Clemens Scherzer, M.D. is Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and heads the Precision Neurology Program and Center for Advanced Parkinson Research of the American Parkinson Association at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Scherzer uses genomics, single-cell multi-omics, and computational neurology to develop a future, predictive and preventive health care for Parkinson’s and other common brain diseases. His vision is to systematically map the entire Parkinsome and to thereby decode, simulate, and correct the genetic programs of patients and their brain cells using precision medicine. His laboratory identified five genetic loci driving progression from PD to dementia (Nature Genetics, 2021; Lancet Neurology, 2017) and raised the hypothesis of genetic divergence in the architecture of disease progression and susceptibility. Scherzer’s systems transcriptomics strategies revealed novel gene-regulatory mechanisms and therapeutic targets and were highlighted as “a glimpse into the future of biomedicine”: e.g. the beta2-adrenoreceptors as regulator of the alpha-synuclein gene driving risk of Parkinson (Science, 2017) and PGC1alpha-regulated mitochondrial bioenergetics defects (Science Translational Medicine, 2010). Currently, the lab is mapping the genetic program of 1 million human brain cells (e.g. Parkinson Cell Atlas in 5D) and exploring the vast universe of noncoding RNAs (Nature Neuroscience, 2018).
Dr Scherzer co-founded the three major biobanks for Parkinson’s disease, including the Harvard Biomarkers Study, and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the American Parkinson Disease Foundation. His work was recognized by the Dr. Paul Beeson and the George C. Cotzias Memorial Awards, and featured in Science, Scientific American, Washington Post, US News & World Reports, and NOVA Next.