Stanley B. Prusiner, MD

Board Member; Professor of Neurology, Director, Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of California, San Francisco

Stanley is Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, where he has worked since 1972. Dr. Prusiner’s research contributions have been internationally recognized. He discovered an unprecedented class of pathogens that he named prions. Prions are infectious proteins that cause neurodegenerative diseases in animals and humans. Stanley discovered a novel disease paradigm when he showed prions cause disorders in humans that manifest as (1) sporadic, (2) inherited and (3) infectious diseases. Stanley’s current research focused on determining the atomic structure of prions, deciphering the mechanism of replication and defining how biological properties are enciphered in prion strains. In addition, he is developing drug discovery aimed at producing therapeutics that retard neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and prion diseases as well as the frontotemporal dementias.