Michael Bienkowski

Assistant Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience

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Dr. Bienkowski is interested in characterizing brain cell types and understanding their susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases like Alhzeimer’s disease and retinal degenerative diseases. His translational research laboratory (USC Center for Integrative Connectomics) uses state-of-the-art connectomics and transcriptomics approaches to investigate cell type-specific progressive changes to gene expression and connectivity in rodent and human brain tissue. A major goal of the lab is to build translational cell type atlases to guide clinical drug development and enhance the effectiveness of treatment plans at progressive disease stages.


  • Machine Learning Classification of Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology Reveals Diffuse Amyloid as a Major Predictor of Cognitive Impairment in Human Hippocampal Subregions bioRxiv. 2023 Jun 05. . View in PubMed
  • Further refining the boundaries of the hippocampus CA2 with gene expression and connectivity: Potential subregions and heterogeneous cell types Hippocampus. 2023 03; 33(3):150-160. . View in PubMed
  • Cellular anatomy of the mouse primary motor cortex Nature. 2021 10; 598(7879):159-166. . View in PubMed
  • The mouse cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic network Nature. 2021 10; 598(7879):188-194. . View in PubMed
  • An open access mouse brain flatmap and upgraded rat and human brain flatmaps based on current reference atlases J Comp Neurol. 2021 02; 529(3):576-594. . View in PubMed
  • Connectivity characterization of the mouse basolateral amygdalar complex Nat Commun. 2021 05 17; 12(1):2859. . View in PubMed
  • Organization of the inputs and outputs of the mouse superior colliculus Nat Commun. 2021 06 28; 12(1):4004. . View in PubMed
  • Homologous laminar organization of the mouse and human subiculum Sci Rep. 2021 02 12; 11(1):3729. . View in PubMed
  • Extrastriate connectivity of the mouse dorsal lateral geniculate thalamic nucleus J Comp Neurol. 2019 05 15; 527(9):1419-1442. . View in PubMed
  • Precise segmentation of densely interweaving neuron clusters using G-Cut Nat Commun. 2019 04 04; 10(1):1549. . View in PubMed
  • Integration of gene expression and brain-wide connectivity reveals the multiscale organization of mouse hippocampal networks Nat Neurosci. 2018 11; 21(11):1628-1643. . View in PubMed
  • The mouse cortico-striatal projectome Nat Neurosci. 2016 08; 19(8):1100-14. . View in PubMed
  • Neural networks of the mouse neocortex Cell. 2014 Feb 27; 156(5):1096-111. . View in PubMed
  • Organization of multisynaptic circuits within and between the medial and the central extended amygdala J Comp Neurol. 2013 Oct 15; 521(15):3406-31. . View in PubMed
  • Common and distinct neural inputs to the medial central nucleus of the amygdala and anterior ventrolateral bed nucleus of stria terminalis in rats Brain Struct Funct. 2013 Jan; 218(1):187-208. . View in PubMed
  • Immune challenge activates neural inputs to the ventrolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis Physiol Behav. 2011 Aug 03; 104(2):257-65. . View in PubMed
  • Noradrenergic inputs to the paraventricular hypothalamus contribute to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and central Fos activation in rats after acute systemic endotoxin exposure Neuroscience. 2008 Oct 28; 156(4):1093-102. . View in PubMed