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Dr. Catherine Kaczorowski

Michigan Neuroscience Institute Affiliate

Elinor Levine Professor of Dementia Research

Professor of Neurology

Biography

Dr. Catherine Kaczorowski received her BA summa cum laude from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2000, received her PhD degree from Northwestern University, and received training in Physiology and Biotechnology and Bioengineering at Medical College of Wisconsin as a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence awardee. She is a Professor at The University of Michigan and the Elinor Levine Endowed Chair for Dementia Research. Dr. Kaczorowski is a neurophysiologist, an expert in the systems genetics of ‘normal’ nonpathological Aging and pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). She has been a driving force in uncovering and describing the phenomenon of cognitive resilience in the context of ‘normal’ nonpathological aging, AD and more recently Huntington’s (HD). She is a recognized authority in the development and application of genetically diverse mouse models for studies on aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders, having pioneered the generation of the first translationally relevant polygenic model of human AD (AD-BXDs) published in Neuron.

Areas of Interest

Her research program entails several collaborative, multi-institutional projects and leverages the innovative, translational integration of multi-scale data (genetics, omics, imaging, behavior) from genetically diverse mouse strains and human patients to identify genetic mechanisms that promote cognitive resilience to normal brain aging, AD, and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Her team builds tools that permit dissection of aging specific genetic mechanisms from those controlling the clinical manifestations resulting from disease-specific neuropathologies, which is impossible in human populations. Her recent publications demonstrate the strength of her lab’s mouse-to-human research translational workflow that continues to transform the field’s ability to model resilience to normal age-related cognitive decline and AD. Taken together, these collaborative works set the foundation of the mouse genetic reference panel, the behavioral and electrophysiological assays for cognitive resilience, the systems genetics and cross-species computational analysis pipeline, and cell type-specific and regional signatures of resilience that are integral to the development of resilience-based therapies to delay or prevent cognitive aging and neurodegenerative dementias.

Honors & Awards

  • 2021 Alzheimer’s Association’s Zenith Award

  • 2018 Young Investigator Award, International Behavioral and Neural Genetic Society

  • 2017 Glenn Foundation for Medical Research Award

  • 2014 Butlers-Williams Scholar Award, National Institute on Aging 

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