Dr. Stephen H. Pasternak

Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, The University of Western Ontario

Dr. Stephen Pasternak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at The University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario, Canada). He is a Neurologist and Director of the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre at the Parkwood Institute, and a Scientist at the Robarts Research Institute. He received S. B. Degrees in Chemical Engineering and in Life Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He completed the MD/PhD program at McGill University, Montreal, earning his PhD in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery in 1994 and his M.D. C.M. in 1995. Dr. Pasternak then completed his Neurology residency at the University of Toronto in 2000, followed by Post-Doctoral training in Cell Biology at the Hospital of Sick Children in Toronto and Fellowship training in Cognitive Neurology at the University of Toronto.

His laboratory at the Robarts Research Institute is focused on understanding the production of beta-amyloid, the toxic protein that deposits in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.  His work involves studying the trafficking of Alzheimer’s disease proteins, with a focus on the roles of a specific compartment in the cell called the lysosome.  He has discovered 2 new pathways for the Amyloid Precursor Proteins to move to the lysosome for the generation of beta-amyloid. In addition, he is working  to develop contrast agents for the non-invasive measurement of enzyme activity by PET or MRI.  By examining the levels of lysosomal enzymes known to be elevated in Alzheimer’s disease, he hopes to develop an agent to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

At his clinic at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre, he is specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with neurodegenerative disease including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia. He has participated in many academic and industry sponsored clinical trials including Rember (LMTM) in Alzheimer’s disease (TauRx; Ongoing) and the NIH sponsored Alzheimer’s disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI; Ongoing).  The trial presented here is an extension of his laboratory interest, as it focuses on raising the levels of the lysosomal enzyme β-glucocerebrosidase, which he believes will result in increased clearance of pathological protein aggregates which are linked to Parkinson’s disease dementia.

Dr. Stephen H. Pasternak Grants