top of page


Dr. Miranda Orr is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in the Section on Geriatrics and Gerontology Division at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC and Research Health Scientist at the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center, Salisbury, NC. She is a translational neuroscientist with expertise that spans the biology of aging and tau-associated neurodegeneration. A primary goal of her research is to understand cellular and molecular processes driving neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment during the prodromal period associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Her career has focused on tau neurobiology and its role as a cellular stress response at the intersection between healthy brain aging and neurodegeneration. Using this strategy, her laboratory has identified a link between tau pathology and cellular senescence, the quintessence of latent tissue degeneration. This seminal finding has laid the groundwork for further investigation into post-mitotic cellular senescence, a newly recognized neuronal cell fate; the interaction between fundamental cellular aging processes and neuronal pathology; and clinical trials using therapeutics to clear senescent cells.


BS, Montana State University-Billings, 2002

PhD, Montana State University - Bozeman, 2012


Biology of Aging, University Texas - San Antonio, 2016
Pepper Center RL5 Scholar, University Texas - San Antonio, 2017

Awards, Scholarships and Grants

F31AG031630     (ORR, MIRANDA ETHEL)Sep 19, 2008 - Sep 18, 2011

Novel Stem Cell and Mouse Models to Study Frontotemporal Dementia
Role: Principal Investigator
IK2BX003804     (ORR, MIRANDA, ETHEL)Jul 1, 2017 - Jun 30, 2022
US Department of Veterans Affairs

Alzheimer’s disease-associated tau toxicity induces cellular senescence in the brain.
Role: Principal Investigator
K01AG056671     (ORR, MIRANDA ETHEL)Sep 1, 2017 - May 31, 2022

Alzheimer's Disease Associated Tau Toxicity Induces Cellular Senescence in Brain
Role: Principal Investigator
R01AG065839     (SOLINGAPURAM SAI, KIRAN)Jan 15, 2020 - Dec 31, 2024

Evaluating microtubule binding as a potential imaging biomarker for Alzheimer's disease
Role: Co-Investigator
R01AG068293     (ORR, MIRANDA ETHEL)Sep 10, 2020 - May 31, 2025

High Resolution Profiling of Senescent Neurons and Their Microenvironments in Postmortem Human Brain Tissue Spanning Eight Decades of Life
Role: Principal Investigator
ORR, MIRANDA, ETHEL)Oct 20, 2020 - Apr 1, 2022
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

Investigating the Role of Tau Protein in Neuronal Senescence Induction and Maintenance
Role Description: The main goal of this project is to determine whether tau protein is necessary for either the induction or maintenance of neuronal senescence using tau transgenic mice.
Role: Principal Investigator
ORR, MIRANDA, ETHEL)Mar 1, 2021 - Feb 29, 2024
Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery Foundation

Phase II Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Safety and Feasibility of Senolytic Therapy in Alzheimer’s Disease
Role Description: The major goal of this project is to gain data on the safety and efficacy of dasatinib and quercetin treatment on senescence, cognition and tau pathology in older adults with mild cognitive impairment/early Alzheimer’s disease.
Role: Principal Investigator
R24AG073199     (SHIVELY, CAROL A.)Sep 15, 2021 - May 31, 2025

Development of an Innovative Vervet (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus) Model of Early Alzheimer's-like Neuropathology and Symptomatology
Role: Co-Investigator
R21NS125171     (MILLIGAN, CAROL)Sep 29, 2021 - Mar 28, 2023

Cell Senescence and Death in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Role: MPI
I01BX005717     (ORR, MIRANDA, ETHEL)Oct 1, 2022 - Sep 30, 2026
US Department of Veterans Affairs

High Resolution Profiling of Senescent Cells in ALS Brain and Spinal Cord
Role Description: The major goal of this project is to determine the abundance, identity and microenvironment of senescent cells in postmortem human brain and spinal cord tissue from Veterans that passed away with ALS.
Role: Principal Investigator

bottom of page