Heather Ferris

Ferris, Heather

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor, Medicine: Endocrinology and Metabolism


  • PhD, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, University of Virginia
  • MD, , University of Virginia
  • Residency, Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Clinical Fellowship, Endocrinology & Diabetes, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Contact Information

UVA Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, PO Box 801406
MR 4, Room 6012
Charlottesville, VA 22908-1406
Telephone: 434.924.5472

Research Disciplines

Experimental Pathology, Metabolism, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Molecular Pharmacology, Neuroimmunology, Neuroscience

Research Interests

Brain metabolism, cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease

Research Description

Obesity, hyperlipidemia and Type 2 diabetes are all risk factors for cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. Our research uses both cell and animal models to study the impact of metabolic dysfunction on the brain. In particular, we are interested in:

1. Brain cholesterol as a regulator of brain energetics, inflammation and Alzheimer's pathology.
2. The potential role of oxidized cholesterol species as signaling molecules in the brain in diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
3. Understanding the role of insulin and IGF1 signaling in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.

Selected Publications