Advisory Board

Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi

Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D. is Professor of Neurology at Harvard University Medical School and Director of the Genetics and Aging Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. His primary speciality is Alzheimer’s Disease Research. His interests include Molecular Studies Of Aging, Molecular Biology, and Genetics and Biochemistry of Neurodegenerative Disease.
Rudy worked on the isolation of the first familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) gene, the amyloid b protein precursor (APP) in 1987. He also played a central role in the identification of the two other FAD genes known as Presenilin 1 and 2 in 1995. In 1993, he isolated the gene responsible for the neurological disorder known as Wilson’s disease that involves systemic copper toxicity.
He was selected for The Harvard 100: Most Influential Alumni. Other recognizable figures that were included in The Harvard 100 include: Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, President George W. Bush, Senator Edward Kennedy, and cancer researcher Dr. Judah Folkman. He is a cofounding scientist of Prana Biotechnology. The mission of Prana Biotechnology is to develop therapeutic drugs to treat the central disease pathways that cause degeneration of the brain and the eye as we age. He is also cofounder of TorreyPines Therapeutics, a biotech company that is currently developing Alzheimer’s drugs.
He coauthored Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, New Frontiers in Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics, Alzheimer’s disease: one disorder, too many genes?, and The genetic epidemiology of neurodegenerative disease, and coedited Alzheimer’s Disease: Advances in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Molecular Mechanisms of Dementia, and Presenilins and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Rudy serves on over a dozen editorial boards and has received many awards, including The Metropolitan Life Foundation Award for Medical Research and The Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders. He also received the French Foundation Fellowship Award, the Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences Award, the Nathan Shock, and the Alzheimer’s Association T.L.L. Temple Award.
His invited honorary lectures include a Nobel Forum Lecture, a Travelling Grass Lecture, the Paul Stark Lecture, the Higuchi Honorary Lecture, and the Nathan Shock Lecture. He belongs to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute of Aging. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Rochester and earned his Ph.D. at Harvard.
Listen to Rudy’s interview on WTIC NewsTalk 1080. Read the New York Times article A CONVERSATION WITH RUDOLPH TANZI: A Gene Detective on the Trail of Alzheimer’s. Rudy is also an internationally recognized keyboardist. Listen to his soundscapes, piano works, solo improvisational piano works, jazz piano trio, jazz piano, The Quiet Mind Project, chill-jazz, chill-blues, Nantasket Beach Jam Band, and genomic electronica.