Dr. Madelyn Houser is a Research track Assistant Professor affiliated with the Center for Data Science in the School of Nursing. She is experienced in biomedical and basic research and has the technical skills to conduct rigorous, reproducible analyses of large data sets including those generated in omics assays.

Dr. Houser’s undergraduate training was in biochemistry and microbiology. She then earned her Ph.D. in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis from Emory’s Laney Graduate School. Her dissertation demonstrated the potential for intestinal inflammation to contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease. She maintained her focus on perturbations of the gut environment and inflammation as a postdoc with Dr. Vicki Hertzberg in the SON Center for Data Science, continuing studies on Parkinson’s disease and applying similar approaches in projects related to other neurodegenerative diseases, as well asto heat-related illness and hypertension. Dr. Houser has extensive laboratory and computational research experience in studies of the interplay between gut microbes and the host immune system and the role of inflammatory processes in chronic disease.

Dr. Houser works collaboratively with numerous research teams, contributing topical as well as methods expertise and technical skills in bioinformatics and analysis of omics data sets. Her current projects include studies of gut-brain connections in ALS and Alzheimer’s disease, mechanisms of heat-related illness and kidney disease in agricultural workers, factors which contribute to symptom severity in individuals living with multiple chronic health conditions, and drivers of dysfunction of pancreatic islet cells in type 2 diabetes. Consistent themes in Dr. Houser’s research are the integration of multiple data sources(often including microbiome, metabolomics, and/or inflammation-related data)and assessment of the interactions of complex systems to identify risk factors and contributors to adverse health outcomes.

Areas of Expertise

Biological Behavioral Omics
Data Science
Neurocognitive Disease


Houser MC, Smith DJ, Rhodes D,  Glick-Smith JL, Chovan P, Ferranti E, Dunbar SB, Tansey MG, Hertzberg V, Mac  VV. Inflammatory profiles, gut microbiome, and kidney function are impacted  after high-fidelity firefighter training. Int J Hyg Environ Health.2023 Mar;248:114107.
Eldridge RC, Qin ZS, Saba N, Houser MC, Hayes DN, Miller AH, Bruner DW, Jones  DP, Xiao C. Unsupervised Hierarchical Clustering of Head and Neck Cancer  Patients by Pre-Treatment Plasma Metabolomics Creates Prognostic Metabolic  Subtypes. Cancers. 2023 Jun;15(12):3184.
Macpherson KP+, Eidson LN+, Houser MC+, Weiss BE, Gollihue JL, Herrick M, de  Sousa Rodrigues ME, Sniffen L, Weekman EM, Hamilton AM, Kelly SD, Oliver DL,  Yang Y, Chang J, Sampson TS, Norris CM, Tansey MG. Soluble TNF mediates amyloid-independent,  diet-induced alterations to immune and neuronal functions in an Alzheimer's  disease mouse model. Front Cell Neurosci. 2023 Mar 15;17:895017.
Houser MC+, Mac V+, Smith DJ, Chicas RC, Xiuhtecutli N, Flocks JD, Elon L,  Tansey MG, Sands JM, McCauley L, Hertzberg VS. Inflammation-related factors  identified as biomarkers of dehydration and subsequent acute kidney injury in  agricultural workers. Biol Res Nurs. 2021 Oct;23(4):676-688. Epub 2021 May  21.
Aho, V+, Houser MC+, Pereira PAB, Chang J, Rudi K, Paulin L, Hertzberg VS,  Auvinen PG, Scheperjans F, Tansey MG. Relationships of gut microbiota,  short-chain fatty acids, inflammation, and the gut barrier in Parkinson's  disease. Mol Neurodegener. 2021 Feb 8;16(1):6.

Houser MC, Caudle WM, Chang J, Kannarkat GT, Yang Y, Kelly SD, Oliver D,  Joers V, Shannon KM, Keshavarzian A, Tansey MG. Experimental colitis promotes  sustained, sex-dependent, T-cell-associated neuroinflammation and  parkinsonian neuropathology. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2021 Aug 19;9(1):139.
Houser MC, Chang J, Factor SA, Molho ES, Zabetian CP, Hill-Burns EM, Payami  H, Hertzberg VS, Tansey MG. Stool Immune Profiles Evince Gastrointestinal  Inflammation in Parkinson's Disease. Mov Disord. 2018 May;33(5):793-804.
Houser MC, Tansey MG. The gut-brain axis: is intestinal inflammation a silent  driver of Parkinson's disease pathogenesis? NPJ Parkinsons Dis. 2017 Jan  11;3:3.




NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Goldwater Scholarship