Robert H. Brown, MD, PhD, is the Leo P. and Theresa M. LaChance Chair in Medical Research, and Chair and Professor of Neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 1984, Dr. Brown founded the Day Neuromuscular Research Laboratory. His laboratory work has focused on gene defects that set in motion molecular interactions causing and contributing to neuromuscular diseases including ALS. His work has enabled the creation of mouse and cell-based disease models, essential to furthering understanding of disease pathogenesis and the study of new therapeutic interventions using inhibitory RNAi. Dr. Brown and associates were the first to identify a gene that causes familial ALS cases, subsequently establishing the most frequently used animal model for studying these precursors to ALS. Most recently, Dr. Brown and colleagues demonstrated the effectiveness, without adverse effects, of a synthetic microRNA therapy, using viral vector-delivery of gene therapy to silence SOD1 protein mutations affecting motor neurons.
Dr. Brown received his B.A. in Biophysics from Amherst College, his M.D. from Harvard, and a DPHIL in Neurophysiology from the University of Oxford in Oxford, United Kingdom. His accomplishments have been honored by the National Academies of Science, Institute of Medicine, and the American Neurological Association, among many other institutions, have honored his accomplishments.