Kevin Bieniek, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology | Biggs Institute Brain Bank Director
Research in the Biggs Institute Brain Bank aims to use observations and discoveries in autopsied brain tissue to elucidate disease mechanisms in neurodegenerative disorders with the ultimate end goal of translating neuropathological findings into clinical diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets. In regards to important known disease modifiers, past research has shown traumatic brain injuries (from mild concussions to severe neurotrauma) substantially increase the risk of neurodegeneration. Our research focuses on how dynamic traumatic brain injuries (at different ages/timepoints, of different frequencies, severity, etc.) leads to complex, and often overlapping, pathological sequelae, including aggregation of tau, beta-amyloid, alpha-synuclein and TDP-43 neurodegenerative proteins. We have a specific research emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease as well as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a debilitating disorder found in former contact sport athletes who’ve experience significant repetitive traumatic brain injuries. By studying the neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy alongside putative genetic risk factors and clinical neurocognitive impairment, our objective is to uncover important cellular pathways implicated in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of these diseases.
Research Area: Neuropathology
Sub-Field of Study: Neurodegenerative Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injuries
Relevant Diseases: Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lewy body disease
Research Techniques: Microscopy, immunohistochemistry, digital pathology, digital spatial profiling, in situ hybridization, tissue transcriptomics
Scroll table right to view more
Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences - Neurobiology of Disease (Neuroscience), Mayo Graduate School, 2016
B.Sc., Biology and Psychology, Iowa State University, 2011