Contact Information

Photo of Craig Atwood
Craig Atwood, PHD



MADISON, WI 53705-2254

(608) 265-1901


Dr. Atwood is a faculty member in the UW Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology and a Health Science Specialist in the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Madison VA Hospital. He received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia, and completed postdoctoral training in reproductive endocrinology at the NIH, and neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital. His early faculty appointment was as an Instructor of Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, followed by an appointment as an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University prior to moving to UW-Madison. Dr. Atwood has broad research interests related to the endocrinology of embryogenesis, adulthood and senescence as elaborated upon in “The Reproductive-Cell Cycle Theory of Aging.” He is a widely acknowledged authority regarding the neuroendocrinology of aging and Alzheimer's disease. The current focus of research in his laboratory relates to basic and clinical investigations into developing strategies to restore hormonal balance so as to halt the aging process. He has published over 200 scientific articles, is an inventor on eight issued U.S. patents, is a top cited author, has served on numerous review boards, and is an editor of more than 50 scientific journals.

Search for Craig Atwood's literature abstracts on PubMed


Gonzales, T.K, Yonker, J.A., Chang, V., Roan, C.L., Herd, P. and Atwood, C.S. (2017). Myocardial infarction in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study: the interaction among environmental, health, social, behavioural and genetic factors. BMJ Open, 7(1):e011529.

Geddes, R.I., Hayashi, K., Bongers, Q., Wehber, M., Anderson, I.M., Jansen, A.D., Nier, C., Fares, E., Farquhar, G., Kapoor, A., Ziegler, T.E., Vadakkadath Meethal, S., Bird, I.M. and Atwood, C.S. (2017). Conjugated linoleic acid administration induces amnesia in male Sprague-Dawley rats and exacerbates recovery from functional deficits induced by a controlled cortical impact injury. PLoS One, 12(1):e0169494.

Atwood, C.S., Hayashi, K., Vadakkadath Meethal, S., Gonzales, T. and Bowen, R.L. (2017). Does the degree of endocrine dyscrasia post-reproduction dictate post-reproductive lifespan? Lessons from semelparous and iteroparous species. Geroscience, 39(1), 103-116.

Bowen, R.L. and Atwood, C.S. (2004). Living and Dying for Sex: A theory of aging based on the modulation of cell cycle signaling by reproductive hormones. Gerontology, 50(5), 265-290.

Wilson, A.C., Clemente, L., Liu, T., Bowen, R.L., Vadakkadath Meethal, S. and Atwood, C.S. (2008). Reproductive hormones regulate the selective permeability of the blood-brain barrier. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease, 1782(6), 401-407.

Vadakkadath Meethal, S., Liu, T., Chan, H., Ginsburg, E., Wilson, A.C., Gray, D.N., Bowen, R.L., Vonderhaar, B.K. and Atwood, C.S. (2009). Identification of a regulatory loop for the synthesis of neurosteroids: A StAR-dependent mechanism involving HPG axis receptors. Journal of Neurochemistry, 110, 1014-1027.

Gallego, M.J., Porayette, P. Kaltcheva, M.M., Vadakkadath Meethal, S. and Atwood, C.S. (2009). Opioid and progesterone signaling is obligatory for early human embryogenesis. Stem Cells and Development, 18(5), 737-740.

Porayette, P., Gallego, M.J., Kaltcheva, M.M., Bowen, R.L., Vadakkadath Meethal, S. and Atwood, C.S. (2009). Differential processing of amyloid-beta precursor protein directs human embryonic stem cell proliferation and differentiation into neuronal precursor cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 284(35), 23806-23817.

Simon, D., Vadakkadath Meethal, S., Wilson, A.C., Gallego, M.J., Weinecke, S.L., Bruce, E., Lyons, P., Haasl, R.J., Bowen, R.L. and Atwood, C.S. (2009). Activin receptor signaling regulates prostatic epithelial cell adhesion and viability. Neoplasia, 11(4), 365-376.

Gallego, M.J., Porayette, P., Kaltcheva, M.M., Bowen, R.L., Vadakkadath Meethal, S. and Atwood, C. S. (2010). The pregnancy hormones human chorionic gonadotropin and progesterone induce human embryonic stem cell proliferation and differentiation into neuroectodermal rosettes. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 1:28.

Atwood, C.S. and Vadakkadath Meethal, S. (2011). Human Embryonic Stem Cells as a Model System for Understanding Early Human Embryogenesis and Age-related Diseases. In: Embryonic Stem Cells. Ed. Craig S. Atwood. InTech, Rijeka, Croatia. Chapter 14, 251-270. ISBN: 978-953-307-196-1

Atwood C.S. and Bowen R.L. (2011). The reproductive-cell cycle theory of aging: An update. Experimental Gerontology, 46(2-3), 100-107.

Yonker, J.A., Chang, V., Roetker, N.S., Hauser, T.S., Hauser, R.M. and Atwood, C.S. (2013) Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis homeostasis predicts longevity. Age (Dordr). 35(1), 129-138.

Roetker, N.S., C. David Page, Yonker, J.A., Chang, V., Roan, C.L., Herd, P., Hauser, T.S., Hauser, R.M. and Atwood, C.S. (2013) Assessment of genetic and non-genetic interactions for the prediction of depressive symptomology: An analysis of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study using machine learning algorithms. American Journal of Public Health, 103 Suppl 1:S136-144.

Bowen, R.L., Perry, G., Xiong, C., Smith, M.A., Atwood, C.S. (2015). A clinical study of Lupron Depot in the treatment of women with Alzheimer’s disease: Preservation of cognitive function in patients taking an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and treated with high dose Lupron over 48 weeks. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 44(2), 549-560.