Kenneth S. Kosik, M.D.
Kenneth S. Kosik, M.D., is the Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research and co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kosik’s work with early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease at Columbia University was the basis for a novel prevention trial to treat Alzheimer’s disease. His was one of several groups that discovered tau protein in the Alzheimer’s neurofibrillary tangle and followed up with many studies on the biology and pathobiology of tau. Kosik received a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from Case Western Reserve University in 1972 and an M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1976. He served as a resident in neurology at Tufts-New England Medical Center and was chief resident in 1980. Since 1980, he has held a series of academic appointments at the Harvard Medical School and achieved the rank of full professor there in 1996. He also held appointments at McLean Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2004, he accepted the appointment at UC-Santa Barbara.
Tau-er of Power
Tau protein helps nerve cells in the brain maintain their function and structure. When tau turns toxic, replicates, and spreads, neurons misfire and die. If neuroscientists can pinpoint the reasons for toxicity, identify possible modified tau states, and find a way to block tau’s movement from cell to cell, then progress can be made in fighting any number of neurological disorders.