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Vol. LVII, No. 24
December 2, 2005

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Hardy To Give Mahoney Lecture, Dec. 15
Dr. John Hardy  
Dr. John Hardy, chief of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at the National Institute on Aging, will present the annual Florence S. Mahoney Lecture on Aging from 3 to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 14, in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. His lecture is titled, "Neurodegeneration: Too Much of a Bad Thing Kills You."

Born in Nelson, England, Hardy received his B.S. degree in biochemistry from Leeds University and his Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from Imperial College, London. Moving to the Medical Research Council neuropathogenesis unit in Newcastle, he began his work on the neurochemistry of Alzheimer's disease while developing a neurotransmitter pharmacology assessment in human tissue.

His interests took him to the Swedish Brain Bank in Urmea before returning to London's St. Mary's Hospital Medical School (Imperial College). There, Hardy studied the genetics of Alzheimer's disease. In 1992, his group identified mutations in the amyloid precursor protein gene, the first known cause of Alzheimer's disease.

Accepting the Pfeiffer endowed chair in Alzheimer research at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Hardy and his research team made animal models of Alzheimer's disease and characterized the structure of the presenilin gene. In 1996, the group moved to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., where Hardy was named chair of neuroscience. While at the Mayo Clinic, he helped find mutations in the tau gene in Pick's disease and contributed to the development of transgenic mice with both plaques and tangles. It was at Mayo that he began his investigation of the genetics of Parkinson's disease and other Parkinsonian disorders.

In 2001, Hardy established his laboratory at NIA, where he conducts research on both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Most notably, his research group has demonstrated that alpha-synuclein overexpression is one cause of Parkinson's.

For his contributions to Alzheimer's research, Hardy has been awarded the Peter Debje Prize, Allied Signal Prize, MetLife Prize, Potamkin Prize and Kaul Prize. He is the author of 374 articles and in 2001 was named honorary professor of neuroscience at University College London.

There will be a reception following the lecture.

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