Prusiner, Stanley Ben
Stanley Ben Prusiner, 1942–, American neurologist, b. Des Moines, Iowa, M.D. Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1968. Prusiner has been a professor at the Univ. of California, San Francisco since 1974. In 1997 he received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his discovery of prions, a new type of infectious agent. Normally existing as innocuous cellular proteins, prions can cause deadly brain diseases when genetic mutations occur. His work determined the cause of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (
"mad cow disease"
) and a similar disorder in humans, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; his findings also laid the foundation for uncovering the cause of other diseases that cause dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease.
See his Madness and Memory (2014).