Benjamin Piya Austin

Assistant Scientist

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics
Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC)
William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, GRECC, Madison, WI, 53705



Dr. Austin’s training as a cognitive neuropsychologist stems from a path in which technology and research are tightly coupled. As an undergraduate, he sought a background in mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University and then pursued research and design experience at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (Laurel, Maryland) where he developed nanotechnology motors to be used on the Hubble Space Telescope. Wanting to focus his research towards clinical populations, Dr. Austin pursued his graduate studies in cognitive-experimental psychology at the University of Georgia, where he used functional brain imaging to study the neural correlates of executive dysfunction in schizophrenia. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010, Dr. Austin joined the University of Wisconsin Department of Radiology where he studied the effects of vascular lesion proximity on cognition. He was then awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the UW Cardiovascular Research Center where he collaborated with the Wisconsin ADRC Imaging Group to study advanced techniques in perfusion MRI brain imaging. After completing his training, he joined the UW School of Medicine and Public Health as Assistant Scientist in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Austin is interested in identifying imaging biomarkers that can be used to reliably predict development of Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, he is investigating the relationship between cerebral blood flow, white matter disease, CSF measures, and cognition in adult children of persons with AD.