Dr. Oleg Butovsky PhD
Howard Weiner Distinguished Chair in Neurology,
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases
Department of Neurology,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Dr. Butovsky’s major scientific interest is understanding the biology of resident microglia and peripheral inflammatory monocytes in homeostasis and neurodegenerative conditions. During his Ph.D. studies at the Weizmann Institute of Science, he investigated the role of microglia in regulating the Aβ plaque deposition in AD models and the role of microglia in neurogenesis. His laboratory identified subpopulations of microglia and demonstrated how microglia could be both beneficial and detrimental in the context of neurodegeneration and elucidated the relationship of microglia to CNS diseases, including AD, MS, and ALS. The above-mentioned findings prompted him to further investigate innate immunity’s role in AD. His laboratory recently identified a new role of APOE in microglia regulation in neurodegenerative diseases which has been widely recognized in the field. This has led to the investigation of APOE in microglia regulation during disease progression in AD and TAU mice, following the establishment of a consortium funded by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, of which he is a member. This collaboration led to the identification of the negative role of APOE4 in regulating microglia-astrocyte interactions in AD. These findings led his laboratory to study how other AD risk genes expressed in microglia impair MGnD-astrocyte crosstalk, promoting the initiation and progression of the disease. With the new knowledge gained, he hopes to address fundamental questions of the role of microglia in neurodegenerative conditions and apply this knowledge towards the development of novel immune-based targeting therapies for AD.