Denah M. Appelt, PhD | PCOM Biomedical Sciences Faculty
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Department of Bio-Medical Sciences - PCOM 
Director of Dual Degree Programs and Biomedical Science Specialty Concentrations in the School of Health Sciences
Professor of Neuroscience

Dr. Appelt is a professor of Neuroscience in the department of Bio-Medical Sciences. She has served as the director for Basic and Clinical Neuroscience course in the DO curriculum and the director of the Neuroscience course in the Biomedical master program. Dr. Appelt lectures on neuroanatomy and participates in neuroanatomy labs in the DO SPOM course, Physician Assistant Studies, and Psychology program. In addition, Dr. Appelt is the director for the dual degree DO/PhD. program in Cellular and Molecular Biology designed to develop physician-scientist.


Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Hahnemann University
PhD, Drexel University College of Medicine
BS, Juniata College


Dr. Appelt has done extensive research in the field of aging and is recognized for her work on Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Appelt is the director of PCOM’s Biological Imaging Facility and is investigating pathogen involvement as a trigger for developing Alzheimer’s disease. She is particularly interested in understanding the effects Chlamydia pneumoniae and HSV exert on the central nervous system that result in the neuropathology observed in Alzheimer’s disease. Her laboratory uses high resolution electron microscopy, confocal microscopy and epifluorescent microscopy to study cellular structures.


American Society for Cell Biology-Glenn Foundation Award for Outstanding Research in Aging (1996)

Professor of the Year 2008 – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Kappa Sigma Phi Award for Osteopathic education (2003)

Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award (2013)


CCDA (7/1/2013 -6/30/2014) Co-PI: Bactericidal Implant Surfaces

Rose and Adolf Levis Foundation (1/01/2003-present) Co-PI; Chlamydia pneumoniae’s role in the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease

CCDA (7/1/2012 -6/30/2013) Co-PI; Infection with Chlamydia Pneumoniae alters calcium-associated gene regulations and processes in neuronal cells and monocytes: Implications for Alzheimer’s disease

CCDA (7/1/2012 -6/30/2013) Co-PI; Detection of Chlamydia pneumoniae in blood samples: A diagnostic screen for Alzheimer’s disease

CCDA (9/1/2011 -6/30/2012) PI; Analysis by Real-Time PCR of Autophagy and Apoptosis in Neuronal Cells Infected with Chlamydia Pneumoniae

Health Research Formula Fund :(1/01/ 2009- 12/31/2013) PI; Dissecting the apoptosis pathway affected by C. pneumoniae in Alzheimer's disease

CCDA (9/1/2008 -6/30/2009) PI; Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) pneumoniae (Cpn) promotes Aβ 1-42 amyloid processing in Neuronal Cells: A Pathogenic Trigger for Alzheimer’s disease

CCDA (10/1/2007 -9/30/2008) PI; Effects on the apoptotic markers following a Chlamydial infection in neurons and astrocytes: Implications for Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer Association 7/01/04 to 6/30/07) Co-investigator; Chlamydia pneumoniae infection of Mice triggers Alzheimer-like pathology

NIH R01ES006478-09A2 (7/2003-2008) Collaborator; Mechanisms of Cadmium Toxicity in Epithelial Cells NIH/NIAID - R01- AI44055-01A1 (06/01/99 - 05/31/04). Co-investigator; Chlamydia pneumoniae: a pathogen in Alzheimer’s disease?

NIH/R15: (5/01/01-06/30/03) Co-investigator; Immunosenescence and Chlamydia Pneumoniae” Foundation for Research into the Diseases of Aging (6/01/99-7/01/2003) Co-investigator; Investigation of Chlamydia pneumoniae in Diseases of the Aging

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases(6/01/99-7/01/2000)PI; Pathologic manifestations induced by Chlamydia Pneumonia infected glial cells in AD



Volunteer and Leadership Activities
  • Presidential Diversity Council 2013-present
  • Research committee, 2013-present
  • D.O. Admissions Committee, 1999-present
  • Faculty senate, chair, 2014-2015
  • Middle States accreditation self-study committee, section chair, 2012-2014
  • Faculty search committee, 2012-2013
  • Honors and Awards committee, 2010-2013
  • Institutional and Environmental Health and Safety committee, vice chair, 2009-2013
  • Chief Science Officer search committee, 2011-2012
  • Faculty Representative to Executive Faculty, 2009-2010
  • Appointment, Promotion and Tenure, 2003-2009
  • Faculty Senate, Secretary, 2007-2008
  • Challenging Views of Alzheimer’s Disease, PCOM Symposium Organizer, 2004