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Li-Chun (Queena) Lin, PhD, MS.

NeuroBank Core, Founding Director


Current positions:

  • Founding Director, Iowa NeuroBank Core, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa
  • Iowa Neuroscience Institute (Primary Appointment)
  • Department of Neurology, Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa (Joint Appointment)
  • Research Council Committee, University of Iowa

Queena Lin, Ph.D, and her colleagues in the Iowa Neuroscience Institute's NeuroBank Core use cutting-edge approaches that integrate molecular and cellular neuropathology to investigate Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Essential Tremor, and Huntington's disease. Dr. Lin is specifically interested in the molecular signatures of selective neuronal vulnerability and blood biomarkers to delve into the origins of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric illnesses. 

Being responsible for the overall management and strategic planning of the Iowa NeuroBank Core, from its daily procedures to its mission and vision, Dr. Lin has technical, business, and scientific expertise in human biobanking and emerging spatial biology tools to serve as a service provider, NIH-funded investigator, and advisor.

After receiving her Master of Science (MS) degree in Physiology, Dr. Lin did her PhD work with Etienne Sibille in the Translational Neuroscience Program (TNP) and Center for Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh (CNUP), where she focused on the selective neuronal vulnerability of interneurons in human Major Depressive Disorder (University of Pittsburgh's NIH NeuroBioBank Brain and Tissue Repository) and its mouse models. As a Tau Consortium Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Lin further honed her human brain expertise alongside Dr. Bill Seeley at UCSF, investigating the neuropathology of von Economo neurons in patients with Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), supported by the Rainwater Charitable Foundation and UCSF Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank. Dr. Lin continues to study human postmortem brains and neurosurgical brain tissue from patients with Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Huntington's Disease (HD) while expanding and testing novel cutting-edge approaches.

To foster research collaboration, education, and community engagement,  Dr. Lin is committed to supporting education and outreach. She works as a mentor and instructor for Pre-medical undergrad and post-baccalaureate researchers collaborating within the NeuroBank Core, including individualized mentoring undergrad students from diverse backgrounds with fellowship support. These included the Office of Undergraduate Research's (OUR) Fellowships, Science Alliance (ISA) internships, and UI Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (UI-LSAMP) fellowships. Her dedication is celebrated through student success, including the 2021 Cutting-Edge Award from the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, shared with one of her students. Furthermore, she received the 2022 Distinguished mentor award from the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates, a recognition underscored by the Office of the Vice President for Research at the annual Discovery and Innovation Awards reception. Dr. Lin has engaged in various K-12 outreach programs, impacting over four thousand students and donors from Iowa and SF to spark curiosity and interest in health sciences.


Research Interests: human brain tissue research, tauopathies, selective vulnerability, ER stress, protein translation

Selected publications:

Lin LC, Cole RC, Greenlee JDW, Narayanan NS. A Pilot Study of Ex Vivo Human Prefrontal RNA Transcriptomics in Parkinson's DiseaseCellular and Molecular Neurobiology. 2023. PMID: 36952070.

Lin LC, Hollis B, Hefti MM. Neuropathology of COVID-19Indian Journal of Pathology & Microbiology. 2022. PMID: 35562145.

Lin LC, Nana AL, Hepker M, Hwang JL, Gaus SE, Spina S, Cosme CG, Gan L, Grinberg LT, Geschwind DH, Coppola G, Rosen HJ, Miller BL, Seeley WW. Preferential tau aggregation in von Economo neurons and fork cells in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with specific MAPT variants. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 2019. PMID: 31640778.

Rexach JE, Polioudakis D, Yin A, Swarup V, Chang TS, Nguyen T, Sarkar A, Chen L, Huang J, Lin LC, Seeley W, Trojanowski JQ, Malhotra D, Geschwind DH. Tau Pathology Drives Dementia Risk-Associated Gene Networks toward Chronic Inflammatory States and Immunosuppression. Cell Reports. 2020. PMID: 33207193.

Lin LC, Sibille E. Somatostatin, neuronal vulnerability and behavioral emotionality. Molecular Psychiatry. 2015. PMID: 25600109.

Lin LC, Lewis DA, Sibille E. A human-mouse conserved sex bias in amygdala gene expression related to circadian clock and energy metabolism. Molecular Brain. 2011. PMID: 21542937.

Past Members

Mara Jendro  | NeuroBiology | Undergrad Lead  | ICRU Research Fellow  | Core Coordinator   | Core Manager (2021-2024) 

Hollis, Bailey  | Human Physiology | Undergrad Lead  | ICRU Research Fellow  | Core Coordinator   | Core Manager (2020-2023) 

Current Position: Medical school student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford - Rural Medicine program

Bailey joined the Iowa NeuroBank Core in October of 2020 as an Undergraduate Research Assistant. She took on the role of one of the Lead Research Assistants, received an ICRU Undergraduate Research Fellowship for the year of 2021-2022, and assisted in a published review article. Her research fellowship was focused on correlations between neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, and COVID-19. After she received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa in Human Physiology in May of 2022 she joined full time and was the Core Manager until July of 2023. She carried out duties of lab management, neurotechnology/experiments, oversight of ICRU fellows, and coordination of brain donations. She also focused specifically on Huntington’s Disease working with Dr. Nopoulos’s lab for brain donation and outreach.  

Sadie Eggmann | Neuroscience | ICRU Research Fellow (2021-2023) | 

Current Position: clinical research coordinator at the University of Colorado Denver Department of Neurology 

Amen Saad  | Neuroscience | Science Alliance Research Fellow (2023)

Payton Jaeger | Interdepartmental Multidisciplinary Sciences | ICRU Research Fellow (2021-2022)

Gabby Dennis | Psychology | LSAMP Research Fellow (2022-2023)

Erin Metrick | Human Physiology | (2022)

Jennifer DeVries | Microbiology | (2020-2022)

Oscar Cruz | Human Physiology | Science Alliance Intern (2021)

Rukshad Daver | Neuroscience  | (2020-2021)

Dr. Kyle Conway, MD, JD | Neuropathologist

Dr. Marco Hefti, MD | Neuropathologist

Dr. Thomas Nickl-Jockschat, MD

Professional Admin Team

Meghan Lawler (Department Manager, Iowa Neuroscience Institute):

Sharon Walther (HR Manager, CCOM)

Erin Brothers (Research Administrator, CCOM):

Lindsey Sears (Accountant, University Shared Services):

Sarah Sapouckey (Licensing Associate, University of Iowa Research Foundation):

Morgan Shea (Assistant Vice President, Health Science Development, University of Iowa Center for Advancement):

Core Scientific Advisory Committee

Ted Abel, PhD

Professor, Chair and Department Executive Officer of Neuroscience and Pharmacology

Current Positions
  • Chair, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology
  • Director, Iowa Neuroscience Institute
  • Roy J. Carver Chair in Neuroscience
  • Professor of Neuroscience and Pharmacology
  • Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Professor of Psychiatry
  • Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
  • Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Aislinn Williams, MD, PhD 

Current Positions
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
  • Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Associate Core Director