Barbara Bendlin, PhD
Dr. Bendlin is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics. She received her PhD at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin. She subsequently joined the faculty at UW-Madison in 2010. Dr. Bendlin's research is focused on understanding brain and cognitive changes in normal and pathologic aging. Her federally funded studies use novel brain imaging techniques combined with fluid biomarkers to detect early brain changes in Alzheimer's disease, and to understand mechanisms of disease related neural injury, as well as determine the effect of factors that may increase or decrease risk of dementia. Email: email@example.com
Gilda Ennis, PhD
Dr. Ennis received her PhD in Psychology at North Carolina State University and completed postdoctoral training in cognitive aging at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is interested in the association of prediabetes and diabetes to cognitive aging, dementia, and biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegeneration. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nagesh Adluru, PhD
After graduating with a PhD in Computer Science with a focus on computer vision, robotics and machine learning, Nagesh switched his research focus to the exciting area of neuroimaging in 2009. Over the past 11 years, his research interests have been shaped and homed in for developing state-of-the-art image processing, statistical and machine and deep learning methods, to transform advanced multi-shell diffusion weighted MR imaging (ms-dMRI) data from neuro-scientific studies to biologically interpretable and clinically effective knowledge. Within Dr. Bendlin’s lab his focus has been to develop and apply advanced non-linear regression and network neuroscience methods to analyze ms-dMRI data from the LEAD, ADCP and DIAN studies. He works with various biophysical diffusion models (e.g. NODDI, DKI based WMTI) beyond the traditional diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to study microstructural and neural network changes due to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD) and their risk factors. Email: email@example.com
Jason Moody, PhD
Jason received his PhD in Medical Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a thesis dedicated to using various quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) modalities to assess age-related changes in white matter, in both infant rhesus monkeys and aging adults. As a postdoctoral research associate in the Bendlin lab, Jason is using biomarkers derived from an assortment of diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) techniques to characterize neurodegenerative, microstructural brain alterations associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), investigate factors that impact the risk for AD, and ultimately, stage neurodegeneration along the biological and clinical AD continuum. Besides research, Jason enjoys dogs, Netflix, chess, sports, video games, hiking, and the summer, in general. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yuetiva (Deming) Robles, PhD
Dr. Robles is an assistant scientist in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology and is interested in analyzing quantitative traits to help further understanding of complex disease. Currently her research integrates genomics, metabolomics, and bioinformatics methods to help determine the underlying biology impacting Alzheimer disease (AD). Dr. Robles (Deming) received her Bachelor’s degrees in Neuroscience and Molecular Biology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and earned her PhD from Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine where she focused on genetic associations with AD biomarkers such as CSF amyloid and tau to help uncover biological pathways associated with AD pathology. Google Scholar Profile. Email: email@example.com
Jea Woo Kang, PhD
Jea Woo received his PhD in Nutritional Biology at University of California, Davis focusing on the effect of prebiotics on the human gut microbiome and metabolome. His research interests are focused on understanding the impacts of diets/probiotics/prebiotics on the human gut microbiome and metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. In addition to expertise in clinical trial planning and execution, Jea Woo has performed data analysis of complex multi-omic data sets, integrating metagenomics and metabolomics to understand the function of both the microbes in our gut and our own metabolic machinery in response to targeted prebiotic therapies to increase the abundance and functionality of bifidobacteria. In his free time, Jea Woo enjoys exploring the outdoors, traveling to see the wonders of nature and unique architecture around the globe, and a variety of sports and games. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Margo Heston is a PhD student in the Cellular and Molecular Pathology program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, she received her Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, where she studied the effects of profound hearing loss in midlife. Margo’s work examines how gut microbial, metabolic and neighborhood contextual factors may exacerbate inflammation and drive AD pathology. As a future investigator, she aims uncover novel mechanisms of pathologic aging that will inform clinical interventions and public health policy that promotes health equality. Google Scholar Profile. Email: email@example.com
Henry G. Stephenson
Henry is a PhD student in the Neuroscience Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Birmingham-Southern College prior to working as a research assistant studying the neurobehavioral consequences of sleep restriction at the Naval Medical Research Unit-Dayton. In his current research, he explores the complex, multifaceted role of inflammation in the evolution of Alzheimer’s disease. In doing so, he hopes to understand both innate and environmental factors that moderate the speed, timing, and ultimate trajectory of neurodegeneration in AD to aid disease monitoring and the identification of potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kao Lee Yang
Kao Lee Yang is a Phd/MPA student in the Neuroscience and Public Policy (NPP) program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her undergraduate and master's training in psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and Ball State University, respectively. Despite years of research, there is no known cause for sporadic Alzheimer's disease and no known cure. With a rapidly aging multicultural population in the United States, one of Kao Lee's goals is to contribute to knowledge that will uncover the cause(s) and/or underlying pathophysiological cascades of this disease. To this end, Kao Lee's work centers on improving characterization of brain changes in Alzheimer's disease in order identify factors that contribute to pathological brain aging. She hopes her work can support foundational frameworks for identifying potential windows for interventions (such as diet or exercise regimens) or therapeutics (such as novel treatment drugs). Moreover, Kao Lee is passionate about identifying new ways in which the scientific community can equitably engage members from historically underrepresented groups as STEM researchers, and as STEM research participants. Her training in policy will equip her with tools to advance scientific investigations into Alzheimer's disease, as well as address the manner in which research has been carried out. Email: email@example.com
Darby is a PhD student in the Neuroscience Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, Darby received her Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology from UW-Madison. During her undergraduate years and for two years as a post-baccalaureate research specialist, Darby studied the pathophysiological mechanisms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in mouse models. Darby’s current research in the Bendlin Lab involves the complex intersection between diabetes/insulin resistance, diet, and Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology. In addition to this, Darby is passionate about improving science communication so that individuals from all backgrounds may feel confident in their ability to integrate novel scientific information with their personal values and use it to make important life decisions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Davenport-Sis - Program Manager
Nancy Davenport-Sis is the Program Manager for the Bendlin Lab in the Wisconsin ADRC. She oversees all the research studies conducted in Dr. Bendlin’s Lab, including recruitment, retention, and day to day operations. Email: email@example.com
Mary-Elizabeth Pasquesi - Study Coordinator
Mary-Elizabeth is a study coordinator in the Bendlin Lab. In this role, she recruits participants as well as schedules and carries out participant visits (coordinating lab tests, brain imaging appointments, PET scan and neuropsychological exams). Previously, she was the study coordinator for the Alzheimer's Connectome Project (ADCP), which completed visits in 2020. Since then, she has been using her talents coordinating the SV2A PET Imaging in Alzheimer’s Disease study (aka: The Synapse Project) which is looking at the relationship between synaptic loss and cognition. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison Randall - Research Intern
Allie is a Research Intern for the Bendlin Lab, primarily focused on the LEAD and SYNAPSE studies. Allie accompanies participants on their research visits for the LEAD study and helps with the recruitment, screening, and scheduling of participants for the SYNAPSE Study. She also helps train undergraduate students on various tasks. Email: email@example.com
Theresa Kang - Senior Research Specialist
Theresa is the study coordinator for Dr. Bendlin's LEAD study, the goal of which is to understand the longitudinal trajectories of white matter degeneration in Alzheimer's disease. She also provide assistance to other ADRC projects as needed. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alfred Eiji Braceros - Study Coordinator
Alfred has joined the gut microbiome team in the Bendlin Lab and will be focusing on collecting data for the Intestinal Permeability Study. Email: email@example.com
Lily Allison - Data Analysis Intern
Lily is a Data Analysis Intern in the Bendlin Lab and she is currently working on assessing the relationship between mobility and cognition. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethan Grover - Data Scientist
Ethan is a Data Scientist in the Bendlin Lab. He uses his expertise in coding, data analytics, and statistics to maintain servers, perform analysis, and curate data for researchers. He also provides technical support for all lab members for anything technology or software related.Email: email@example.com
Sandra Harding - Assistant Manager
Sandy is the Assistant Manager of the Bendlin Lab. In addition to various administrative tasks, Sandy serves as the undergraduate research supervisor and provides support for studies in the lab involving microbiome and PET data. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Oh - Neuroimaging Data Specialist
Jen is a Neuroimaging Data Specialist in the Bendlin Lab. She uses her expertise in data processing within numerous software packages to provide technical support and assistance for studies in the lab that use neuroimaging data. Email: email@example.com
Yer Thor - Study Coordinator
Yer is a study coordinator in the Bendlin Lab. She will be focusing on the SV2A PET Imaging in Alzheimer’s Disease study (The Synapse Project) to determine the relationship between synaptic loss and cognition Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andre is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab and is currently working on the MARS study. Email: email@example.com
Yazan is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab and is currently working on the LEAD study. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. Her responsibilities include data entry and assistance on multiple studies, as well as image quality checks on MRI’s. She also is involved in many administrative duties. Email: email@example.com
Lauren is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. She works on studies in the lab involving neuroimaging and various biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. He works on studies in the lab involving neuroimaging and various biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. This summer, he will be working as an imaging coordinator for the Synapse Project. Email: email@example.com
Vanessa is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab currently studying the relationship between APOE neuropathology scores and levels of neurogranin and neurofilament light. Vanessa also helps create new pages in our local knowledge base among other lab tasks. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab and is currently working on the MARS study. Email: email@example.com
Alissa is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab and she is currently working on the MARS study. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellie is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab and is currently working on the MARS study. Email: email@example.com
Hanna is an undergraduate research assistant. Currently, she performs general lab work in the Bendlin Lab at the ADRC. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. Her responsibilities include data entry and assistance on multiple studies, as well as image quality checks on MRI’s. She also is involved in many administrative duties. Email: email@example.com
Asha is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. She works on studies in the lab involving neuroimaging and various biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hana is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab and is currently working on the MARS study. Email: email@example.com
Luke is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab and he is currently working on the MARS study. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faith is an undergraduate research assistant. Currently, she is assisting with MARS and AGMP studies in the Bendlin Lab. Email: email@example.com
Grace is an undergraduate research assistant. Currently, she performs general lab work and data entry in the Bendlin Lab. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sushma is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. She assists with recruiting participants and collecting diet data for microbiome studies in the lab. Email: email@example.com
Norah is an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. She works on studies in the lab involving neuroimaging and various biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alfredo was a researcher in the Bendlin Lab and focused on data analysis for a variety of projects in addition to preparing manuscripts.
Ingrid Taylor, DPT
Ingrid was a student researcher working on the AMBITION study while pursuing her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Previously Ingrid was study staff and worked on ADCP screening participants, scheduling and running study visits. Now she works behind the scenes on AMBITION study procedures and administration. Email: email@example.com
Nick Vogt, MD PhD
Nick Vogt was a student in the UW Medical Scientist Training Program. As a future physician-scientist and geriatrician, he is interested in providing clinical care to individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, while also investigating the factors that contribute to healthy or pathological brain aging. His thesis work focused on the role of human gut bacteria (or the "gut microbiome") in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as cortical microstructure alterations using NODDI imaging. He hopes that gaining a better understanding of the complex relationship between gut microbiota and Alzheimer’s disease will lead to novel interventions aimed at augmenting or restoring gut bacterial composition. LinkedIn Profile. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maiya's responsibilities as a student researcher included conducting quality checks on MRI scans and entering data for LEAD and ADCP. She worked closely with the ADCP study coordinators to schedule participant visits, prepare lab kits, and carry out various administrative duties. Maiya also investigated the relationship between metabolic factors and hippocampal volume with the BFIT study. Maiya is now an IRTA fellow in the lab of Susan Resnick at the NIH. Email: email@example.com
Morgen worked as a study assistant for the Alzheimer's Disease Connectome Project (ADCP). Her responsibilities included recruitment of participants as well as data entry, scheduling, and coordination of participant visits.
Michael coordinated the activities of two studies: (1) a new, intervention-based study (BFIT) examining changes in brain blood flow, cognition, and other health metrics as they relate to a combined diet and exercise program, and (2) a longitudinal study (LEAD) of brain changes that might be related to developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Michael is now pursuing his masters in public health at Emory University.
Brittany was a study coordinator for the Alzheimer Disease Connectome Project. She led research visits: cognitive and psychological assessments, MRI and PET imaging, and coordinated lab tests. Additional duties included subject recruitment, quality assessment, and scheduling. Brittany is now pursuing her doctorate in physical therapy at UW-La Crosse
Andrew Merluzzi, PhD
Andrew was a PhD/MPA Candidate in the Neuroscience and Public Policy (NPP) Program. He was seeking to chart cognitive decline in individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and investigating biomarkers for resilience to dementia. His most recent findings showed that some middle-aged individuals have brains that look as if they should have dementia, but show no signs of cognitive impairment. That is, they have the characteristic misfolded proteins of Alzheimer’s (amyloid and tau) and yet were diagnosed as clinically unimpaired. His work has shown that these “resilient” individuals seem to have more stable connectivity between brain regions, stronger neuronal synapses, and reduced gliosis, perhaps allowing them to cope with increasing levels of amyloid and tau. Ultimately, this may suggest that additional biological processes will be useful predictors of who will go on to develop dementia or how we might prevent it. In addition to this project, Andrew also used novel diffusion-weighted and myelin imaging to detect brain changes early on in the Alzheimer's disease progression.
After graduating from the Neuroscience and Public Policy program, Andrew accepted a science and technology policy position at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. LinkedIn Profile. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick was an undergraduate research assistant at the ADRC. He reviewed and processed MRI scans to ensure that they are usable for research, and created post-visit results letters for research participants. Email: email@example.com
Tristan was an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. His responsibilities included data entry and assistance on multiple studies, as well as image quality checks on MRI’s. He was also involved in many administrative duties.
Kelly was an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. She assisted in coordinating study visits and reviewing MRI scans for image quality.
Akshay Kohli, PhD
Akshay was a PhD student in the Neuroscience Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His thesis work utilized multimodal imaging (MRI, DWI, PET) in combination with fluid biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease to investigate changes in structural integrity of brain tissue throughout the progression of the disease. By employing these new MRI and PET methodologies, including quantitative myelin mapping and synaptic density (UCB-J) PET, the goal of his work was to establish robust models of detecting AD-related neurobiological changes, leading to earlier and more reliable diagnosis and treatment. Google Scholar Profile. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deepali was an undergraduate research assistant at the ADRC. She reviewed and processed MRI scans to ensure that they are usable for research. Deepali conducted a research project looking at quantitative T1 in the Alzheimer's brain. Deepali continued on to medical school at Medical College of Wisconsin. Email: email@example.com
Jack Hunt, MD PhD
Jack was a student in the UW Medical Scientist Training Program and the Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology. He has clinical interest in the care of patients with neuropsychiatric disorders and a passion for research in the neurobiology underlying these conditions. His research in Dr. Bendlin's Lab used state of the art PET and MRI imaging techniques to identify how early Alzheimer's disease pathology spreads throughout the human brain. His work sought to uncover how the accumulation of the toxic Alzheimer's disease protein, tau, relates to white matter pathology in the brain. The goal of the work was to provide new insights into early brain changes in Alzheimer's disease and to uncover biomarkers to track the efficacy of new treatments and interventions. ResearchGate Profile. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace was a study coordinator for the Synapse Project. In this role, she recruited participants as well as scheduled and carried out participant visits (lab tests and brain imaging appointments). Email: email@example.com
Rigina Gallagher, MA, MD
Rigina is a student in the UW Medical Scientist Training Program and the Neuroscience Training Program. Rigina completed her thesis work in the Bendlin lab and continued on to finish medical school as part of the MSTP. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leah was an undergraduate student researcher in the Bendlin lab. Her responsibilities included assisting with data entry and other tasks for LEAD, PAMMS and BFIT. Leah also worked on sending reminder and results letters for a few different studies. Email: email@example.com
Chase coordinated our studies on insulin resistance, sleep apnea, and risk for Alzheimer's disease. In addition, he also provided assistance on other ADRC projects as needed, including on the LEAD project (otherwise known as: "White matter degeneration: biomarkers in preclinical Alzheimer's disease"). Chase is now pursuing his doctorate in Neuroscience at the University of Kentucky. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex was an undergraduate student researcher in Dr. Bendlin’s lab. His responsibilities included assisting with data entry and other tasks for LEAD, PAMMS, and BFIT. Alex also worked closely with MARS study coordinators to schedule participant visits, prepare lab kits, and carry out various administrative duties. He has previously studied the relationship between central obesity and beta-amyloid accumulation with PAMMS.
Matt was an undergraduate student researcher in Dr. Bendlin's lab. His responsibilities included assisting with data entry and other tasks for the LEAD, PAMMS, PREDICT, and ADNI studies. Matt also trained new undergraduate students and had previously coordinated the LEAD study. He investigated the relationship between the human gut microbiome and Alzheimer's disease as an undergraduate research assistant for the MARS study. He is currently in medical school at UW-Madison. Email: email@example.com
Bobbi was an undergraduate student researcher in the Bendlin lab. Her primary responsibilities were quality checking MRI's (e.g. checking for motion artifacts and signal dropout) as well as orientating them for analysis (ACPC correction). Bobbi also performed data entry following participant visits for many studies in the lab, including cognitive data and health history data. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Erika Starks, MD, PhD
Erika was a student within the Medical Scientist Training Program and Neuroscience Training Program at UW. She is now a radiology resident at the University of New Mexico. LinkedIn Profile.
Fredrick was a Master of Public Affairs student at the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Fredrick's research in the Bendlin Lab focused on the association between disadvantaged neighborhoods and the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers. Email: email@example.com
Emily was an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. She assisted in coordinating study visits and reviewing MRI scans for image quality. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel was the study coordinator for Dr. Bendlin's microbiota studies, which analyze the relationship between GI bacteria and risk for dementia due to Alzheimer's disease. Rachel also helped coordinate the Ambition study, which aims to demonstrate the effects of fecal microbiota transplant intervention on the composition and function of the gut microbiota in humans with or at risk for dementia due to Alzheimer's disease. She also provided assistance for other ADRC projects as needed.
Jordan was an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. He assisted with coordinating study visits and reviews MRI scans for image quality. Email: email@example.com
John was an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab, and his responsibilities included data entry for multiple studies, such as PREDICT, LEAD, PAMMS, ADCP, and MARS, and doing image quality checks and AC/PC corrections on MRI scans. He was closely involved with MARS, the gut microbiome study, performing phone screenings and sample kit preparations. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ana was an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab. Her responsibilities included data entry and assistance on multiple studies such as BFIT and PAMMS, as well as image quality checks and ACPC correction on MRI’s. She also was involved in many administrative duties. Email: email@example.com
Sarah was an undergraduate research assistant in the Bendlin Lab, and her responsibilities included data entry and conducting MRI quality checks for the ADCP study. She studied the effects of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease on episodic memory in older adults with the ADCP study. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessi was an undergraduate student researcher involved with several studies, including PAMMS, LEAD, BFIT, ADNI, and PREDICT. She conducted image quality checks and data entry, and also assisted with the training of new students. With respect to research, Jessi investigated the relationship between myelin and Alzheimer’s biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid.
Jona was an undergraduate student researcher in the Bendlin lab, and focused on data entry, scheduling, and recruiting for ADCP. Her other duties included image quality checks, ACPC corrections, and other tasks for additional studies such as LEAD and PAMMS. She loved training new students, assisting with technical designs in projects, and interacting with research participants.
Kevin enjoyed working as an undergraduate student researcher in the Bendlin Lab. His primary responsibilities were quality checking MRI scans and entering data from LEAD and PREDICT research visits. Additionally, Kevin has worked with study coordinators on sending recruitment letters for new research studies.
Martina Ly, PhD
Martina was a student within the Neuroscience Training Program at UW. LinkedIn Profile.
Auriel Willette, PhD
Auriel was a postdoctoral researcher in the Bendlin Lab. He is now an assistant professor within the departments of Food Science and Human Nutrition and Psychology at Iowa State University. University Profile.
Kate Sprecher, PhD
Kate graduated with her PhD through the Neuroscience Training Program at UW. LinkedIn Profile.
Brittany was an undergraduate student researcher in the Bendlin Lab, and her responsibilities included assisting with data entry, preparing for research visits, and training new undergraduate students. Brittany also provided assistance on the BFIT study, which she previously coordinated, and the PAMMS study. Additionally, she investigated the relationship between sleep-disordered breathing and brain white matter health.