Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador and founder of Bioquark, interviews Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy, Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, Vice-Chair of Neurology, Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, and Co-Director of the Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital.

On this episode we are going to journey back to the topic of Alzheimer’s, a disease of substantial unmet medical need, projected to affect over a 100 million people worldwide by mid century.

Dr. Rudolph Tanzi is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, Vice-Chair of Neurology, Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, and Co-Director of the Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and has been investigating the genetics of neurological disease since the 1980s when he participated in the first study that used genetic markers to find a disease gene for Huntington’s disease.

In 1990, Dr. Tanzi received his Ph.D. in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, where his doctoral thesis was on the discovery and isolation of the first Alzheimer’s disease gene — the amyloid precursor protein (APP), published in 1987 in Science.

Dr. Tanzi co-discovered all three familial early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) genes and several other neurological disease genes including those responsible for Wilson’s disease.

Dr. Tanzi also serves as Chair of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Leadership Group and leader of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Alzheimer’s Genome Project, where he has carried out multiple genome wide association studies (GWAS) of thousands of Alzheimer’s families leading to the identification of novel AD candidate genes, including CD33, and ADAM10 genes.

Dr. Tanzi has also worked on the role of zinc and copper in AD, on gamma secretase modulators for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s, and on human stem cells to create an “Alzheimer’s-in-a-Dish”, three-dimensional neural culture system, that was the first to recapitulate both pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Tanzi has published over 500 scientific papers, including the top three most cited papers in the field of Alzheimer’s disease research. Dr. Tanzi also co-authored the books Decoding Darkness: The Search the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, the New York Times Best Selling book Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being, Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being, and The Healing Self: A Revolutionary New Plan to Supercharge Your Immunity and Stay Well for Life with Deepak Chopra.

Dr. Tanzi has made numerous television appearances on shows such as CBS This Morning and Dr. Oz. He also hosts the shows “Super Brain with Dr. Rudy Tanzi”, “Super Genes with Dr. Rudy Tanzi” and “The Brain Body Mind Connection with Dr. Rudy Tanzi and Dr. Deepak Chopra” on PBS television.

In addition to his work in AD and brain health, Dr. Tanzi has wide ranging musical pursuits. Dr. Tanzi professionally plays keyboards, most recently with Joe Perry and Aerosmith. He also co-wrote the song tribute to Alzheimer’s patients called “Remember Me”, performed by singer Chris Mann. He plays keyboards on the albums: “Aerosmith: Music from Another Dimension”, and “Joe Perry: Switzerland Manifesto.”

His background; how he developed an interest in neurobiology and the domain of AD. His work on the Alzheimer’s Disease — Infectious Disease connection and the Alzheimer’s Disease — Neuro-inflammation connection. His work with stem cells and regenerative medicine. His work in the area of aging, brain health and the “psycho-biologic” aspects of health and wellness. About mental health and self care during the COVID-19 crisis.

This interview is in American English

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador

Credits: Ira Pastor interview video, text, and audio.

Follow Ira Pastor on Twitter: @IraSamuelPastor

If you liked this interview, be sure to check out our interview exploring the viral causes of Alzheimer’s!

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