Translating Duke Health Scholar
Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Department of Neurology
Dr. West is a “Translating Duke Health Scholar” and tenured Professor at Duke University in the Department of Pharmacology with a joint appointment in Neurology. He runs a multi-disciplinary program that works closely with both basic and translational neuroscientists in the Duke Center for Neurodegeneration Research as well as clinicians in the Movement Disorder Centers at Duke and collaborating clinical collection sites. He is a founding member of the NINDS Parkinson Disease Biomarker Program (PDBP) steering committee, a member of the Executive Scientific Advisory Board at the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), member of the NSD-B study section for the NINDS Office of Translational Research, and a board-reviewing editor for neurodegeneration research for the HHMI-backed journal eLife.
In training, undergraduate research was performed in the laboratory of Todd Golde focused on mechanisms of Ab toxicity, thesis work in the laboratories of John Hardy and Matthew Farrer (Mayo Clinic Parkinson’s Udall Center) focused on the genetics and genomics of parkin-linked PD, and postdoctoral work with Nigel Maidment (UCLA Udall Center) and Ted and Valina Dawson (Johns Hopkins Parkinson Udall Center) focused on LRRK2-linked Parkinson disease. Dr. West previously an F31 and F32 individual NRSA recipient and was selected in the first wave of NIH’s new K99 pipeline. Funding from both NINDS and MJFF has been continuous since the West laboratory opened in Birmingham in 2008 and continued with the move to Duke University in late 2018.
The goal of the West laboratory is to discover the biochemical and genetic basis of neurological disorders such as Parkinson disease by employing a combination of molecular biology, cell biology, functional genomics, proteomics, and molecular neuroscience techniques. Through uncovering the underlying pathogenic effect of disease associated genetic variation, we create novel assays and model systems with the goal of identifying novel efficacious therapeutic strategies where none currently exist.