Dr. Kurt R. Brunden is Director of Drug Discovery and Research Associate Professor in the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR) at the University of Pennsylvania. There he oversees drug discovery programs in the areas of Alzheimer's disease, Frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and Parkinson's disease. Brunden received his B.S. degree from Western Michigan University, with dual majors of biology and health chemistry. He obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Purdue University and did a post-doctoral fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Brunden joined the biochemistry faculty at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1988, with a research focus on the regulation of myelination.
He was recruited to the biotechnology sector in 1991, serving as vice president of Research at Gliatech, Inc. and later as senior vice president of Drug Discovery at Athersys, Inc. In these positions, he oversaw projects in Alzheimer's disease, cognition, schizophrenia, inflammation, and metabolic disease. Brunden was recruited to the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. He also serves as the chair of the NSD-C translational research study section for the National Institutes of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, is a reviewer and consultant for the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, and is an ad hoc reviewer for several scientific journals. He has more than 65 publications, a number of issued U.S. patents, and several active patent applications.