Sarah Elzinga, PhD, photo

Sarah Elzinga, PhD

Edith Briskin Emerging Scholar
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Neurology
5017 BSRB
Ann Arbor MI 48109-2200

How diabetes and obesity-related inflammation promote nervous system injury

Dr. Elzinga’s goal is to understand how immune system pathways respond to damage at the cellular level and promote injury of the nervous system.  She is using multiple models to examine this injury and understand how it might promote cognitive impairment. These models are also increasing our understanding of how the different cell types in the nervous system interact. Already, they have begun to uncover the underlying mechanisms of injury and present possible treatment options for brain and cognitive impairment secondary to diabetes and obesity.


  • BS, Equine Science, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, 2005
  • MS, Animal Science, Michigan State University, 2011
  • PhD, Veterinary Science/Immunology & Endocrinology, University of Kentucky, 2017

Honors & Awards

  • NIH K99/R00 Pathways to Independence Award
  • Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center’s Early Career Investigator Mentorship Program
  • T32 trainee, University of Michigan National Institutes of Health Multidisciplinary Postdoctoral Training Program in Basic Diabetes Research and Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program
  • Biointerface Institute Challenge Grant
  • Young Investigator Award, American Quarter Horse Association Foundation
  • External review committee member, Gluck Center for Equine Research

Top Publications

Elzinga, Sarah E., et al. “cGAS/STING and innate brain inflammation following acute high-fat diet feeding.” Frontiers in Immunology (2022), 

Elzinga, Sarah E.*, et al. “Obesity-induced neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment in adult vs aged mice.” Immunity and Ageing, accepted for publication. *co-first authorship 

Elzinga, Sarah E.*, et al. “Glial-neuron crosstalk in health and disease: A focus on metabolism, obesity, and cognitive impairment.” Neurobiology of Disease (2022): 105766. *co-first authorship 

Kim B., Elzinga S.*, et al. “The effects of insulin and insulin-like growth factor I on amyloid precursor protein phosphorylation in vitro and in vivo models of Alzheimer's disease” Neurobiology of disease 132 (2019):104541.

*co-first authorship

Elzinga, Sarah E.*, et al. "Sex differences in insulin resistance but not peripheral neuropathy in a diet-induced prediabetes mouse model." Disease models & mechanisms 14.4 (2021).
*co-first authorship