Lena Brundin, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neurodegenerative Science

Areas of Expertise

Depression, suicide, inflammation, glutamate, perinatal depression, clinical studies, translational research


Dr. Lena Brundin earned her Ph.D. in neurobiology and her M.D. from Lund University, Sweden, where she specialized in clinical psychiatry and later attained the rank of associate professor. In 2012, she joined Van Andel Institute and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids, Mich. She is currently a professor in the Institute’s Department for Neurodegenerative Science.

Dr. Brundin’s research spans basic and clinical research, and focuses on the role of inflammatory mediators in psychiatric and neurological conditions, particularly the effects of the kynurenine metabolic pathway in depression and Parkinson’s disease. Her studies were among the first to indicate a role for inflammatory cytokines in suicidality, a finding that one day may help develop biomarkers for depression and suicide risk. She is currently the principal investigator on an R01-funded clinical trial that investigates the role of the kynurenine pathway in depressive patients with suicide risk. She also analyzes the potential of these metabolites as biomarkers and modulators of disease progression in Parkinson’s disease, funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Further, she pursues studies aimed at identifying triggers of these disorders, such as bacterial, parasitic and viral infections.