Kurt R. Brunden, PhD

Research Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Contact InformationCenter for Neurodegenerative Disease Research
University of Pennsylvania
3600 Spruce St.
3rd Floor Maloney Bldg.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-615-5262


Specialty Division

Immunobiology and Experimental Pathology

Research Expertise

Dr. Brunden oversees research programs directed towards the identification of therapeutic targets and treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Itmat Expertise

Dr. Brunden oversees research programs directed towards the identification of therapeutic targets and treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.


B.S. (Biology/Health Chemistry), Western Michigan University, 1980
Ph.D. (Biochemistry), Purdue University, 1985

Specialty Certification

Postgraduate Training

Post-docotoral fellow, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 1985-1987
Instructor and Research Assoc., Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 1988-1988

Awards and Honors

Merck Award; Department of Chemistry; Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 1980
Graduated Magna Cum Laude; 1980; Western Michigan University; Kalamazoo, MI, 1980
N.I.H. Competitive Predoctoral Training Award; Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 1981-1984
Outstanding Research Award; Department of Neurology; Mayo Clinic,
Rochester, MN, 1987
Travel Award; American Society for Neurochemistry, 1988

Memberships and Professional Organizations

Society for Neuroscience, 1991 - Present
American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1992 - 2008
American Chemical Society, 2005 - 2008
NIH NINDS NSD-C Study Section, 2009 - 2016
Scientific Review Board, Alzheimer's Disease Drug Discovery Foundation, 2010 - Present
NIH-NCATS Therapeutics Discovery Special Emphasis Panel, 2012 - Present
NIH NINDS NSD-A Study Section, 2014 - 2014
NIH NINDS Epilepsy CWOW Study Section, 2015 - 2015
NIH NIA U01 Drug Development Study Section, 2015 - 2016
Cohen Veterans Bioscience, 2017 - Present
NIH NINDS NSD-B Study Section, 2017 - Present

Selected Publications

Amyloid-β plaques enhance Alzheimer's brain tau-seeded pathologies by facilitating neuritic plaque tau aggregation.

He Zhuohao, Guo Jing L, McBride Jennifer D, Narasimhan Sneha, Kim Hyesung, Changolkar Lakshmi, Zhang Bin, Gathagan Ronald J, Yue Cuiyong, Dengler Christopher, Stieber Anna, Nitla Magdalena, Coulter Douglas A, Abel Ted, Brunden Kurt R, Trojanowski John Q, Lee Virginia M-Y, Nature medicine 24(1): 29-38, 2018, PMID:29200205

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Altered microtubule dynamics in neurodegenerative disease: Therapeutic potential of microtubule-stabilizing drugs.

Brunden Kurt R, Lee Virginia M-Y, Smith Amos B, Trojanowski John Q, Ballatore Carlo, Neurobiology of disease 105(): 328-335, 2017, PMID:28012891

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Multitargeted Imidazoles: Potential Therapeutic Leads for Alzheimer's and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Cornec Anne-Sophie, Monti Ludovica, Kovalevich Jane, Makani Vishruti, James Michael J, Vijayendran Krishna G, Oukoloff Killian, Yao Yuemang, Lee Virginia M-Y, Trojanowski John Q, Smith Amos B, Brunden Kurt R, Ballatore Carlo, Journal of medicinal chemistry 60(12): 5120-5145, 2017, PMID:28530811

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Evaluation of the brain-penetrant microtubule-stabilizing agent, dictyostatin, in the PS19 tau transgenic mouse model of tauopathy.

Makani V, Zhang B, Han H, Yao Y, Lassalas P, Lou K, Paterson I, Lee VM-Y, Trojanowski JQ, Ballatore C, Smith AB III and Brunden KR, Acta Neuropathol. Comm. 4(1): 106, 2016, PMID:27687527

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The dynamics and turnover of tau aggregates in cultured cells: insights into therapies for tauopathies.

Guo JL, Buist A, Soares A, Callaerts K, Calafate S, Stevenaert F, Daniels JP, Zoll BE, Crowe A, Brunden KR, Moechers D and Lee V-MY, J. Biol. Chem. 291(25): 13175-13193, 2016, PMID:27129267

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Characterization of brain-penetrant pyrimidine-containing molecules with differential microtubule-stabilizing activities developed as potential therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease and related tauopathies

Kovalevich J, Cornec A-S, Yao Y, James M, Crowe A, Lee VM-Y, Trojanowski JQ, Smith AB III, Ballatore C and Brunden KR, J. Pharm. Exp. Therap. 357(2): 432-450, 2016, PMID:26980057

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Structure Property Relationships of Carboxylic Acid Isosteres.

Lassalas Pierrik, Gay Bryant, Lasfargeas Caroline, James Michael J, Tran Van, Vijayendran Krishna G, Brunden Kurt R, Kozlowski Marisa C, Thomas Craig J, Smith Amos B, Huryn Donna M, Ballatore Carlo, Journal of medicinal chemistry 59(7): 3183-203, 2016, PMID:26967507

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Inflammatory eicosanoids increase amyloid precursor protein expression via activation of multiple neuronal receptors.

Herbst-Robinson KJ, Liu L, James M, Yao Y, Xie SX and Brunden KR, Scientific Reports 5(): 18286, 2015

Inflammatory Eicosanoids Increase Amyloid Precursor Protein Expression via Activation of Multiple Neuronal Receptors.

Herbst-Robinson Katie J, Liu Li, James Michael, Yao Yuemang, Xie Sharon X, Brunden Kurt R, Scientific reports 5(): 18286, 2015, PMID:26672557

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Pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and metabolic characterization of a brain retentive microtubule (MT)-stabilizing triazolopyrimidine.

Cornec A-S, James M, Kovalevich J, Trojanowski JQ, Lee VM-Y, Smith AB III, Ballatore C and Brunden KR, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 25(21): 4980-2, 2015