Byron W. Caughey, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

TSE / Prion Biochemistry Section


Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Building 2, Room 2106
903 South 4th Street
Hamilton, MT 59840


Research Topics

Major Areas of Research

  • TSEs (prion diseases)
  • Prion structure, amplification and detection, and disease prevention and therapeutics
  • Prion protein functions and cell biology
  • Protein-folding diseases


Dr. Caughey received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985 and completed postdoctoral studies in pharmacology at Duke University Medical Center from 1985 to 1986. He has conducted TSE/prion research in the Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases since 1986. He became a tenured senior investigator in 1994. Dr. Caughey is also an editor for the Journal of Virology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Selected Publications

  1. Kraus A, Hoyt F, Schwartz CL, Hansen B, Artikis E, Hughson AG, Raymond GJ, Race B, Baron GS, Caughey B. High-resolution structure and strain comparison of infectious mammalian prions. Mol Cell. 2021;81(21):4540-4551.e6.
  2. Hoyt F, Standke HG, Artikis E, Schwartz CL, Hansen B, Li K, Hughson AG, Manca M, Thomas OR, Raymond GJ, Race B, Baron GS, Caughey B, Kraus A. Cryo-EM structure of anchorless RML prion reveals variations in shared motifs between distinct strains. Nat Commun. 2022;13(1):4005.
  3. Kraus A, Saijo E, Metrick MA 2nd, Newell K, Sigurdson CJ, Zanusso G, Ghetti B, Caughey B. Seeding selectivity and ultrasensitive detection of tau aggregate conformers of Alzheimer disease. Acta Neuropathol. 2019;137(4):585-598.
  4. Groveman BR, Orrù CD, Hughson AG, Raymond LD, Zanusso G, Ghetti B, Campbell KJ, Safar J, Galasko D, Caughey B. Rapid and ultra-sensitive quantitation of disease-associated α-synuclein seeds in brain and cerebrospinal fluid by αSyn RT-QuIC. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2018;6(1):7.
  5. Orrú CD, Bongianni M, Tonoli G, Ferrari S, Hughson AG, Groveman BR, Fiorini M, Pocchiari M, Monaco S, Caughey B, Zanusso G. A test for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease using nasal brushings. N Engl J Med. 2014;371(6):519-29.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Wednesday, August 24, 2022