Ronald Schnaar, Ph.D.

John Jacob Abel Professor of Pharmacology and a Professor of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


Ronald Schnaar, Ph.D., is the John Jacob Abel Professor of Pharmacology and a Professor of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. His biomedical research focuses on the roles of glycans and glycan recognition in the physiology and pathology of the nervous and immune systems. He has performed and directed glycobiology research for nearly 50 years. His biomedical research team discovered that gangliosides, major glycans of nerve cells and axons, function in axon-myelin interactions, including stabilization of axons and the control of axon regeneration after injury. His team identified glycans on human neutrophils that initiate neutrophilic inflammation and glycans in airways that regulate human eosinophilic and mast cell (allergic) inflammation. In their latest studies, his team discovered a unique glycan in the human brain that regulates debris clearance and has implications for Alzheimer’s disease progression. Dr. Schnaar has served as the Editor-in-chief of the journal Glycobiology, co-editor of the textbook Essentials of Glycobiology, President of the Society for Glycobiology, Steering Committee Member of the Consortium for Functional Glycomics, and Director of the Lung Inflammatory Disease Program of Excellence in Glycosciences, a multi-institutional NIH-funded program to harness glycan recognition to treat asthma and other inflammatory lung diseases.