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Prof. Lennart Mucke

Prof. Mucke directs the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease (GIND) in San Francisco. He is the Joseph B. Martin Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience and a Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and a member of UCSF’s Neuroscience, Biomedical Sciences, and Medical Scientist (MD/PhD) Graduate Training Programs.

In these roles, Prof. Mucke has created a leading program for research and training in disease-focused neuroscience. He also established novel models and strategies to expedite the translation of scientific discoveries into better treatments for brain diseases that are frequent, devastating and costly to populations around the world.

His own research focuses on the mechanisms by which such disorders cause cognitive deficits, behavioral abnormalities and other disabling symptoms, with an emphasis on dementias, epilepsy and autism. He discovered unexpected links among these conditions; revealed that neural network and immune cell dysfunctions can engage in a vicious circle that likely contributes to synaptic impairments and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease (AD); demonstrated that reducing overall tau levels counteracts excitation/inhibition imbalance in models of diverse brain disorders; and produced the scientific foundation for the design of clinical trials aimed at reversing network hyperexcitability in AD. These contributions have helped advance the AD research field from its traditional focus on neuropathological alterations toward an understanding of the disease at the functional level of synaptic and neural network activities.

Prof. Mucke is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Neurological Association, and the Association of American Physicians. He has served on the National Advisory Council on Aging for the National Institutes of Health and chaired the Senate of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) as well as the Scientific Advisory Board of the UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London. For his accomplishments, Prof. Mucke has received the Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology, MetLife Foundation Award for Medical Research, American Pacesetter Award from the ARCS Foundation, Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award and Zenith Award from the Alzheimer’s Association, MERIT Award from the NIH, and an Award for Excellence in Direct Teaching and Mentoring from the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators.


Prof. Mucke is a graduate of the Georg-August University and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Neurobiology) in Göttingen, Germany. He trained in internal medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, in neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and in neuroimmunology and neurovirology at The Scripps Research Institute, where he received his first faculty appointment. He was then recruited to the Gladstone Institutes and UCSF, where he founded the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease in 1998.

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