The mission of the Bendlin Lab is to take a multidisciplinary, collaborative, and inclusive approach to understand the factors that contribute to healthy and pathological brain aging. As a part of the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, we share the goal of improving the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. The Bendlin Lab strives to foster a non-discriminatory, diverse, and inclusive research and academic environment. Our research projects, supported by multiple NIA/NIH grants, donors, and private funding agencies, study brain structure and function in midlife and in older adults using a wide array of neuroimaging, biomarker, and genomic analyses. With a focus on education and outreach, the Bendlin Lab engages with students, staff, participants, and individuals in the community to promote greater awareness and understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.
Diversity and Inclusion Statement
We understand that the individuals involved in the research process must reflect people whom the science ultimately stands to serve. In particular, this must include people who are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s disease and those who are underserved by our current health, economic, and social systems. Within our lab, we honor these values by training students and staff from diverse backgrounds, maintaining a lab culture that celebrates intersectional perspectives, and supporting each member according to their individual needs. We also implement these values throughout our scientific programs by committing to recruitment and retention of diverse participant cohorts, equitable compensation for research volunteers, and educational outreach in our studies.
Our lab studies aging and Alzheimer’s disease.
We are interested in understanding the interplay of factors that contribute to healthy or pathological brain aging. In particular, the effect of factors that contribute to or protect against the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
We use a number of tools in our research, including cognitive testing, MRI, PET, and CSF analysis, to determine how risk factors for Alzheimer’s affect the brain, particularly in mid-life.
Our NIA funded research program is focused on characterizing the early effects of Alzheimer’s disease on brain myelin and axons, in addition to determining the role of preclinical inflammation in cell and dendritic damage.
Together with collaborators both on and off of the UW campus, the lab is also studying the impact of modifiable factors that may affect trajectories of aging. These include the effect of mid-life metabolic disorders (obesity and insulin resistance), sleep, diet, and microbial influences.
Understanding early brain changes in people who may go on to develop cognitive decline is expected to lead to earlier diagnosis, prevention, and the development of new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.
Former undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab, Hanna Noughani, is the recipient of a 2023 fellowship from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi for her upcoming graduate studies at Indiana University–Bloomington’s Jacobs School …
Congratulations to undergraduate researchers Grace Everitt and Hanna Noughani who both received Hilldale Fellowships. For her fellowship project, Grace will examine the relationship between sTREM2 and myelin degeneration in AD, and Hanna will examine whether …
Neuroscience and Public Policy student Kao Lee Yang launched a twitter account to support Hmong and Hmong-American individuals working in the scientific field. This group was spawned from the need to desegregate data on people …
MPA/PhD student Kao Lee Yang was nominated for the HHMI Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study, but her nomination was rejected by HHMI because she didn’t fit into its racial/ethnic underrepresentation criteria. Read her story.
Dr. Gilda Ennis, an assistant scientist in the Bendlin Lab, had her manuscript titled “Insulin resistance is related to cognitive decline but not change in CSF biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease in non-demented adults” accepted for …