Dimitri Krainc, MD, PhD

Northwestern University

Dimitri Krainc, MD, PhD currently serves as the Aaron Montgomery Ward Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology and Director of the Center for Neurogenetics at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. Previously, Dr. Krainc spent more than 20 years at Harvard Medical School where he completed his research and clinical training and served on the neurology faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School until 2013 when he relocated to Chicago. 

Informed by genetic causes of disease, his lab has studied converging mechanisms across different neurodegenerative disorders that have led to the development of targeted therapies and innovative clinical trials. His group has made impactful contributions to the understanding of Huntington’s disease pathogenesis that led to novel therapeutic strategies (Science, 2002; Cell, 2004; Cell 2006; Cell, 2009, Nature Medicine, 2011). They discovered a mechanism that links Parkinson's (PD) and Gaucher’s diseases via lysosomal glucocerebrosidase (Cell, 2011) that led to development of targeted therapeutics (Science Translational Medicine, 2019). His team also uncovered novel converging lysosomal and mitochondrial mechanisms in various forms of PD that were observed only in human neurons, but not in mouse models (Science, 2017), providing a platform for improved translation of preclinical studies in PD. Their recent discovery of direct contacts between mitochondria and lysosomes (Nature, 2018) has fundamental implications for elucidating the role of organelle dynamics in physiological and pathological cellular functions. His work is currently funded by the Javits Award, as well as several other NIH and foundation grants. Dr. Krainc is the principal founder of two biotech companies, in Boston and Chicago, focused on therapeutic development for neurodegenerative diseases.


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