Stuart Lipton, MD/PhD

Adjunct Professor of Neurology

Departments & Organizations



Neurologist/neuroscientist Stuart Lipton, MD, PhD is a renowned expert in dementia. He was trained at Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. In addition to running a basic-science laboratory, he has an active clinical neurology practice focusing on dementia and general neurology. Lipton completed his PhD thesis research with John Dowling at Harvard, followed by clinical residency and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard with Torsten Wiesel during the time that Wiesel won the Nobel prize. He was then on the Harvard faculty for over 20 years before moving to La Jolla as founding director of a new neuroscience center in 2000. He is best known for first describing the mechanism of action and contributing to the clinical development of the FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drug, memantine (Namenda®), and for discovering the posttranslational redox modification, protein S-nitrosylation.

Recently, Lipton combined memantine with S-nitrosylation chemistry to produce a new drug called NitroSynapsin, which displays disease-modifying activity in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease, both protecting synapses and improving neurobehavioral deficits. Lipton’s group also characterized HIV-related pathways to neuronal damage, discovered the NR3 (now known at GluN3) family of modulatory NMDA receptor subunits, characterized the molecular pathways for protecting neurons with Erythropoietin, and discovered the transcription factor MEF2C. His group showed that MEF2C activity is regulated by S-nitrosylation and serves as a master switch for neurogenesis from human neural stem cells. Dysregulated MEF2C is involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Autism-Spectrum Disorder, and Vascular dementia. Lipton was awarded the Ernst Jung Prize in Medicine and is an elected fellow of the AAAS. He recently received an Alzheimer’s Disease Association Award, a Michael J. Fox Foundation Grant, and an NIH Director’s Grant Award.

Education & Training

MD/PhD University of Pennsylvania, Biochemistry & Biophysics (1977)
BA Cornell University, Neurobiology and Immunology (1971)
Board Certification American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, Neurology
Research Fellow Harvard Medical School, Dept. of Neurobiology
Resident and Chief Resident in Neurology Brigham & Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children's Hospital
Intern in Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

Honors & Recognition

  • NIH Director's Grant AwardNational Institutes of Health/NIDA (2016)

  • Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of ScienceAAAS, Neuroscience section (2011)

  • Ernst Jung Prize in MedicineErnst Jung Foundation (2004)

  • Alpha Omega Alpha (1974)

  • Phi Beta Kappa (1971)

Professional Service

  • Society for Neuroscience (2000 - 2008) Chair of Education Committee and Neurobiology of Disease Workshops

  • American Academy of Neurology (2000 - Present) Fellow

  • American Neurological Association (1987 - Present) Elected Fellow

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Contact Info

Stuart Lipton, MD/PhD

Curriculum Vitae