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URMC / Alzheimers Care / Our Team

Our Team

Anton Porsteinsson, MD - Director

Anton SpeechAs the Director of the AD-CARE Program, Dr. Anton Porsteinsson has devoted his career to the care and study of individuals with memory disorders. His clinical and research interests are focused on cognitive deficits and behavioral changes associated with these disorders, especially treatment interventions and improved diagnostics – areas in which he is internationally recognized. He is a lead investigator for many prominent, national AD prevention and treatment trials and has conducted major clinical trials with cognitive enhancers, course stabilizing agents, and psycho-tropics for behavioral changes associated with dementia. Dr. Porsteinsson is the author and collaborator of hundreds of research publications and serves as site principal investigator for research grants from the National Institutes of Health and other leading funders.

A graduate of the University of Iceland School of Medicine, and completion of a psychiatry residency at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Dr. Porsteinsson is also the William B. and Sheila Konar Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Rochester. Additionally, he directs the Psychiatry Program and Psychiatric Consultation Liaison Service at Monroe Community Hospital. 

Emily Clark, DO – Associate DirectorDr. Emily Clark

Dr. Emily Clark joined the AD-CARE team in 2020 as a Co-Investigator. She obtained her medical degree from Kansas City University in 2015 and completed her general psychiatry residency at the University of Rochester in 2019. She went on to complete a geriatric psychiatry fellowship through the University of Rochester in 2020. Her time is shared between the AD-CARE program and the Memory Care Program clinical service, where she devotes her time to the treatment and management of memory disorders and behavioral changes associated with these disorders.

Susan Salem-Spencer, RN, MSN, CCRC – Clinical Operations Manager & Senior Study Coordinator

Susan Salem-Spencer is the Clinical Operations Manager and Senior Study Coordinator at AD-CARE. She received her BSN from Syracuse University in 1988 and her MSN from George Mason University in 1991. Prior to joining the University of Rochester, Susan worked as an Advanced Practice Nurse in acute and outpatient psychiatry. She was also an adjunct nursing instructor at Monroe Community College. Susan has been involved in Alzheimer’s Disease Research since 1997 and joined AD-CARE in 2001. Her role involves supporting, facilitating, and coordinating all of the daily clinical trial activities. Susan was a 2022 recipient of the Daisy Award for Nurses.

Audrey Rice, RN, MS, ANP – Study Coordinator

Audrey joined the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in 1985, where she worked as an RN in the Neurosurgical Unit and later in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. After earning her MSN from the University of Rochester’s School of Nursing, Audrey joined the Emergency Department (ED) at Strong Memorial Hospital as a Nurse Practitioner.  Her experiences with older adults in the ED led her to the field of gerontology where she practiced in long term care, meeting the complex health needs of older adults living with chronic illness. In 2014, she transitioned to the URMC outpatient Memory Care Program, where she evaluated adults with memory problems and provided ongoing care for individuals with dementia. In 2015, Audrey joined URMC’s AD-CARE Program, where she supports ongoing research in Alzheimer's Disease.

Nancy Kowalski, RNC, MS – Study Coordinator

Nancy has been with the AD-CARE team since 1996 and has had various roles ranging from Cognitive Rating administrator to Psychiatric consultant. Since 2015, Nancy has taken on the role of Research Study Coordinator. She is extremely grateful to work with the families that she meets on a daily basis; they inspire her to continue her work in research.

Kim Martin, RN, BSN – Research Nurse

Kim has been with AD-CARE since 2000 and enjoys working within the geriatric population. She completed her BSN at the University of Rochester’s School of Nursing. 

Abigail Mathewson, RN, BSN- Research Nurse

Abby joined the AD-CARE team in 2022 as a Study Nurse after spending 4 years at the Memory Care Program at the University of Rochester.  She graduated from nursing school Nazareth College in 2015 with her BSN and is dual certified in Ambulatory Care and Psychiatric Mental Health.  She is excited to continue working with this patient population and eager to support advancing research in Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Julie Portanova, MSN, AGPCNP-BC- Study Coordinator 

Julie recently joined the AD-CARE team in 2023; she previously worked in Primary Care at Alexander Medical Group. She completed her education for Nurse Practitioner in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an NP, she worked as a RN in Imaging Sciences for URMC.

Asa Widman, BS – Sr. Human Subjects Research Specialist

Asa has been with AD-CARE since 2001. She runs the cognitive and memory testing for the research studies in addition to organizing research-related source documents.

Esmeralda Morales-Lamarre, MS – Sr. Public Health SpecialistMonroe County Senior Day

Esmeralda joined the AD-CARE team in 2019 with experience working with the geriatric population and Alzheimer’s Disease research.  She works directly with participants administrating cognitive tests, performing clinical procedures, and specimen processing.  Esmeralda also assists with recruitment and outreach efforts across all studies for the program. 

Rebecca Hunt, BS- Human Subject Research Specialist

Rebecca joined the AD-CARE team in 2022 with experience working with the geriatric population in psychiatry.  She works directly with participants administrating cognitive tests and performing clinical procedures

Roberta Calzavara, PhD- Research Technician

Roberta joined the AD-CARE team in 2023 with experience in neuroscience research.  She works performing clinical procedures and specimen processing. 

Bridget Holvey, MPH - Grant & Program Manager

Excited to join the AD-CARE team in 2019, Bridget has an affinity for working with the geriatric population. She began as a psychometrician, working directly with participants performing clinical procedures and cognitive testing. After completing her Masters in Public Health at the University of Rochester, Bridget now oversees the operations of the program and supports all aspects of sponsored projects management.

Russ Kurvach, BS, CCRP – Sr. Regulatory & Compliance Specialist

Russ has been a member of the AD-CARE team since 2011, overseeing all the regulatory aspects of our clinical trials including compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.