Patrick J. Lao, PhD

Profile Headshot


Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences (in Neurology and in the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center)


  • Male

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 2012 Physics & Biology, Houston Baptist University
  • PhD, 2017 Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Honors & Awards

  • K99/R00: Understanding the mechanisms linking small vessel cerebrovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease pathophysiology with neurodegeneration and cognition during midlife, National Institute on Aging, 2020-2025
  • 3 Minute Thesis Competition Award: Postdoc Category, Alzheimer’s Association Vascular Cognitive Impairment Professional Interest Area, 2020
  • High Ranking Oral Presentation – Young Investigator Award, Functional NeuroReceptor Mapping of the Living Brain, 2016


A multiple biomarker approach to Alzheimer’s disease (i.e., amyloid-β, hyperphosphorylated tau, cerebrovascular disease, and neurodegeneration), informed by contextual factors (i.e., genetic, biological, social, environmental) for underrepresented and underserved groups, will provide the most reliable understanding of the complex disease course. Dr. Lao uses neuroimaging and biofluid biomarkers to characterize within-group disease pathogenesis while considering relevant contextual factors, including the high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in adults with Down syndrome, cerebrovascular health disparities in adults from minoritized racial/ethnic backgrounds, and stigma/discrimination in adults from minoritized sexual and gender backgrounds.