Marianna Cortese

Research Associate

Department of Nutrition

Dr. Cortese obtained her medical degree in 2013 from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. She completed her Ph.D. in Epidemiology in 2017 at the University of Bergen in Norway, in which she focused on risk factors and early signs of multiple sclerosis.

In 2018, she joined Dr. Ascherio’s Neuroepidemiology Research Group at the Department of Nutrition as a postdoctoral research fellow and has since 2019 continued working as a Research Associate with his team on understanding risk factors of the onset and progression of multiple sclerosis and other neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases using large prospective cohorts, such as theNurses’ Health Studies, the US military cohort, the Finnish Maternity Cohort, the BENEFIT trial follow-up cohort, and the Medical Birth Registry of Norway.

Co-funded by HSPH and the German Research Council, Dr. Cortese is currently focusing on a unique project identifying a metabolomic signature of MS progression using blood of MS patients collected in the earliest disease stages. Further, she is studying how individuals with MS age compared to unaffected peers in the Nurses’ Health Studies. She is currently also investigating new risk factors of MS and examining the immune response to different infections using blood samples from the large cohort of active duty personnel in the US military. Finally, Dr. Cortese is working on projects on prenatal risk factors for neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric diseases using Norwegian population registries.

The list of her publications can be found here.