Dr. Marissa Schafer PhD

Marissa J. Schafer, PhD
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN | USA

Dr. Marissa J. Schafer, Ph.D., specializes in understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying age-related brain dysfunction. She and her team aim to develop strategies to prevent or reverse cognitive decline. Her research focuses on the interplay between cellular senescence and inflammation in brain aging and cognitive health. Employing a multidisciplinary approach, Dr. Schafer’s team utilizes cutting-edge methods to investigate brain cell senescence, interactions between senescent and immune cells, the effects of the aging circulatory system on brain health, and sex differences in brain aging. They combine mouse models of aging with clinical data and biomarker analyses to identify therapeutic targets and develop interventions for age-related cognitive dysfunction. By unraveling fundamental aging mechanisms, Dr. Schafer aims to develop therapies that can prevent or reduce late-life cognitive dysfunction, with broad societal impact. Dr. Schafer has received prestigious awards, including a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a Glenn Foundation and American Federation for Aging Research Fellowship for Translational Research on Aging. She is a project leader in the NIH Cellular Senescence Network Consortium. Dr. Schafer is an Associate Professor with dual appointments in the Department of Physiology & Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Neurology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.