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Michelle Mielke, Ph.D.

Co-Investigator JHU NIMH Surrogate Markers Core
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University

Dr Michelle Mielke

Dr Michelle Mielke received a BS in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in psychiatric epidemiology from The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She then completed a two-year fellowship as the Lydia Gillespie Clinical and Research Post-doctoral Fellow in Psychiatry. She has used this training to position herself as a translational neuroepidemiologist and is currently an Assistant Professor at in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry. 

Dr Mielke’s research focuses on identifying predictive biomarkers of progression in neurodegenerative conditions, with emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. She is especially interested in blood-based markers as this medium is less invasive and costly than lumbar punctures or neuroimaging measures and from a public health perspective more suitable for rural areas or developing countries where the incidence of AD and HIV-associated cognitive disorder is expected to accelerate.

Much of her research focuses on blood lipids, specifically sphingolipids (ceramides and sphingomyelin), cholesterol esters, and lipid peroxidation products.  Research at the cellular and animal levels suggests these lipids are important in a variety of neurodegenerative conditions, but there is very little research translating these findings to humans. Thus, a major focus of Dr Mielke’s research is translating these basic findings to humans through the development of clinical and epidemiological studies in order to obtain a better understanding of the role these lipids play in the disease processes.

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