McKay Receives Alzheimer’s Disease Fellowship Award

Headshot of Nicole McKay, PhD, postdoctoral research assistant.

Nicole S. McKay, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate in the Benzinger Lab, received a two-year, $200,000 fellowship award from the BrightFocus Foundation. Her project, “Investigating how white matter integrity and tauopathy underpin cognitive decline in autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease,” aims to understand how levels of tau impact the integrity of the brain’s pathways and leads to a decline in cognition.

Years leading up to an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, the brain begins to deteriorate. Scientists believe abnormal tau proteins may be partially responsible for these changes as they break down along white matter pathways, which are critical to performing memory and attention-based tasks.

The BrightFocus Foundation postdoctoral fellowship awards are intended for young researchers in their final stages of mentored training as they pursue pioneering research leading to greater understanding, prevention, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. These awards fund projects in an established laboratory that will serve as the basis for the applicant’s own independent research career