Penn Neurodegenerative Disease Researchers sit on CurePSP Research Roundtable and Panel

Penn Medicine’s John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, director, Institute on Aging, and Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD, MBA, director, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, were among the neurodegenerative disease researchers and physicians selected to participate in a recent Roundtable discussion and Q&A Panel at an event hosted by the CurePSP Foundation.

The event, which was held at the Union Club in New York City, reached an audience of those who have been affected by PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) and other related neurodegenerative diseases, such as family members and caregivers, in addition to donors and other investigators. The focus of the discussion mainly revolved around the relatively popular notion that PSP serves as a preferred target for the potential discovery of the causes behind all neurodegeneration, including but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease.

The reason that PSP seems to be a promising way to understand these other diseases is because with this specific disorder, investigators are able to target a single misfolded protein within the brain. “All of these neurodegenerative disease that you’ve heard about are disorders of protein misfolding… but PSP is almost the only disease where there is enough clinical information to make a fairly specific predictive diagnosis of what the underlying pathology is… and that is so important for clinical trials of drugs if you are targeting tau,” explained Dr. Trojanowski during the Q&A session.

View the full roundtable and panel, including discussion of current progress, collaborations, and future plans, here:



0:00 – 2:40 – Intro and Opening Remarks: David Kemp, President of CurePSP

2:40 – Introduction to Moderator: Jonathan Weiner, Columbia Journalism School

7:30 – Karen Duff, PhD, Columbia University

13:17 – John Trojanowski, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

19:15 – Alison Goate, PhD, Mount Sinai

24:51 – Scott Small, MD, Columbia University

29:00 – Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD, MBA

33:19 – Sally Temple, PhD, Neural Stem Cell Institute

Q&A Panel

38:14Can you explain to us what is it in PSP that makes it promising as a way in to understanding all of the other diseases?

  • Answered by John Q. Trojanowski

43:24 Is there collaboration across the country and between the scientists?

  • Answered by Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD, MBA, Alison Goate, PhD and Scott Small, MD

49:00 – Has the movement of academic medical centers toward patents and spin off companies hindered or helped collaboration and research in this area?

  • Answered by John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, Karen Duff, PhD, and Alison Goate, PhD

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