Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc.

Frank P. Smith Professor of Neurosurgery; Co-Director, Center for Translational Neuromedicine, University of Rochester; Professor of Glial Cell Biology; Co-Director, Center for Translational Neuromedicine, University of Copenhagen

Dr. Nedergaard is Professor of Neurosurgery and Co-Director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in Rochester, NY. She is also Professor of Glial Cell Biology and Co-Director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her multiple interests range from basic research on neuron-glia interactions to their role in aging, small vessel disease, seizure disorders, and cerebral blood flow. Forefront amongst her discovery is the identification of the glymphatic system, a brain equivalent of the lymphatic system within which cerebrospinal fluid diffuses rapidly and mixes with interstitial fluids, thereby filtering metabolic byproducts that accumulate due to neuronal activity. Most recently, she published a landmark study in Science showing that the glymphatic system dramatically expands during sleep compared to waking—brain cleaning and detoxification are thus greatly facilitated during sleep, providing a novel and direct explanation for what we all generally consider sleep’s restorative effect.

Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.

Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.

Wang, X., Delle, C., Peng, W., Plá, V., Giannetto, M., Kusk, P., Sigurdsson, B., Sakurai, S., Sweeney, A., Sun, Q., Du, T., Libby, R. T., & Nedergaard, M. Age- and glaucoma-induced changes to the ocular glymphatic system, Neurobiology of Disease, October 12, 2023, Read More

Wang, X., Lou, N., Eberhardt, A., Yang, Y., Kusk, P., Xu, Q., Förstera, B., Peng, S., Shi, M., Ladrón-de-Guevara, A., Delle, C., Sigurdsson, B., Xavier, A. L. R., Ertürk, A., Libby, R. T., Chen, L., Thrane, A. S., & Nedergaard, M. An Ocular Glymphatic Clearance System Removes β-Amyloid From the Rodent Eye, Science Translational Medicine, March 25, 2020, Read More

Rasmussen, M. K., Mestre, H., & Nedergaard, M. The glymphatic pathway in neurological disorders, The Lancet Neurology, November 1, 2018, Read More

Sweeney, M. D., Montagne, A., Sagare, A. P., Nation, D. A., Schneider, L. S., Chui, H. C., Harrington, M. G., Pa, J., Law, M., Wang, D. J. J., Jacobs, R. E., Doubal, F. N., Ramirez, J., Black, S. E., Nedergaard, M., Benveniste, H., Dichgans, M., Iadecola, C., Love, S., Bath, P. M., … Zlokovic, B. V. Vascular dysfunction — The disregarded partner of Alzheimer’s disease, Alzheimer's & Dementia, January 1, 2019, Read More

Grutzendler, J., & Nedergaard, M. Cellular Control of Brain Capillary Blood Flow: In vivo imaging veritas, Trends in Neurosciences, June 26, 2019, Read More