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Ole Isacson, MD, PhD

Dr. Ole Isacson is Professor of Neurology (Neuroscience) at Harvard Medical School and the founding director of the Neuroregeneration Research Institute at McLean Hospital (MGB). After completion of his MD-PhD and research at University of Lund, Sweden, and a post-doctoral fellowship at University of Cambridge, UK, Dr Isacson was recruited as faculty to Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Neurology, and McLean Hospital to establish an independent laboratory. Prof. Isacson’s laboratory has elucidated biological processes, mechanisms and treatments of neuronal vulnerability in several neurodegenerative diseases. To reverse the effects of brain cell death, his work has pioneered and patented new biotechnologies for restorative treatments using molecular, gene therapy and cell replacement methods, including stem cell derived patient derived neurons. The dual goals of his work are to prevent brain degeneration in PD/AD related pathologies; and repair any irreversible brain damage by micro-restoration of new neurons and glia in the brain. Fundamentally, he and his collaborators have found lysosomal lipid function, and cellular lipid transfer, to be defective in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patient cells and tissues. New research in his laboratory have shown how to resolve lipid-induced problems in PD and dementia pre-clinical animal models and elucidated the interactions between neurons and glia in lipid pathologies. In addition, he and his team have provided discoveries, models and insights on the nexus of inflammatory reactions and neurodegenerative diseases. Prof. Isacson is Principal Faculty of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, since it was founded in 2005. He served as a member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation Executive Scientific Advisory Board (2014-2016). He has received several international prizes, research awards and lectureships, including The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: The Lindahl Investigator Award, and the Bernard Sanberg Memorial Prize for Brain Repair. Prof. Isacson served as the President of the International Cell Transplant Society (TTS), (2007-2008). In addition to his academic work, he served as a US government federal advisory committee member for the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) (2014-2016), the CSO of Pfizer’s Neuroscience Division (2016-2017) and currently serves on SABs and Boards of several biotech companies. He is the author or co-author of ~ 400 scientific research articles and 3 books in his field. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience from 2010-2016. Prof. Isacson was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2013.

Director, Neuroregeneration Research Institute, McLean Hospital;

Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, HMS


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