Mariko Bennett, MD, PhD

faculty photo
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Department: Neurology

Contact information
3501 Civic Center Blvd
Colket Translational Research Building
10th floor 10-10300
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Lab: 267-425-9566
BS (Behavioral Neuroscience, Summa Cum Laude)
Northeastern University, 2007.
MD/PhD (Neuroscience)
Medical Scientist Training Program, Stanford University School of Medicine, 2018.
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Description of Research Expertise

We study how microglia – the brain’s tissue-resident macrophages—contribute to development and disease, and how this knowledge can inform therapies. As a child neurologist, I care for children with genetic and acquired neuroimmunological disorders including leukodystrophies and genetic leukoencephalopathies.
Over the past decade, I’ve created a comprehensive platform to study microglia that includes identification, culture, sequencing, transplantation, and in vivo manipulation of these cells. My vision is to use these techniques to transform neurological disease treatment by creating microglia-based cell and gene therapies. Based on my scientific background and clinical experience, I have more recently become interested in how microglia protect the brain from viral infection, how these pathways go awry in genetic inflammatory diseases, and how to bridge basic science with the clinic bringing the tools of next-generation sequencing together with mouse xenotransplant and human organoid models to unlock new therapeutic avenues for pediatric neuroinflammatory disorders.

Selected Publications

Gavazzi F, Gonzalez CD, Arnold K, Swantkowski M, Charlton L, Modesti N, Dar AA, Vanderver A, Bennett M, Adang LA.: Nucleotide metabolism, leukodystrophies, and CNS pathology. J Inherit Metab Dis Feb 2024.

Gregory J Salimando, Sébastien Tremblay, Blake A Kimmey, Jia Li, Sophie A Rogers, Jessica A Wojick, Nora M McCall, Lisa M Wooldridge, Amrith Rodrigues, Tito Borner, Kristin L Gardiner, Selwyn S Jayakar, Ilyas Singeç, Clifford J Woolf, Matthew R Hayes, Bart C De Jonghe, F Christian Bennett, Mariko L Bennett, Julie A Blendy, Michael L Platt, Kate Townsend Creasy, William R Renthal, Charu Ramakrishnan, Karl Deisseroth, Gregory Corder: Human OPRM1 and murine Oprm1 promoter driven viral constructs for genetic access to μ-opioidergic cell types. Nature Communications 14(1): 5632, Sep 2023.

Chadarevian JP, Lombroso SI, Peet GC, Hasselmann J, Tu C, Marzan DE, Capocchi J, Purnell FS, Nemec KM, Lahian A, Escobar A, England W, Chaluvadi S, O'Brien CA, Yaqoob F, Aisenberg WH, Porras-Paniagua M, Bennett ML, Davtyan H, Spitale RC, Blurton-Jones M, Bennett FC.: Engineering an inhibitor-resistant human CSF1R variant for microglia replacement. J Exp Med 220: e20220857, Mar 2023.

Bennett ML: A Polarizing Answer: Microglia in Nasu Hakola. Nature Immunology 24(3): 379-381, Mar 2023.

Catenaccio E, Bennett ML, Massey S, Abend NS, Bergqvist C.: Tonic Seizures in a Patient With Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Manifest as "Icicles" Rather Than "Flames" on Quantitative EEG Analysis. J Clin Neurophysiol 40(2): e6-e9, Feb 2023.

Su Y*, Zhou Y*, Bennett ML, Li S, Carceles-Cordon M, Lu L, Huh S, Jimenez-Cyrus D, Gu X, Kleinman JE, Hyde TM, Weinberger DR, Nauen DW, Song H, Ming G.: A single-cell transcriptome atlas of glial diversity in the human hippocampus across the postnatal lifespan. Cell Stem Cell 29(11): 1594-1610, Nov 2022.

Paolicelli R*, Sierra A*, Stevens B*, Tremblay M*, Aguzzi A, Ajami B, Amit I, Audinat E, Bechmann I, Bennett ML, Bennett FC et al.: Microglia states and nomenclature: A field at its crossroads. Neuron 110(21): 3458-3483, Nov 2022.

O’Brien C, Bennett FC, Bennett ML.: Microglia in antiviral immunity of the brain and spinal cord. Semin Immunol 60(1): 101650, Mar 2022.

Bennett ML, Song H, Ming G.: Microglia modulate neurodevelopment in human neuroimmune organoids. Cell Stem Cell 28(12): 2035-2036, Dec 2021.

Bennett ML*, Viaene A.: What are activated and reactive glia and what is their role in neurodegeneration? Neurobiol Dis 148(1): 105172, Jan 2021.

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Last updated: 06/04/2024
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