Robert Malenka and Thomas Südhof join Research Consortium

Posted October 14, 2010

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is pleased to welcome two new members of the Research Consortium, Dr. Robert C. Malenka and Dr. Thomas C. Südhof. Researchers are invited to serve on the Research Consortium to guide Cure Alzheimer’s Fund-supported work and determine the “roadmap for research” for the most effective and efficient route to slowing, stopping and/or reversing Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Robert C. Malenka is the Pritzker Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, director of the Pritzker Laboratory, and co-director of the Stanford Institute for Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is a world leader in elucidating the molecular mechanisms by which neural circuits are reorganized by experience. His many contributions over the last 25 years have laid the groundwork for a much more sophisticated understanding of the mechanisms by which neurons communicate and the adaptations in synaptic communication which underlie all forms of normal and pathological behavior. He has been at the forefront of helping to apply the knowledge gained from basic neuroscience research to the treatment and prevention of major neuropsychiatric disorders.

Dr. Südhof is the Avram Goldstein Professor in the School of Medicine at Stanford University. He is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Südhof’s research interests focus on the physiological and pathological mechanisms operating on the synapse, in particular on how synapses form, how they transmit signals and how they become abnormal during diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and autism. His studies have identified key molecules in synapses, such as synaptotagmins, as the calcium sensors for neurotransmitter release, Munc18 as a major fusion protein at the synapse, and neurexins and neuroligins as central trans-synaptic cell adhesion molecules. One of the major current interests in his laboratory is to elucidate the relation of synaptic activity to synapse loss and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.