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. Groveman BR, Kraus A, Raymond LD, Dolan MA, Anson KJ, Dorward DW, Caughey B. Charge neutralization of the central lysine cluster in prion protein (PrP) promotes PrP(Sc)-like folding of recombinant PrP amyloids. J Biol Chem. 2015;290(2):1119-28.

  2. Saijo E, Ghetti B, Zanusso G, Oblak A, Furman JL, Diamond MI, Kraus A, Caughey B. Ultrasensitive and selective detection of 3-repeat tau seeding activity in Pick disease brain and cerebrospinal fluid. Acta Neuropathol. 2017;133(5):751-765.

  3. Orrú CD, Groveman BR, Hughson AG, Zanusso G, Coulthart MB, Caughey B. Rapid and sensitive RT-QuIC detection of human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease using cerebrospinal fluid. MBio. 2015;6(1).

  4. Hughson AG, Race B, Kraus A, Sangaré LR, Robins L, Groveman BR, Saijo E, Phillips K, Contreras L, Dhaliwal V, Manca M, Zanusso G, Terry D, Williams JF, Caughey B. Inactivation of Prions and Amyloid Seeds with Hypochlorous Acid. PLoS Pathog. 2016;12(9):e1005914.

  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.

This page was last updated on April 24th, 2018