Research Team

As principal investigator in the Translational Neuropathology Lab, Dr. Murray leads a team that is advancing research in brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders, especially focusing on the vulnerability or resilience in affected individuals in the setting of Alzheimer's disease.

Fadi S. Hanna Al-Shaikh
Special Project Associate

Fadi Hanna Al-Shaikh's research focuses on clinical and pathological variability in the progression of Alzheimer's disease with the goal of investigating future diagnostic approaches to assist in clinical evaluation.

Al-Shaikh received his bachelor of science in psychology and Bachelor of Arts in biology in 2017 at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His career goal is to attend medical school to further his knowledge in medicine. After many years in the clinical environment, his current position has demonstrated the importance of research toward the benefit of patient care.

Al-Shaikh is actively participating in several research studies as a co-author. His research project investigating the differential involvement of the cholinergic system across Alzheimer's disease subtypes has been accepted as an oral presentation by the American Association of Neuropathologists. Al-Shaikh is summarizing his findings for scientific peer review.

Kelly M. Ross
Senior Research Technologist

Kelly Ross has research expertise in cell biology and molecular genetics, with a focus on neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease, related dementias and Parkinson's disease. She performs experiments utilizing human brain tissues that have been generously donated by patients and their families to Mayo Clinic's brain bank. Her goals are to elucidate what goes wrong with specific genes and proteins involved in the disease process and identify clinicopathologic subtypes of disease that may inform therapeutic strategies. Ross extracts DNA and RNA from brain tissues to run on expression arrays, generating large data sets to identify novel gene interactors that may modulate disease progression. These approaches also provide data that can be shared with colleagues and collaborators around the world with the common mission of preventing or halting the progression of these devastating disorders.

Ross received her bachelor of science degree in 2002 from the University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida. She joined Mayo Clinic in August, 2005. Her research focus was on characterizing the most clinically relevant Parkinson's disease gene-protein leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), generating constructs to create cell culture model systems and developing novel antibodies. As her research progressed, Kelly performed behavioral studies on various LRRK2 mouse models (developed by Heather Melrose, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic's Florida campus) performing experiments with the mouse brain tissue and managing the colony. In 2011, she received a master's degree in biomedical sciences from the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Her thesis is titled, "Characterization of Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase 2-Associated Parkinson's Disease Using In Vivo Models".

Ross joined the Neuropathology and Microscopy Lab and expanded her work with Mayo Clinic's brain bank. She began working with Dr. Murray in 2013 and has helped build the Translational Neuropathology Laboratory. Ross is married with two wonderful children, and when she goes to work every day she feels fortunate to be part of an amazing team and looks forward to a bright future when neurodegenerative disorders are eradicated.