Matthew Benskey, PhD

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


Dr. Benskey joined the Faculty in the Department of Translational Neuroscience as a Research Assistant Professor in Fall of 2016 and is now an Assistant Professor. Dr. Benskey received undergraduate training in Psychology and Neuroscience at Central Michigan University, after which he completed a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Michigan State University. He then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Translational Neuroscience at Michigan State University where he studied the molecular neurobiology of Parkinson’s Disease, with a specific focus on how viral vectors can be used to both model and potentially treat neuropathology. Dr. Benskey’s current research aims to understand the role that neuro-immune interactions play in Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Outside of the lab he enjoys painting, playing the guitar and wandering in the woods with his dogs.


Institution Field of Study Degree Earned Year
Central Michigan University Psychology/ Neuroscience B.S. 2008
Michigan State University Neuroscience Ph.D. 2013
Michigan State University Neuroscience Post-Doctoral Fellow 2013-2016

Research Interests

Dr. Benskey’s research is focused on understanding how perturbations in specific proteins, such as alpha synuclein and tau, can elicit a potentially toxic neuroinflammatory response.  Current studies focus on the molecular mechanism by which glia (microglia and astrocytes) may coordinate the selective degeneration of neurons.  Dr. Benskey’s research program utilizes a broad range of experimental approaches to investigate the pathological consequences of proteinopathy, with the ultimate goal of identifying potential therapeutic targets.  

Technical Expertise

  • Viral Vector design, production and application (adeno-associated virus, lentivirus)
  • Molecular cloning
  • Cell Culture
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Microscopy (brightfield, confocal)
  • Western blotting
  • Gene expression analysis (ddPCR)
  • Small animal surgery
  • Rodent behavioral analysis
  • Rodent models of Parkinson’s disease