Photo of Erin Boespflug, Ph.D.

Erin Boespflug Ph.D.

    • Assistant Professor of Neurology School of Medicine
    • Neurology School of Medicine

After completing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience with a focus on structural (diffusion, anatomical) and functional (BOLD) MRI, Dr. Boespflug obtained additional post-doctoral training in neuroimaging and cognitive aging at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, and subsequent training in vascular dementia and high field MRI at OHSU. Prior to her doctorate, she worked at the University of Washington in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine providing statistical modeling support to projects related to stroke and multiple sclerosis and in the Department of Medical Genetics contributing to projects investigating the role of inflammation in vascular disease. Outside of the lab, she focuses on exploring the great Pacific Northwest with her family.

Research focus

Dr. Boespflug is a trained basic neuroscientist with a passion for clinical research in progressive neurodegenerative disease. Her research takes a multifaceted approach to understanding the biological processes underpinning clinical symptoms of Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. Previous work has focused on detecting subtle brain changes in cognitive aging and in those at increased risk for insipient neurodegeneration including cross-sectional analyses of structure-function relationships and longitudinal changes in response to intervention. Her current work is focused on a series of projects aimed at understanding the interaction between the brain vasculature and parenchyma, including how waste clearance through the perivascular compartment is impacted in states of neurodegeneration.

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Areas of interest

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Stroke
  • Glial Cell Biology
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Dynamics


  • Ph.D., University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center 2012
  • Fellowship:

    • University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, 2014
    • Oregon Health & Science University, 2017
  • Certifications:

    • Preparing Future Faculty, 2011

Honors and awards

  • 2009 Research Fellow, University of Cincinnati Research Council
  • 2010- 2013 Research Fellow, Albert J. Ryan Foundation
  • 2017 Young Investigator Award, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
  • 2018 New Investigator Award. National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center
  • 2018 NIH/NIA Mentored Research Scientist Development Award

Memberships and associations

  • Association for Women in Science (AWIS)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM)


  • Boespflug EL, Schwartz DL, Lahna D, Pollock J, Iliff JJ, Kaye J, Rooney W, Silbert LC. MRI-based Multimodal Autoidentification of Perivascular Spaces (mMAPS): Automated morphological segmentation of enlarged perivascular spaces at clinical field strength. Radiology, 2018, 286:2, 632-642. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2017170205.

  • Boespflug EL, Iliff JJ. The emerging relationship between interstitial fluid-cerebrospinal fluid exchange, amyloid β and sleep. Biol Psychiatry. 2018 Feb 15;83(4):328-336. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.11.031.

  • Boespflug EL, Simon MJ, Leonard E, Grafe M, Woltjer R, Silbert LC, Kaye JA, Iliff JJ. Targeted assessment of enlargement of the perivascular space in Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia subtypes implicates astroglial involvement specific to Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. In Press.

  • Boespflug EL, Storrs J, Sadat?Hossieny S, Shidler, M, Norris M, Krikorian R. Full diffusion characterization implicates regionally disparate neuropathology in Mild Cognitive Impairment. Brain Structure and Function, 2014, 19 (1), pp 367?79. doi: 10.1007/s00429?013?0506-x.

  • Boespflug EL, Eliassen J, Welge J, Krikorian R. Associative learning and regional white matter deficits in Mild Cognitive Impairment. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2014, 41 (2), pp 421?430. doi: 10.3233/JAD?131682.

  • Simon MJ, Wang M, Murchison C, Roese, N, Boespflug EL, Woltjer R, Iliff JJ. Transcriptional network analysis of human astrocytic endfoot genes reveals region-specific associations with dementia status and tau pathology. Nature Scientific Reports. 2018. 8:12389. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-30779-x.

  • Opel R, Christy A, Boespflug EL, Weymann K, Case B, Pollock J, Silbert LC, Lim MM. Effects of traumatic brain injury on sleep and enlarged perivascular spaces. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. 2018 Aug 10:271678X18791632. doi: 10.1177/0271678X18791632.

  • Adler CM, DelBello MP, Weber W, Williams M, Duran R, Fleck D, Boespflug EL, Eliassen J, Strakowski SM, Divine J. MRI evidence of neuropathic changes in former college football players, 2016. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000391.

  • Promjunyakul, N, Dodge, H, Lahna, D, Boespflug, EL, Kaye, JA, Rooney, W, and Silbert, LC. Baseline NAWM structural integrity and CBF predict periventricular WMH expansion over time. Neurology. 2018 Jun 12;90(24):e2119-e2126. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005684.

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