Leonard Petrucelli, Ph.D., earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Barry University, Miami, and his Ph.D. degree in molecular and cellular biochemistry at Loyola University and Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago. He came to Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus as a research fellow in 2000 and joined the neurosciences research staff two years later. He is currently a consultant and member of the Department of Neuroscience at Mayo Clinic in Florida, where he holds the academic rank of professor of neuroscience and has full faculty privileges in molecular neuroscience at Mayo Graduate School. He is recognized as the Ralph B. and Ruth K. Abrams Professor.
Dr. Petrucelli and his research team are constantly at the forefront of their field, researching the mechanisms that cause neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and harnessing their findings into the development of novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers. His lab made several vital contributions to the understanding of c9orf72-mediated ALS and FTD: they were one of the first groups to describe both RAN translation and antisense pathology in this disease, developed the first mouse model to recapitulate both behavioral and neuropathological features, and characterized important biomarkers. Dr. Petrucelli’s team remains one of the leaders of this field. At the same time, they continue to extend their expertise in cell biology, disease modeling, and biomarker development to additional neurodegenerative conditions, and have over a decade’s worth of experience in the study of both TDP-43- and tau-related disorders. Emerging studies focus on understanding the importance of aberrant TDP-43-mediated splicing in ALS/FTD, and the mechanisms underlying the spread of tau pathology in dementias. His team’s research has been published in top tier journals including Science, Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, Journal of Clinical Investigation and Annals of Neurology.
Dr. Petrucelli is principal investigator for several grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is director of two funded NIH programs focused on c9orf72 and tau. In addition to his commitment to his own research goals, Dr. Petrucelli also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Science Translational Medicine and is the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Target ALS Foundation. He was also recently appointed as vice-chair to the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Grant Advisory Board. Overall, he strives to foster an environment founded on academic rigor and open collaboration both within his lab and in the field as a whole.