Lead Investigator Bio

Patrik Brundin Laboratory
Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D.
VAI Associate Director of Research
Professor and Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Science
Jay Van Andel Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Research

Areas of expertise: Pathogenic mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease (prion-like movement of alpha-synuclein and aggregation); cell replacement therapy; drug repurposing; brain repair; disease modification


Dr. Patrik Brundin is one of the top cited researchers in the field of neuroscience with more than 350 publications on Parkinson’s disease and related topics. He has 35 years of experience studying neurodegenerative diseases, Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis and therapeutic neural transplantation into people with Parkinson’s. His current research focuses on pathogenic mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease as well as the development of new therapies that slow or stop disease progression or that repair damaged brain circuits. He was among the first to articulate the “prion-like” hypothesis of Parkinson’s, which describes how abnormal proteins related to the disease spread from cell to cell in the brain, causing the cellular damage that perpetuates Parkinson’s.

In addition to managing his laboratory at Van Andel Institute and serving as director of the Institute’s Center for Neurodegenerative Science, he is the co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, a member of the World Parkinson Coalition’s Board of Directors, and chair of the Linked Clinical Trials committee, which aims to repurpose already approved drugs to treat Parkinson’s. Dr. Brundin also has coordinated multiple international research programs. He is heavily involved in the Parkinson’s community and works closely with advocates to find ways to find ways to further research and to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s.