“TIME 100” Recognizes Rudy Tanzi, Ph.D.

Last week, Time Magazine published its annual list of the world’s most influential pioneers. We are pleased to announce that Dana Alliance member, Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., has been deemed a “TIME 100” honoree for his leading research on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Tanzi currently serves as Chair of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium, Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as head of the Alzheimer’s Genome Project.

From left, Rudy Tanzi, with Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health, in a photo from the Rockstars of Science series that first ran in GQ magazine in 2009.(Geoffrey Beene Gives Back/GQ)

From left, Rudy Tanzi, with Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health, in a photo from the Rockstars of Science series that first ran in GQ magazine in 2009.(Geoffrey Beene Gives Back/GQ)

Along with his passion for science, Tanzi has been an avid musician since childhood. In the early 1980’s, he experienced an unexpected scientific breakthrough with fellow DABI member James Gusella, Ph.D. after a long night of playing music with his band. At the time, Tanzi and Gusella were using bacteriophage cloning as a method of studying DNA in the lab. Gusella had left him specific instructions on retrieving the bacteriophages from their individual plates, but the sleep-deprived Tanzi decided to take a shortcut:

I said, ‘Ah, he’ll never know,’” and decided to instead take all of the clones from one plate. “It turned out that I took a short cut, and that was one of the things that contributed to us finding the Huntington’s disease gene, because all of the clones came from one plate rather than twelve different plates.

Since then, Tanzi has continued to make scientific advances that bring us even closer to finding a cure for the devastating degenerative disease. To read more about his love of music and science, click here.

-Seimi Rurup

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