Paul J. Hagerman, M.D., Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Investigator, MIND Institute, UC Davis School of Medicine
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue, 4455 Tupper Hall
Davis, CA 95616
Paul J. Hagerman, M.D., Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine and a MIND Institute investigator at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine. He obtained both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University School of Medicine. Following a three-year Leukemia Society Fellowship at UC San Diego, Dr. Hagerman joined the faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he remained for twenty years prior to joining the UC Davis faculty in 2001. Dr. Hagerman is a molecular geneticist with a principal interest in understanding the basis for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, the Hagerman lab has made a number of important observations related to the mechanism of gene expression of the fragile X (FMR1) gene, mutations of which are responsible for fragile X syndrome, the leading heritable form of mental impairment and leading known cause of autism. In 2001, Dr. Hagerman and his wife, Dr. Randi Hagerman (Medical Director of the MIND Institute), reported their discovery of a neurological disorder involving tremor and gait ataxia, which they later named fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). They also discovered that FXTAS represents a new class of inclusion disorder, with numerous intranuclear inclusions found throughout the brains of affected individuals. FXTAS is now known to be one of the most common single-gene forms of neurodegeneration. Since it has features of both Parkinsonism and dementia, FXTAS represents a model system for understanding the pathogenesis of those more common, sporadic disorders. Remarkably, FXTAS is caused by smaller CGG-repeat expansions of the same gene (FMR1) that gives rise to fragile X syndrome, albeit by an entirely separate mechanism: excess “toxic” FMR1 mRNA for FXTAS; gene silencing and absence of FMR1 protein in fragile X syndrome. Dr. Hagerman is currently on the scientific advisory board of the National Fragile X Foundation and is Director of the NeuroTherapeutics Research Institute (NTRI), which is funded through the “Roadmap Initiative” from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Hagerman’s other NIH support has been through the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Child Health and Development. He is most grateful for the support he has received from families for his work on fragile X disorders.
B.A., Chemistry, University of Oregon, 1971
M.D., Ph.D., Biochemistry and Medicine, Stanford University, 1977