Dr. Dale Bredesen

Director of the Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Research, UCLA & Founding President and CEO, The Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Dr. Dale Bredesen, the founding President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, is an internationally recognized expert in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. He earned his undergraduate degree at Caltech in 1974, and his MD at Duke University in 1977. He trained in Internal Medicine at Duke and in Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He was Chief Resident at UCSF and then an NIH Fellow in the Molecular Biology of Degenerative Diseases in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Prof. Stanley Prusiner at UCSF from 1986-89. In 1989 he joined the faculty at UCLA, where he was awarded the Elizabeth R. and Thomas E. Plott Chair. In 1994, he was recruited to the Burnham Institute to direct the Program on Aging, and then in 1998 he became the founding President and CEO of the Buck Institute, the nation’s only independent institute devoted to basic research on aging and age-related diseases. He is a member of the National Advisory Council on Aging.

Dr. Bredesen’s research focuses on the mechanisms of cell death in the nervous system, and led to the discovery of a novel class of receptors—dependence receptors—that mediates fundamental processes as disparate as Alzheimer’s disease, fetal development, and the spread of cancer. His work was the first to show that mutations associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease, all lead to an increase in programmed cell death in neural cells, which in turn led to the first cell culture models of these diseases. Recently the Bredesen laboratory has used these results to develop novel screens for Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics, and has identified several novel candidates that are currently in pre-clinical testing. He has authored over two hundred scientific papers, book chapters, and books, given over 250 lectures around the world, and been recognized with the Cotzias Award from the American Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the Cherkin Award for research in neurodegenerative diseases from UCLA, the Landa Family Lectureship on Neurodegenerative Diseases from the University of Utah, and the Gilman-Barbour Distinguished Lectureship at the University of Michigan, among other awards.