Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center

Dimitri  Krainc, MD

Dimitri Krainc, MD

Chair, Department of Neurology
Director, Center for Neurogenetics

Aaron Montgomery Ward Professor

Professor of Neurology (Movement Disorders), Neurological Surgery, Physiology and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Focus of Work

Bio

The overarching goal of our scientific work has been to define key molecular pathways in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration and to uncover novel targets for therapeutic development. We have focused on pathogenic mechanisms that are commonly altered in neurodegenerative disorders such as deficient degradation of aggregation-prone proteins and mitochondrial dysfunction. As a general strategy, we study rare genetic diseases with mutations in genes that play a role in these key mechanisms and p...[Read full text]The overarching goal of our scientific work has been to define key molecular pathways in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration and to uncover novel targets for therapeutic development. We have focused on pathogenic mechanisms that are commonly altered in neurodegenerative disorders such as deficient degradation of aggregation-prone proteins and mitochondrial dysfunction. As a general strategy, we study rare genetic diseases with mutations in genes that play a role in these key mechanisms and pathways. Models of Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Gaucher’s disease have been utilized to examine if activation of cellular degradation pathways can lead to neuroprotection. To validate and study these findings in human neurons, we utilize induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) generated by reprogramming of patient-specific skin fibroblasts. These iPS cells are differentiated into specific neuronal subtypes in order to characterize the interplay of genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors in disease pathogenesis. The ultimate goal of these studies is to develop targeted therapies for Parkinson’s and related neurodegenerative disorders.[Shorten text]

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Education and Certification

  • MD: University of Zagreb (1992)
  • Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Neurology (2000)
  • Fellowship: Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Movement Disorders (2002)
  • Board Certification: Neurology

Visit Dimitri Krainc's Northwestern Scholars Profile to see the list of publications.