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Kenneth H. Fischbeck, M.D.

NIH Distinguished Investigator

Neurogenetics Branch

NINDS

Building 35, Room 2A-1000
35 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892

301-435-9318

fischbek@ninds.nih.gov

Research Topics

The purpose of the Neurogenetics Branch is to investigate the causes of hereditary neurological diseases, with the goal of developing effective treatments for these disorders. Particular areas of research interest in the Fischbeck lab include the polyglutamine expansion diseases (Huntington's disease, Kennedy's disease, and spinocerebellar ataxia), spinal muscular atrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, muscular dystrophy, hereditary motor neuron disease, and Friedreich's ataxia. A genetic outreach program is intended to identify and characterize patients and families with hereditary neurological diseases. The disease mechanisms are studied and potential treatments are evaluated in cell culture and other model systems. A trial of dutasteride treatment for Kennedy's disease was recently completed, and other clinical trials for Kennedy's disease and Duchenne muscular dystrophy are in progress. Efforts are also currently underway to develop new treatments for spinal muscular atrophy.

Biography

Dr. Fischbeck received A.B. and A.M. degrees from Harvard University and an M.D. degree from Johns Hopkins. After a medical internship at Case Western Reserve University and a neurology residency at the University of California in San Francisco, he did postdoctoral research on muscular dystrophy at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1982 he joined the faculty in the Neurology Department at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. In 1998 he came to the NINDS as Chief of the Neurogenetics Branch. He received the Cotzias Award from the American Academy of Neurology and the Jacoby Award from the American Neurological Association, and he was elected to the Institute of Medicine. His research group is identifying the causes and studying the mechanisms of hereditary neurological and neuromuscular diseases with the goal of developing effective treatment for these disorders.

Selected Publications

  1. Kwon DY, Dimitriadi M, Terzic B, Cable C, Hart AC, Chitnis A, Fischbeck KH, Burnett BG. The E3 ubiquitin ligase mind bomb 1 ubiquitinates and promotes the degradation of survival of motor neuron protein. Mol Biol Cell. 2013;24(12):1863-71.
  2. Fernández-Rhodes LE, Kokkinis AD, White MJ, Watts CA, Auh S, Jeffries NO, Shrader JA, Lehky TJ, Li L, Ryder JE, Levy EW, Solomon BI, Harris-Love MO, La Pean A, Schindler AB, Chen C, Di Prospero NA, Fischbeck KH. Efficacy and safety of dutasteride in patients with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet Neurol. 2011;10(2):140-7.
  3. Kwon DY, Motley WW, Fischbeck KH, Burnett BG. Increasing expression and decreasing degradation of SMN ameliorate the spinal muscular atrophy phenotype in mice. Hum Mol Genet. 2011;20(18):3667-77.
  4. Sangaré M, Hendrickson B, Sango HA, Chen K, Nofziger J, Amara A, Dutra A, Schindler AB, Guindo A, Traoré M, Harmison G, Pak E, Yaro FN, Bricceno K, Grunseich C, Chen G, Boehm M, Zukosky K, Bocoum N, Meilleur KG, Daou F, Bagayogo K, Coulibaly YI, Diakité M, Fay MP, Lee HS, Saad A, Gribaa M, Singleton AB, Maiga Y, Auh S, Landouré G, Fairhurst RM, Burnett BG, Scholl T, Fischbeck KH. Genetics of low spinal muscular atrophy carrier frequency in sub-Saharan Africa. Ann Neurol. 2014;75(4):525-32.
  5. Rinaldi C, Schmidt T, Situ AJ, Johnson JO, Lee PR, Chen KL, Bott LC, Fadó R, Harmison GH, Parodi S, Grunseich C, Renvoisé B, Biesecker LG, De Michele G, Santorelli FM, Filla A, Stevanin G, Dürr A, Brice A, Casals N, Traynor BJ, Blackstone C, Ulmer TS, Fischbeck KH. Mutation in CPT1C Associated With Pure Autosomal Dominant Spastic Paraplegia. JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(5):561-70.
This page was last updated on January 11th, 2012