As part of the Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine, the Macauley Lab focuses on the relationship between type-2-diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease, nearly 1 in 2 has AD by the age of 85, and AD accounted for an estimated $183 billion in health care costs to Americans in 2011.  Similarly, type-2-diabetes is metabolic disorder that affects approximately 346 million people worldwide, with an estimated 3.4 million dying from diabetes in 2004 alone.  Since recent studies demonstrate that patients with type-2-diabetes have an increased risk for developing AD, the goal of our research is to understand how these diseases are related and target these common links therapeutically.


Shannon L. Macauley-Rambach, PhD

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor, Gerontology & Geriatrics, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Education/Training: BA, Middlebury College; PhD, Washington University School of Medicine; Postdoctoral Fellowship, Washington University School of Medicine

Shannon L. Macauley earned her BA in Biology and Psychology from Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT) and worked in translational neuroscience at Genzyme Corporation (Boston, MA) prior to graduate school.  Dr. Macauley completed her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Washington University (St. Louis, MO) with Dr. Mark Sands and her postdoctoral training in Alzheimer’s disease in the laboratory of Dr. David Holtzman at Washington University (St. Louis, MO).  Dr. Macauley joined the Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention at Wake Forest Baptist Health as an Assistant Professor in August 2017.  The goal of Dr. Macauley’s research is to understand central nervous system (CNS) disease and the secondary mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction, such as neurometabolism and neuroinflammation, which are amenable to therapeutic intervention.  To date, her work has focused on two main areas: first, the study of mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease and the development of CNS therapeutics as it relates to lysosomal storage diseases.  Second, the exploration of the link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, how metabolic challenges affect normal brain function in health and disease, and how metabolic dysfunction can be targeted as a therapeutic approach for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.


A link to Dr. Macauley's CV.

Current Members  

Day, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow


2nd year PhD Student



2nd year  PhD Student

Physiology & Pharmacology

Grizzanti, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow


Lab Manager

Past Members  


Masters Student


Winkey, MS

Masters Student


Charlotte Hollingsworth

Lab Manager

The Macauley Lab | Wake Forest School of Medicine

575 N. Patterson Avenue | Winston-Salem, NC 27101

smacaule@wakehealth.edu 336.716.4628

macauleylab.com | @macauleylab