Accelerating Breakthrough Discoveries into Medicines

Marc Diamond, MD

Marc Diamond, MD

Marc Diamond, MD, is the David Clayson Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

Dr. Diamond’s laboratory research focuses on molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in the tauopathies, which are disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease that are characterized by accumulation of fibrillar aggregates of the microtubule associated protein tau. He was the first to propose a mechanism for tauopathy based on transcellular propagation of protein aggregation, whereby aggregates formed in one cell escape into the extracellular space, enter second-order cells and promote more aggregation. This model, which proposes a common mechanism for sporadic neurodegenerative diseases and prion disorders, is now widely accepted with regard to many conditions that are based on protein aggregation.

Dr. Diamond’s lab created cellular models of trans-cellular propagation of tau aggregates and has used them to identify therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. In collaboration with the laboratory of David Holtzman, MD, Chair of Neurology at Washington University, Dr. Diamond is now testing the most effective antibodies in mouse models of tauopathy, and one has been licensed for development as a novel therapy. He also has developed a sensitive cellular assay to monitor tau aggregate “seed” production over time in the cerebrospinal fluid and serum of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies. His goal is to create highly effective therapeutic antibodies and new diagnostic tests to predict onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Diamond earned an AB in History from Princeton University and his MD from University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine. He completed research training with Keith Yamamoto, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research at UCSF: two years as a Howard Hughes Medical Student Research Fellow, and five years as a postdoctoral fellow after his residency in Neurology. He is Co-Director of the Huntington Disease Clinic in the Movement Disorders Section of the Neurology Department. He is also a member of the Knight-Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders, and founder of ARTA Bioscience, Inc. in St. Louis, a start-up company focused on nuclear receptor biology.

Harrington Project

The Harrington Discovery Institute is the nonprofit arm of the Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, an international initiative supporting breakthrough research by physician-scientists. The Project is a new and powerful approach to address some of the challenges hindering advancement of medicine today.

The Harrington Grant is an important part of the overall pharmaceutical research initiative created by The Harrington Project.