(Philadelphia, PA) - Renowned researcher and clinician John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been appointed director of Penn's Institute on Aging. His appointment is effective immediately. Dr. Trojanowski has been serving as interim director of the Institute since the departure of Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His main research/clinical interests as a senior fellow at the Institute are neurodegenerative diseases, dementia, and memory loss.

"As co-director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, Trojanowski has demonstrated how much can be accomplished by investigators working synergistically," said Arthur H. Rubenstein, MB, BCh, Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and Dean of the School of Medicine. "I have every confidence that he will have the same extraordinary level of success heading our Institute on Aging, whose stated mission is to improve the physiological, psychological, and social well-being of the elderly through state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research, education, and clinical services."

Trojanowski has been a member of the School of Medicine faculty since 1981. In 1990, he was awarded a five-year $3,500,000 Program Project grant by the National Institute on Aging to pursue multidisciplinary studies of molecular substrates of aging and neuron death associated with Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. In 1991, he became director of Penn's Alzheimer's Disease Center, funded by a $3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, which designated it a comprehensive center - the only one in the Delaware Valley. In 1992, with Trojanowski and Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ph.D., as co-directors, Penn's Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research was established.

Trojanowski's current research centers on the molecular mechanisms underlying neuron dysfunction, degeneration, and death in normal aging as well as neurodegenerative diseases. In his research, he uses immunological, biochemical, molecular, and morphological methods.

In 1998, Trojanowski shared the Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick's, Alzheimer's, and Related Diseases. He was recognized for his contributions to the advancement of the understanding of the neurofibrillary "tangles," one of the hallmark lesions of brains affected by Alzheimer's disease. Recipient of a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health, he has also received the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award for his research on Alzheimer's disease. The National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression honored him with its Established Investigator Award. A member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, Trojanowski has served on the medical and advisory boards of the National Alzheimer's Association and the NIH's National Advisory Council on Aging. Trojanowski has also served as president of the American Association of Neuropathologists.

Lee, who has served with Dr. Trojanowski as co-director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, will advance to director of the Center, and Dr. Trojanowski will become associate director.

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Editor's Note:

Founded in 1765 in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is the nation's first medical school and continues to thrive as a world leader in research and medicine. The Penn School of Medicine consistently ranks highly among the best U.S. medical schools in the regards to both academic and research performance. Working with the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Penn medical researchers and physicians continue to serve the medical needs of Philadelphians and the entire Delaware Valley.


Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $7.8 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $425 million awarded in the 2018 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Home Care and Hospice Services, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 40,000 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2018, Penn Medicine provided more than $525 million to benefit our community.

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