Kurt R. Brunden, PhD

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

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 - 2012
Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, 2013 - 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 - Present
NIH NIA U01 Drug Development Study Section, 2015 - 2016
Advisory Board, Modeling Alliance for Systems Pharmacology in Tauopathies; Cohen Veterens Bioscience, 2017 - 2019
NIH NINDS NSD-B Study Section, 2017 - 2018
NIH NINDS CWOW and ADRD Special Emphasis Panel, 2018 - 2018
NIH NIA Alzheimer Centers for Discovery of New Drugs Special Emphasis Panel, 2019 - 2019

Selected Publications

Characterization of novel conformation-selective α-synuclein antibodies as potential immunotherapeutic agents for Parkinson's disease

MX Henderson, DJ Covell, C Hiu-Yan Chung, RM Pitkin, RM Sandler, SC Decker, DM Riddle, B Zhang, RJ Gathagan, MJ James, JQ Trojanowski, KR Brunden, VMY Lee, KC Luk, Neurobiology of Disease 136(): , 2020

Correction of microtubule defects within Aβ plaque-associated dystrophic axons results in lowered Aβ release and plaque deposition

Y Yao, G Nzou, T Alle, W Tsering, S Maimaiti, JQ Trojanowski, VM-Y Lee, C Ballatore and KR Brunden, Alzheimer's & Dementia, 2020

Compound screening in cell-based models of tau inclusion formation: Comparison of primary neuron and HEK293 cell assays

A Crowe, MJ Henderson, J Anderson, SA Titus, A Zakharov , A Simeonov, A Buist, C Delay, D Moechars, JQ Trojanowski, VM-Y Lee, KR Brunden, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2020

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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A brain-penetrant triazolopyrimidine enhances microtubule stability, reduces axonal dysfunction and decreases tau pathology in a mouse tauopathy model.

Zhang B, Yao Y, Cornec A-S, Oukoloff K, James M, Koivula P, Trojanowski JQ, Smith AB III, Lee VM-Y, Ballatore C and Brunden KR, Mol. Neurodegen. 13(): 59, 2018

Brain-penetrant triazolopyrimidine and phenylpyrimidine microtubule stabilizers as potential leads to treat human African trypanosomiasis.

Monti L, Wang SC, Oukoloff K, Smith AB III, Brunden KR, Caffrey CR and Ballatore C, ChemMedChem 13(): 1751-1754, 2018

Design, synthesis and evaluation of photactivatable derivatives of microtubule (MT)-active [1,2,4]triazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidines.

Oukoloff K, Kovalevich J, Cornec A-S, Yao Y, Owyang ZA, James M, Trojanowski JQ, Lee VM-Y, Smith AB III, Brunden KR* and Ballatore C, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 28(): 2180-2183, 2018

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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