The Function of alpha-Synuclein

Status: This talk is in preparation - details may change

Professor Robert Edwards received his BA from Yale College and his MD from Johns Hopkins. He trained in clinical neurology at UCSF, and as a postdoctoral fellow in molecular biology with William Rutter, also at UCSF. Professor Edwards established his own laboratory first at UCLA in 1990 when he began to work on neurotransmitter transporters and Parkinson’s disease. In addition, the Edwards lab has contributed to molecular cloning of the first opioid receptor, as well as the synaptic vesicle protein SV2. He moved back to UCSF in 1995 and has continued to make fundamental contributions to our understanding of both neurotransmitter release and neurodegenerative disease. His group has identified three distinct families of proteins that transport classical transmitters into synaptic vesicles, and explored their role in synaptic transmission using a combination of biochemistry, biophysical methods, optical imaging and genetic manipulation in mice. The group is also exploring both physiological and pathological roles of the Parkinson’s disease-associated protein alpha-synuclein.

Professor Edwards is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and has won a number of awards, including two Distinguished Investigator Awards from NARSAD. He has served on numerous editorial boards and review committees, including the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Parkinson Foundation. Current research interests include Parkinson’s disease and neurotransmitter release.