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Stanley B. Prusiner

Stanley B. PrusinerAKA Stanley Benjamin Prusiner

Born: 28-May-1942
Birthplace: Des Moines, IA

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist, Doctor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Prions

Frustrated by the inability of scientists to find evidence of the virus that had been presumed to cause scrapie and its human equivalent, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Prusiner theorized in 1982 that these diseases are instead caused by prions, a term he coined to describe infectious protein. Even after the prion protein was positively identified in Prusiner's laboratory the following year, his notion of a new means of disease transmission was not widely accepted for nearly a decade.

Prusiner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1997. His findings have had profound impact on research into diseases now known to be caused by prions, including new variant (nvCJD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or "mad cow disease". Prusiner's work has also provided a promising field of research into Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, diseases which seem to share important characteristics with prion-derived diseases. He currently holds two professorships at the University of California at San Francisco, and a third across the Bay at Berkeley.

Father: Lawrence Prusiner (architect)
Mother: Miriam Spigel Prusiner
Brother: Paul Prusiner
Wife: Sandy Turk Prusiner (math teacher)
Daughter: Helen Prusiner
Daughter: Leah Prusiner (artist)

    High School: Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, OH
    University: BS Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania (1964)
    Scholar: Molecular Biology, University of Stockholm (1967-68)
    Medical School: MD, University of Pennsylvania (1968)
    Scholar: Medicine, University of California at San Francisco (1968-69)
    Scholar: Biochemistry, National Institutes of Health (1969-72)
    Scholar: Neurology, University of California at San Francisco (1972-74)
    Teacher: Neurology, University of California at San Francisco (1974-84)
    Teacher: Virology, UC Berkeley (1979-84)
    Professor: Virology, UC Berkeley (1984-)
    Professor: Neurology, University of California at San Francisco (1984-)
    Professor: Biochemistry, University of California at San Francisco (1988-)

    Dickson Prize 1992
    Lasker Award 1994
    Wolf Prize in Medicine 1996
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1997
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Philosophical Society
    National Academy of Sciences
    Royal Society
    Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity
    Jewish Ancestry
    Russian Ancestry Paternal

Author of books:
Slow Transmissible Diseases of the Nervous System (1979, with William J Hadlow)
Prions: Novel Infectious Pathogens causing Scrapie and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (1987, with Michael P McKinley)
Prion Diseases: Of Humans and Animals (1994)
Prions, Prions, Prions (1996)
Mad Cows, Cannibals and Prions: Prion Biology and Diseases (1996, with Piet Borst)
Prion Biology and Diseases (2004)


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