Tau Immunotherapy and Imaging

Einar Sigurdsson, Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience & Physiology, New York University

Video Overview

Einar M. Sigurdsson, Ph.D. is a tenured Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Physiology, and Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. A native of Iceland, he received a master’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Iceland, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Loyola University Chicago Medical Center. He subsequently obtained postdoctoral training at New York University School of Medicine.

His current research focuses on pathogenesis, therapy and diagnosis for age-related protein conformational disorders, in particular Alzheimer’s disease.

His honors include a Zenith Fellows Award and the Margaret M. Cahn Research Award from the Alzheimer´s Association, and the Irma T. Hirschl Career Scientist Award. He is presently serving as a standing member on an NIH study section.

Dr. Sigurdsson and his collaborators pioneered the use of modified Aβ derivatives as potential immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, they showed for the first time that active and passive immunization as well as chelators delayed the onset of prion disease in mice, with follow up immunization studies leading to prevention of clinical symptoms in mice.

On the diagnostic front, Dr. Sigurdsson and colleagues published the initial report on detection of amyloid plaques in living mouse brains by magnetic resonance imaging. Lately, he has pioneered the approach to harness the immune system to target pathological tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies.