Chairman, Department of Neurology, and Director, Simpson Querrey Center for Neurogenetics at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine
Chair of the Vanqua Bio Scientific Advisory Board and Co-founder of Vanqua Bio
Dimitri Krainc, MD, PhD currently serves as the Aaron Montgomery Ward Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology and Director of the Simpson Querrey Center for Neurogenetics at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. He also serves as Venture Partner at OrbiMed Advisors, LLC. Previously, Dr. Krainc spent more than 20 years at Harvard Medical School where he completed his research training followed by a neurology residency and fellowship in movement disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital. He then served on the neurology faculty at MGH and Harvard Medical School until 2013 when he relocated to Chicago. The overarching goal of Dr. Krainc’s research is to study rare genetic diseases as a window to understanding neurodegeneration across the lifespan. His group discovered how to improve degradation of aggregation-prone proteins such as mutant huntingtin and a-synuclein by the lysosomal pathway. They identified a positive feedback loop between alpha-synuclein and lysosomal glucocerebrosidase in synucleinopathies (Cell, 2011). Using patient-specific neurons, his lab discovered a link between mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction in neurodegeneration of human but not mouse midbrain neurons (Science, 2017). Based on these findings, Krainc’s group initiated the development of activators of lysosomal glucocerebrosidase as targeted therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease. Their recent discovery of direct contacts between mitochondria and lysosomes and organelle dynamics has implications for various neurological and other disorders (Nature, 2108). Dr. Krainc is also the founder of Lysosomal Therapeutics, Inc. and serves on SABs of Intellia, Prevail Therapeutics and CuraX Therapeutics. He received numerous awards for his work, including the Javits Neuroscience Award.