Elise Marsan, Ph.D.


Center for Alzheimer's and Related Dementias


Building T44, Room 100
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892



Research Topics

The Molecular Pathology Unit (MPU) is dedicated to deciphering the intricate molecular and cellular mechanisms underpinning neuronal and non-neuronal pathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), two devastating neurodegenerative diseases.

To achieve this, our unit employs a diverse range of techniques, including single-cell and spatial omics approaches, to identify gene expression, chromatin structure, and protein levels in specific cell types and subtypes, both in postmortem brain tissue and human brain organoids. By integrating these data with functional assays and imaging techniques, our aim is to identify the critical factors contributing to neuronal vulnerability and non-neuronal cells toxicity and gain deeper insights into the pathology of these diseases. Furthermore, our unit uses human iPSC-derived brain organoids to investigate the dynamic interplay between different cell types and to gauge the impact of genetics and environmental risk factors on disease progression.

Our commitment to diversity and sharing our research findings with the scientific community is integral to her pursuit of effective treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.


Elise Marsan is a neuroscientist specialized in cellular and molecular neurobiology. She earned her PhD from Sorbonne Universities for her work at the Paris Brain Institute on the involvement of the mTOR pathway in familial epilepsies and brain malformations. Her expertise continued to evolve during her postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she identified a pivotal role of astrocytes, in addition to microglia, in human and mice with Frontotemporal dementia. Presently, she holds the position of Tenure-track Investigator at the Center for Alzheimer's and Related Dementias (CARD) at the NIH, where she heads the Molecular Pathology Unit.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Thursday, November 23, 2023