April 11, 2018

Dr. Michael Shelanski

Michael Shelanski, Senior Vice-Dean for Research at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, received his MD in 1966 and his PhD in 1967. His work with Prof. Edwin Taylor and fellow student Gary Borisy was the first isolation and biochemical characterization of the protein tubulin, the building block of microtubules that are critical in cell structure and cell division. He trained in Neuropathology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and joined the faculty there in 1969. This was followed by work at the NIH with Marshall Nirenberg, at the Institut Pasteur and at Harvard Medical School. During this time his laboratory purified and characterized the proteins of the neurofilaments, a key skeletal element in nerve cells. From 1978 to 1987 he served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at NYU. From 1987 to 2015 he was Delafield Professor and Chairman of the Department Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University and Pathologist-in-Chief at the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. He also was the founding Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia University.  Co-Director of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain and the MD-PhD program.  He has served on numerous editorial boards and advisory committees and currently President of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinere in Paris. He is a member of the Association of American Physicians and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Shelanski’s trainees are on the faculties of leading universities; two have won the Potamkin Award for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and are members of the Institute of Medicine.