Thomas M. Wisniewski, MD

  • Specialty: Neurology
  • Language: English
Pearl I. Barlow Center for Memory Evaluation and Treatment
Peer-Reviewed Medical Journal Publications
U.S. Patents Issued
Leads a Research Laboratory Continuously Funded by the National Institutes of Health for 20+ Years

About Me

Conditions and Treatments

Alzheimer's disease, cognitive disorder, dementia, Lewy body dementia, memory disorder, frontotemporal dementia, prion disease, Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, memory loss, cognitive impairment


  • Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman Professor of New York University Alzheimer's Disease Center, Department of Neurology
  • Professor, Department of Pathology
  • Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • Director, Alzheimer's Disease Center
  • Director, Neuropathology Fellowship
  • Director, Division of Cognitive Neurology
  • Director, Center for Cognitive Neurology
  • Director, Pearl I. Barlow Center for Memory Evaluation and Treatment
  • Associate Chair for Research, Department of Neurology
Board Certifications
  • American Board of Pathology (Neuropathology), 1990
  • American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology - Neurology, 1989
Education and Training
  • Fellowship, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Neuropathology, 1990
  • Residency, NYU Medical Center, 1988
  • MD from University Of London, 1983

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Research My Research


immunology, neuropathology, neuroscience, Alzheimer's disease, prion diseases, immunomodulation

Research Summary

I am a board-certified neurologist and neuropathologist, and I run an active research laboratory focusing on neurodegenerative disorders—with a particular focus on the mechanisms that drive amyloid deposition in Alzheimer’s and prion diseases. This work has led to over 300 peer-reviewed publications, 20 issued patents, and continuous funding from the NIH for over 25 years.

My lab has made key discoveries in gaining a greater understanding of possible therapeutic interventions, including discovering the role of apolipoprotein E (APOE) in driving amyloid deposition in late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I coined the term “pathological chaperone” to denote the role of APOE, even before the discovery of the link between the APOE E4 allele and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

My lab also develops strategies for the enhanced clearance of pathological conformations of both amyloid beta and tau proteins in Alzheimer’s disease, using both active and passive immunization approaches—specifically through targeting toxic oligomeric species as well as through the stimulation of innate immunity via agonists of Toll-like receptor 9. These approaches have been highly efficacious in several rodent and non-human primate models of Alzheimer’s and prion diseases.

We tested these immunomodulation approaches for a broader list of neurodegenerative diseases, called conformational diseases. Our approaches delay the onset of disease in animal models of prion infection. Recent studies have focused on testing a novel mucosal vaccine in white-tailed deer to prevent chronic wasting disease, an emerging, highly infectious prion disease affecting large numbers of cervids (deer, moose, and elk) in the United States, Canada, and recently in northern Europe. Our data suggest that mucosal vaccination can confer partial protection from the prion agent, representing the first partially effective treatment for naturally occurring prion disease.

I obtained my MD at King’s College London GKT School of Medical Education. I completed my residencies and chief residencies in neurology and neuropathology at NYU School of Medicine and New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, respectively.

Academic Contact

Academic office

450 East 29th Street

Eighth Floor

New York, NY 10016



Research Interests Timeline

These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from PubMed and the MeSH term library.
represents one publication


Read All Publications (418)