Steven L. Wagner, Ph.D.

University of California, San Diego

After obtaining postgraduate degrees in microbiology and molecular genetics, Dr. Steven Wagner started his career studying Alzheimer’s disease at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. As a member of the team that identified amyloid precursor protein (APP), which has a pivotal role in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease, he established his importance in the field of research early in his career. An extremely warm individual who made those around him feel special, Dr. Wagner was genuine in his personal goal: to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. “When it came to actually translating scientific research into new therapies that might help patients or even end Alzheimer’s disease, once and for all, Steve was second to none,” said his friend and colleague, Dr. Rudy Tanzi. Dr. Tanzi continued, “In 2000, Steve and I co-founded a company to develop a drug that is now one of the field’s greatest hopes for stopping Alzheimer’s disease. When we finally beat Alzheimer’s disease, Steve will have played a major role.”

Related Research:

Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.

Project Description Researchers Funding
Comprehensive Analyses of Chronic Efficacy Studies with GSM 776890 for Submission of the Pre-IND Brochure to the FDA Prior to Pre-IND Meeting and IND Filing for the SAD/MAD Phase I Safety/Toxicity and Ultimately for Phase II and Phase III Efficacy Clinical Trials to Support the NDA 2020


The Effect of Chronic Gamma-Secretase Modulation on the Prevention of Traumatic Brain Injury-Provoked and Alzheimer’s Disease-Relevant Biochemical, Pathological and Behavioral Alterations 2018-2019


Biochemical Mapping of the GSM Binding Site of Novel Pyridazine-Derived Small Molecule Gamma-Secretase Modulators 2017 and 2019


Treating with Gamma-Secretase Modulators (GSMs) to Prevent Neurodegeneration in Mouse Models of Down Syndrome 2017 and 2019


Binding Site Characterization of a Novel Pyridazine-Derived Class of γ-Secretase Modulators 2016


Acceleration of FDA-Required GLP Gene Toxicity Studies with the GSM BPN-15606 2016


Lead Optimization and Lead Evolution of Potent SGSMs for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease 2015


Elucidation of the Molecular Target of Potent γ-Secretase Modulators 2014


Elucidation of the mechanism of action of Gamma Secretase Modulators 2013


Novel Soluble Gamma-Secretase Modulators for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease Identification of the Molecular Target of Potent Gamma-Secretase Modulators 2011


Design, Synthesis and Characterization of Novel and Potent Gamma Secretase Modulators: Physiochemical and Pharmacokinetic Properties 2009


Novel Soluable Gamma-Secretase Modulators 2010


Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.

Steven L. Wagner, Kevin D. Rynearson, Steven K. Duddy, Can Zhang, Phuong D. Nguyen, Ann Becker, Uyen Vo, Deborah Masliah, Louise Monte, Justin B. Klee, Corinne M. Echmalian, Weiming Xia, Luisa Quinti, Graham Johnson, Jiunn H. Lin, Doo Y. Kim, William C. Mobley, Robert A. Rissman, Rudolph E. Tanzi Pharmacological and Toxicological Properties of the Potent Oral gamma-Secretase Modulator BPN-15606, Journal Of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics, 362(1), Jul 2017, 31-44, Read More

Carla D’Avanzo, Christopher Sliwinski, Steven L. Wagner, Rudolph E. Tanzi, Doo Yeon Kim, and Dora M. Kovacs γ-Secretase modulators reduce endogenous amyloid β42 levels in human neural progenitor cells without altering neuronal differentiation, The FASEB Journal, 29(8), 22 April 2015, 3335-3341, Read More

Wagner SL, Tanzi RE, Mobley WC, Galasko D Potential Use of γ-Secretase Modulators in the Treatment of Alzheimer Disease, Arch Neurol., July 16, 2012, Read More

Kim M, Suh J, Romano D, Truong MH, Mullin K, Hooli B, Norton D, Tesco G, Elliot K, Wagner SL, Moir RD, Becker KD, Tanzi RE. Potential late-onset Alzheimer’s disease-associated mutations in the ADAM10 gene attenuate alpha-secretase activity., Human Molecular Genetics, Vol 18, Oct 15, 2009, Read More

Bertram L, Lange CL, Mullin K, Parkinson M, Hsiao M, Hogan MF,  Schjeide BMM, Hooli B, DeVito J, Ionita I, Jiang H, Laird N, Moscarillo T, Ohlsen KL, Elliott K, Wang X, Hu-Lince D, Ryder M, Murphy A, Wagner SL, Blacker D, Becker KD, Tanzi RE. Genome-wide Association Analysis Reveals Putative Alzheimer’s Disease Susceptibility Loci in Addition to APOE, Am. J. Hum. Genet., 83, November 2008, 623-632, Read More