Rachel Bennett, Ph.D.

Assistant Investigator
Neurology, Mass General Research Institute
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School

The goal of the Bennett lab is to determine how Alzheimer's disease pathology causes neuron loss and then translate this knowledge into preventative strategies. We hypothesize that tau protein aggregates and tau-related inflammation both drive changes in the smallest blood vessels in the brain, leading to vascular dysfunction and cell death. 

To explore this hypothesis, we use cutting-edge microscopy methods to image tau tangles and blood vessels in the brain, which have uncovered surprising new interactions between these features in disease. Our current work is aimed at investigating the impact of tau pathology on processes of vascular remodeling, blood-brain barrier functions, and senescence-related pathways in endothelial cells. In addition to performing longitudinal multiphoton microscopy studies, we use multiplex immunofluorescence, transcriptomics, and MR imaging. From these studies, we will enhance our understanding of Alzheimer's disease and gain new insights into the biology of blood vessels in the brain.