate and optimize non-invasive, sensitive and accurate clinical and pharmaconeuroimaging biomarkers for detecting, staging, and tracking cognitive impairment and dementia.
  • He is the Dementia and Cognition Lead for the Sutter Neurosciences Research Consortium.

Learn more about clinical research studies launched at the Ray Dolby Brain Health Center.


Dr. Atri received a B.S. in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomathematics from UCLA School of Medicine, a M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco, and a M.M.Sc. in Clinical Investigation from the Harvard Medical School (HMS)-MIT HST program. Dr. Atri completed a medicine internship at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and a neurology residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-BWH Harvard Partners program.

Dr. Atri received three awards (Burroughs-Wellcome Foundation post-doctoral fellowship in Computational Neuroscience; Hoffman Clinical Fellowship in Dementia; and Pfizer-Merck Harvard-MIT CITP Fellowship) and completed post-doctoral fellowships in Memory Disorders & Dementia at MGH/HMS, Cognitive & Computation Neurosciences at the Center for Memory & Brain at Boston University, and a clinical and translational medicine fellowship that focused on neurotherapeutic imaging biomarker and drug discovery in Alzheimer’s disease at the Division of Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Harvard Medical School-MIT HST Clinical Investigator Training Program.


Publication Search


Atri A, Frölich L, Ballard C, Tariot PN, Molinuevo JL, Boneva N, Windfeld K, Raket LL, Cummings JL, Effect of Idalopirdine as Adjunct to Cholinesterase Inhibitors on Change in Cognition in Patients With Alzheimer Disease: Three Randomized Clinical Trials. JAMA

Weintraub S, Besser L, Dodge HH, Teylan M, Ferris S, Goldstein FC, Giordani B, Kramer J, Loewenstein D, Marson D, Mungas D, Salmon D, Welsh-Bohmer K, Zhou XH, Shirk SD, Atri A, Kukull WA, Phelps C, Morris JC, Version 3 of the Alzheimer Disease Centers' Neuropsychological Test Battery in the Uniform Data Set (UDS). Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord

Shirk SD, McLaren DG, Bloomfield JS, Powers A, Duffy A, Mitchell MB, Ezzati A, Ally BA, Atri A, Inter-Rater Reliability of Preprocessing EEG Data: Impact of Subjective Artifact Removal on Associative Memory Task ERP Results. Front Neurosci

Dickerson BC, McGinnis SM, Xia C, Price BH, Atri A, Murray ME, Mendez MF, Wolk DA, Approach to atypical Alzheimer's disease and case studies of the major subtypes. CNS Spectr

Alireza Atri, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Scientist; Endowed Chair in Brain Health Research and Education, Ray Dolby Brain Health Center at CPMC
Primary Research Interests
  • Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegenerative dementias
  • Combination therapies for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Neuroimaging, computational modelling, clinical pharmacology


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Sutter Neuroscience Research Consortium Newsletter

Research News & Highlights

CPMC’s Ray Dolby Brain Health Center enrolls first patients into its inaugural set of leading-edge clinical trials.

Dr. Atri was among a select group of experts invited to present at the Clinical Trials Plenary session of the American Academy of Neurology's 2016 annual meeting. He was the only speaker chosen from the Alzheimer's disease/cognitive neurology field.