Kimberly Fiock, PhD

Staff Scientist, Department of Pathology


  • PhD, Biomedical Science with a concentration in Experimental Pathology, The University of Iowa
  • BS, Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Texas at Dallas
  • MS, Pathology, The University of Iowa


I graduated in May 2018 with my Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas. As an undergrad, I did a summer internship in the neuropathology lab of Dr. Thomas Beach, which sparked my interest in studying neurodegenerative tauopathies. In 2020, I graduated with my Master of Science in Pathology from the University of Iowa. My master’s thesis work in the lab of Dr. Marco Hefti focused on mapping the expression, phosphorylation, and splicing pattern of the tau protein in the developing human brain, as well as within induced pluripotent stem cell-derived organoids.

Though tau’s role in disease is most well-known in Alzheimer’s (a secondary tauopathy), neurodegeneration caused by tau is the final pathway in multiple diseases, including the primary tauopathies progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration (CBD). In addition to neurofibrillary tangles, tau aggregates can be found in both astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in PSP and CBD. My PhD project investigated the mechanisms that regulate cell type-specific tau toxicity in these primary and secondary tauopathies. Moving forward, I will continue to pursue independent projects in the Hefti lab, as well as provide neuropathology support to ongoing collaborations.


  • Tremblay, C., Serrano, G. E., Dunckley, N., Zhang, N., Fiock, K. L., Adler, C. H., Shill, H. A., Beach, T. G. Post-mortem cerebellar volume is not reduced in Essential Tremor.Journal of Parkinson's Disease 2023; 1-9. 10.3233/JPD-225033
  • Betters, R. K., Luhmann, E., Gottschalk, A. C., Xu, Z., Ptak, C. P., Fiock, K. L., Radoshevich, L. C., Hefti, M. M. Characterizations of the Tau Interactome in Human Brain Reveals Isoform-Dependent Interaction with 14-3-3 Family Proteins.eNeuro 2023; 1-11. 10.1523/ENEURO.0503-22.2023
  • Fiock, K. L. , Betters, R. K., Hefti, M. M. Thioflavin Staining and Amyloid Formation are Unique to Mixed
  • Tauopathies. J Histology & Cytochemistry 2023; Vol. 71(2) 73–86. 10.1369/00221554231158428
  • Fiock, K. L. , Lin, L., Colwell, S., Hefti, M. M. An 18-month-old with white matter calcifications and seizures. Brain Pathology 2022; 1-3. 10.1111/bpa.13082
  • Liu G, Fiock KL, Levites Y, Golde TE, Hefti MM, Lee G. Fyn depletion ameliorates tauP301L-induced neuropathology. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2020; 8(1):108.
  • Fiock, KL, Smalley, ME, Crary, JF, Pasca, AM, Hefti MM. Increased Tau Expression Correlates with Neuronal Maturation in the Developing Human Cerebral Cortex. eNeuro. 2020; 1-9.
  • Fiock, KL,  Smith, JD,  Crary, JF,  Hefti, MM.  β‐amyloid and tau pathology in the aging feline brain. J Comp Neurol.  2019; 1– 6.
  • Hefti, MM, Kim, SH, Bell, AJ, Betters, RK, Fiock, KL, Iida, MA, Smalley, ME, Farrell, K, Fowkes, ME, Crary, JF. Tau Phosphorylation and Aggregation in the Developing Human Brain. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2019; 1-9.
Kim Fiock

Kimberly Fiock
Department of Pathology
25 S. Grand Ave
1157 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States