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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Wisconsin National Primate Research Center
A legacy of life-saving research and humane animal care

Marina E. Emborg, MD, PHD

Director Preclinical Parkinson’s Research Program, Professor, Senior Scientist


Marina Emborg

Medical Physics

Contact Information

Marina Emborg’s email

(608) 262-9714

Other web pages

Aligned research focus

Neurobiology, neurodegenerative disorders

Organ system/disease focus


Research description

My research focuses on understanding and developing treatments for neurological disorders, in particular Parkinson’s disease, in a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary fashion. Our studies are guided by the three rules of animal use: refining, reducing and replacing. We aim to create animal models and experimental paradigms that better reflect patients’ clinical conditions. We apply advance imaging techniques to minimize invasive procedures, maximize data collection and create new clinical applications. We search for safe neuroprotective strategies that will prevent, slow down or stop death of brain cells, and use stem cells as model systems and as cell–based strategies. Our goal is to find solutions for neurodegenerative disorders and bring them to the clinic.

Selected references:

Vermilyea SC, Lu J, Olsen M, Guthrie S, Tao Y, Fekete EM, Riedel MK, Brunner K, Boettcher C, Bondarenko V, Brodsky E, Block WF, Alexander A, Zhang SC, Emborg ME. Real-Time Intraoperative MRI Intracerebral Delivery of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neurons. Cell Transplant. 2016 Sep 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Braun K, Schultz-Darken N, Schneider M, Moore CF, Emborg ME. Development of a novel postnatal neurobehavioral scale for evaluation of common marmoset monkeys. Am J Primatol. 2015 Apr;77(4):401-17.

Emborg ME, Zhang Z, Joers V, Brunner K, Bondarenko V, Ohshima S, Zhang SC. Intracerebral transplantation of differentiated human embryonic stem cells to hemiparkinsonian monkeys. Cell Transplant. 2013;22(5):831-8.

Emborg ME, Liu Y, Xi J, Zhang X, Yin Y, Lu J, Joers V, Swanson C, Holden JE, Zhang SC. Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural cells survive and mature in the nonhuman primate brain. Cell Rep. 2013 Mar 28;3(3):646-50.

Pioglitazone in early Parkinson’s disease: a phase 2, multicentre, double-blind, randomised trial.
NINDS Exploratory Trials in Parkinson Disease (NET-PD) FS-ZONE Investigators. Lancet Neurol. 2015 Aug;14(8):795-803. Epub 2015 Jun Erratum in: Lancet Neurol. 2015 Oct; 14(10):979.

Joers V, Dilley K, Rahman S, Jones C, Shultz J, Simmons H, Emborg ME. Cardiac sympathetic denervation in 6-OHDA-treated nonhuman primates. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 18;9(8):e104850.