Marina E. Emborg

Credentials: MD, PhD

Position title: Professor, Medical Physics

1005 Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research

Marina Emborg is a primary advisor in the Department of Medical Physics.


M.D., Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires.

Ph.D., Neurobiology. Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires. Thesis Title: Parkinson’s disease: analysis of the intracarotid MPTP model. Plasticity of the system [Enfermedad de Parkinson: estudio de un modelo experimental por administracion intracarotdea de MPTP en primates. Plasticidad del sistema].

Department Affilations

Medical Physics

Wisconsin National Primate Research Center

Neuroscience Training Program

Stem cell and regenerative Medicine

Biomedical Engineering Program

Cellular and Molecular Pathology Program


  • Associate Professor, Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI
  • Scientist, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Research Interests

The goal of my lab is to understand and find solutions for neurodegenerative disorders, in particular Parkinson’s disease (PD). We work in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment. 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.

Application and development of advanced imaging techniques are essential to our preclinical research. Neuroimaging methods let us estimate in a non invasive manner neuronal cell degeneration, adaptive responses to injury and the effect of therapeutic interventions. We use different radioligands, such as 18F Fluoro-L-3,4- dihydroxyphenylalanine (F-DOPA), to assess the integrity of the dopaminergic system. As an alternative to the use of radio-labeled markers of the dopaminergic pathway (that maybe influenced by dopamine replacement therapies), we study the pattern of resting glucose metabolism as measured by [18F]2-fluoro-2- deoxy-D-gluocose (FDG), to evaluate the metabolic responses to lesions and treatments in the brain. Non nigrostriatal-related symptoms of PD, like heart dysautonomia, are examined by [11C] carbon-11-meta-ephedrine uptake. We apply in vivo MRI techniques for accurate real-time intracerebral targeting and infusion monitoring with the goal of minimizing the impact of invasive procedures, maximize data collection, and facilitate new clinical applications, including convection enhanced delivery for gene therapy.

Awards and Honors

  • Young Scholar Travel Grant Award, Fundacion Argentina de Neurocirugia, 1990
  • Research Fellow Award, CONICET (Comisión Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas), 1993.



  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Society of Gene Therapy
  • American Society for Neutral Therapy
  • The Gerontological Society of America