Ann M. Marini

Ph.D., M.D.

Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Excitotoxicity, Neuroprotection, Neurotrophins, intraneuronal survival pathways, drug development, traumatic brain injury, organophosphate agents
To invest in student and resident education to broaden their experiences so that they may apply what they learn in a clinical and research setting.
Office Phone


Erskine College. A.B. 1967-1971

Georgetown University School of Medicine. Ph.D., Biochemistry 1972-1976

Georgetown University School of Medicine. M.D. 1976-1980

Internship and Residency. Internal Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical Center 1980-1983

Residency. Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine 1983-1986

Fellowship: Senior Staff Fellow, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 1986-1991

Fellowship: Clinical Neuropharmacology, Neurodegenerative disorders affecting the central nervous system and/or sympathetic nervous system, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 1989-1991

Fellowship: Senior Staff Fellow, National Institute of Mental Health, 1991-1993


Dr. Marini graduated from Erskine College (Summa Cum Laude) in Due West, South Carolina. She matriculated into a Ph.D. program in the Department of Biochemistry, Georgetown University School of Medicine where she earned her degree in Dr. Lee Van Lenten’s Laboratory studying the effect of sialic acid on glycoprotein survival in plasma. After graduating from the Ph.D. program in Biochemistry, she completed her M.D. at Georgetown University School of Medicine. During the summer months of medical school, Dr. Marini assisted in the laboratory of Dr. Phillip Schein, Chair, Department of Oncology, isolating various glycoproteins that were thought to be involved in cancer progression.

After completing her medical degree, Dr. Marini went to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (UMass) to complete an Internal Medicine Internship and Residency. While at UMass, she was intrigued by an encephalopathic epilepsy patient on Valproic acid who had a markedly elevated arterial ammonia level in the absence of liver dysfunction. She and her colleagues published the first paper that described three adult patients who developed encephalopathy and asterixis. Curiously, venous ammonia levels were normal. However, arterial ammonia levels were markedly abnormal. All three patients had epilepsy and were on the anticonvulsant, valproic acid. Dr. Marini worked on a small laboratory project where her group showed that valproic acid reduced the activity of carbamyl phosphate synthetase I, the first enzyme in the urea cycle. The results of this project were published in the journal, Neurology.

In 1986, Dr. Marini completed her Neurology residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
From 1986-1993, Dr. Marini was a senior staff fellow at the National Institutes of Health where she published 15 scientific papers in peer-review journals on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-mediated excitotoxicity in neurological diseases, NMDA/glutamate-mediated neuroprotection in vulnerable neurons and 1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), a model of Parkinson’s Disease. She and colleagues later worked out the mechanism of NMDA receptor neuroprotection, a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) autocrine loop that sets up a neuroprotective state in neurons.

Dr. Marini came to the Department of Neurology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences as a young, energetic Assistant Professor where she earned her way to the level of Full Professor.

Dr. Marini has an active General Neurology practice located at Walter Reed National Military Medicine Center.

The overarching goal of Dr. Marini's laboratory is to discover novel intrinsic survival pathways in brain and to develop small molecules that upregulate those pathways to protect the brain against neurodegenerative disorders that involved glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity.

Career Highlights: Positions, Projects, Deployements, Awards and Additional Publications

E.A. Sloan Award in physical chemistry, Erskine College 1971

Garnet Circle for Academic Excellence, Erskine College 1971

Granted full fellowship to attend MPTP symposium in Sardinia, Italy 1989

Chair of Neurobiology session: 13th International Congress on Amino Acids, Proteins and Peptides, Galveston, Texas October 2013

Invited speaker at the 6th London-Innsbruck Colloquium on Status Epilepticus: Salzburg, Austria April 2017

Scientific Advisory Board member of the International Conference on Neuroprotective Agents.

Field Editor for the international peer-review journal Amino Acids

Representative Bibliography

Blondeau N, Nguemeni C, DeBruyne DN, Piens M, Wu X, Pan H, Hu X, Gandin C, Lipsky RH, Plumier J-C, Marini AM, Heurteaux C. 2009 Subchronic alpha-linolenic acid treatment enhances brain plasticity and exerts and antidepressant effect: A versatile potential therapy for stroke. Neuropsychopharmacology 34:2548-2559.

Almeida-Suhett CP, Zheng L, Marini AM, Braga MFM, Eiden LE. 2014 Temporal course of changes in gene expression suggests a cytokine-related mechanism for long-term hippocampal alteration after controlled cortical impact. J Neurotrauma, 31(7):683-690.

Almeida-Suhett CP, Prager E, Pidoplichko V, Figueiredo T, Marini AM, Li Z, Eiden L, Braga MFM. 2014 Reduced Gabaergic inhibition in the Basolateral Amygdala and the development of anxiety-like behavior after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. PLoS One, 9(7):e102627

Almeida-Suhett CP, Pidoplichko V, Figueiredo TH, Marini AM, Li Z, Eiden LE, Braga MFM. 2014 GABAergic Interneuronal Loss and Reduced Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in the Hippocampal CA1 Region After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Experimental Neurology 273:11-23.

Piermartiri TCB, Pan H, Chen J, McDonough J, Grunberg N, Apland JP, Marini AM 2014 Alpha-linolenic acid-induced increase of neurogenesis is a key factor in the improvement in the passive avoidance task after soman exposure. NeuroMolecular Medicine, 17:251-269.

Pan H, Piermartiri T, McDonough J, Chen J, Van Shura K, Lyman M, Figueiredo T, Grunberg N, Marini AM. 2015 Repeated administration of alpha-linolenic acid exerts neuroprotective efficacy, an anti-depressant effect and improves cognitive performance when given after soman exposure. Neurotoxicology 51:38-50.

Piermartiri T, Pan H, Figueiredo T, Marini AM. 2015 Alpha-linolenic acid, a nutraceutical with pleiotropic properties that targets endogenous neuroprotective pathways to protect against organophosphate nerve agent-induced neuropathology. Molecules Nov 12;20(11):20355-80. doi: 10.3390/molecules201119698.

Figueiredo TH, Harbert CL, Pidoplichko V, Almeida-Suhett CP, Pan H, Rossetti K, Braga MFM, Marini AM. 2017 Alpha-linolenic acid treatment reduces the contusion and prevents the development of anxiety-like behavior induced by a mild traumatic brain injury in rats. Molecular Neurobiology, doi: 10.1007/s12035-017-0732-y.

Qi W, Gutierrez G, Gao X, Dixon H, McDonough J, Marini AM, Fisher A. 2017 The ω-3 fatty acid α-linolenic acid extends C. elegans lifespan via NHR-49/PPARα and oxidation to oxylipins. Aging Cell, 16:1125-1135.

Figuerido T, Apland JP, Braga MF, Marini AM. 2018 Acute and long-term consequences of exposure to organophosphorus nerve agents in humans. Epilepsia, Oct;59 Suppl 2:92-99. doi: 10.1111/epi.14500.