Albert La Spada, M.D., Ph.D.
Albert La Spada, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Neurology, Neurobiology, and Cell Biology at the Duke University School of Medicine, where he directs the Duke Center for Neurodegeneration & Neurotherapeutics. While a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, La Spada identified the cause of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy as an expansion of a trinucleotide repeat in the androgen receptor gene. As the first disorder shown to be caused by an expanded repeat tract, this discovery of a novel type of genetic mutation led to the emergence of new field of study. La Spada’s research remains focused on neurodegenerative disease, and he isseeking novel therapies to treat spinocerebellar ataxia type 7, spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, Huntington ’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a Biology degree in 1986.