Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Cell & Molecular Biology

Robert J Vassar, PhD

Robert J Vassar, PhD

Scientific Director of Behavioral Neurology in the Department of Neurology

Professor of Neurology (Behavioral Neurology) and Cell and Molecular Biology

Focus of Work


Our research focuses on molecular and cellular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease. In particular, we investigate the beta-secretase enzyme BACE1, which initiates the production of the beta-amyloid peptide that plays a central early role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's. We use a combination of biochemical, cell culture and animal model approaches to investigate the role of BACE1 in health and disease.


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Education and Certification

  • PhD: University of Chicago, Molecular Genetics (1992)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Columbia University, Molecular Neuroscience (1996)