Benjamin Combs, PhD

Benjamin  Combs, PhD
  • Research Associate Professor
  • Department of Translational Neuroscience
  • Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
  • Grand Rapids Research Center
  • 400 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Benjamin Combs graduated with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University before moving into molecular biology and obtaining a PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Kansas where he studied tau protein biology under the training of Dr. Chris Gamblin. He continued studying the tau protein during his postdoctoral training with Dr. Nicholas Kanaan at Michigan State University before moving into his current Research Assistant Professor position within the College of Human Medicine at MSU.


Institution Field of Study Degree Earned Year
Iowa State University Electrical Engineering B.S. 2006
University of Kansas Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Ph.D. 2013
Michigan State University Translational Neuroscience Fellow 2013-2017

Research Interests

Dr. Combs studies toxic mechanisms of the tau protein across several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) using protein biochemistry, cell culture, animal model, and human tissue techniques.

Technical Expertise

  • Protein biochemistry
  • Primary neuron culture
  • Cell line culture
  • Western blotting
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Electron microscopy