Karen Ashe, MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Neurology

Professor, Department of Neurology

Founding Director, N. Bud Grossman Center for Memory Research and Care

Edmund Wallace and Anne Marie Tulloch Chairs in Neurology and Neuroscience


Karen Hsiao Ashe, MD, PhD, a professor in the Department of Neurology, is a pioneer in Alzheimer’s disease research. Ashe has studied the disease for more than 26 years and in her 20 years at the University of Minnesota she has trained more than 40 undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral scientists. Ashe has made a commitment in training the next generation of great scientists, in particular developing the careers of translational scientists. Her primary research areas include the genetics of human prion diseases; transgenic models of prion and Alzheimer’s diseases; and the molecular basis of memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease. Ashe’s current research interest involves the discovery of tau mutations that cause neurodegeneration. Ashe created tau transgenic mice to study tau-based mechanisms of memory loss and neurodegeneration. In 2006, Ashe became the founding Director of the N. Bud Grossman Center for Memory Research and Care, a tripartite endeavor encompassing basic, translational and clinical research and care in memory disorders.



Grant, MKO, Handoko, M, Rozga, M, Brinkmalm, G, Portelius, E, Blennow, K, Ashe, KH, Zahs, KR & Liu, P 2019, 'Human cerebrospinal fluid 6E10- immunoreactive protein species contain amyloid precursor protein fragments' PloS one, vol. 14, no. 2, e0212815. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0212815

Liu, P, Reichl, JH, Rao, ER, McNellis, BM, Huang, ES, Hemmy, LS, Forster, CL, Kuskowski, MA, Borchelt, DR, Vassar, R, Ashe, KH & Zahs, KR 2017, 'Quantitative Comparison of Dense-Core Amyloid Plaque Accumulation in Amyloid-? Protein Precursor Transgenic Mice' Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 743-761. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-161027

Zhao, X, Kotilinek, LA, Smith, B, Hlynialuk, C, Zahs, KR, Ramsden, M, Cleary, J & Ashe, KH 2016, 'Caspase-2 cleavage of tau reversibly impairs memory' Nature Medicine, vol. 22, no. 11, pp. 1268-1276. https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.4199

Liu, P, Reed, MN, Kotilinek, LA, Grant, MKO, Forster, CL, Qiang, W, Shapiro, SL, Reichl, JH, Chiang, ACA, Jankowsky, JL, Wilmot, CM, Cleary, JP, Zahs, KR & Ashe, KH 2015, 'Quaternary Structure Defines a Large Class of Amyloid-? Oligomers Neutralized by Sequestration' Cell Reports, vol. 11, no. 11, pp. 1760-1771. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2015.05.021

Weitzner, DS, Engler-Chiurazzi, EB, Kotilinek, LA, Ashe, KH & Reed, MN 2015, 'Morris water maze test: Optimization for mouse strain and testing environment' Journal of Visualized Experiments, vol. 2015, no. 100, e52706. https://doi.org/10.3791/52706

Liu, P, Paulson, JB, Forster, CL, Shapiro, SL, Ashe, KH & Zahs, KR 2015, 'Characterization of a novel mouse model of Alzheimer's disease - Amyloid pathology and unique ?-amyloid oligomer profile' PLoS One, vol. 10, no. 5, e0126317. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0126317

Zahs, KR & Ashe, KH 2015, 'More than a FAD: The invivo effects of disease-linked presenilin-1 mutations' Neuron, vol. 85, no. 5, pp. 893-895. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2015.02.021

Qi, Y, Klyubin, I, Harney, SC, Hu, NW, Cullen, WK, Grant, MK, Steffen, J, Wilson, EN, Do Carmo, S, Remy, S, Fuhrmann, M, Ashe, KH, Cuello, AC & Rowan, MJ 2014, 'Longitudinal testing of hippocampal plasticity reveals the onset and maintenance of endogenous human Aß-induced synaptic dysfunction in individual freely behaving pre-plaque transgenic rats: Rapid reversal by anti-Aß agents' Acta Neuropathologica Communications, vol. 2, no. 1, 175. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40478-014-0175-x

Zahs, KR & Ashe, KH 2013, '?-Amyloid oligomers in aging and alzheimer's disease' Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, vol. 5, no. JUL, article 28. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2013.00028

Ashe, KH & Aguzzi, A 2013, 'Prions, prionoids and pathogenic proteins in Alzheimer disease' Prion, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 55-59. https://doi.org/10.4161/pri.23061