Anna Orr, PhD

Dr. Anna Orr is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the Helen and Robert Appel Alzheimer’s Disease Research Institute and the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience and Psychology from Allegheny College and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University, where she worked with Dr. Stephen Traynelis on mechanisms of glial motility, glial responses to brain injury, and receptor signaling in brain inflammation. Dr. Orr completed postdoctoral training with the guidance of Dr. Lennart Mucke at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and UCSF. At Gladstone, Dr. Orr led studies demonstrating that receptor signaling in astroglia regulates long-term memory and can contribute to memory loss in disease. Her graduate and postdoctoral training was supported by two NIH fellowships and pilot funding from the UCSF Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Dr. Orr’s laboratory at Weill Cornell Medicine focuses on glial-neuronal interactions and mitochondrial signaling in normal and pathophysiological processes. The lab investigates how receptors and proteins linked to neurodegenerative disease affect glial cells and glial-neuronal interactions that are critical for normal brain function. In partnership with Dr. Adam Orr, who is a co-investigator and key contributor, the team is also investigating how mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species promotes neurodegeneration and whether blockade of these damaging factors can prevent abnormal glial and neuronal functions in models of disease and inflammatory cascades. Dr. Orr's research program has received generous support from the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, Alzheimer’s Association, Leon Levy Foundation, Kellen Foundation, and the Sanofi iAward.