Laura Manuelidis, MD

Professor of Surgery (Neuropathology); Section Chief Neuropathology (Surgery); faculty Virology and Neurosciences

Departments & Organizations

Surgery: Neuropathology: Manuelidis Lab

Molecular Virology: Virology laboratories

Status of Women in Medicine Committee (SWIM)

Office of Cooperative Research


Dr. Manuelidis studies neurodegenerative diseases, with an emphasis on infectious human Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and sheep scrapie, and has developed unique animal and culture models. These models have revealed fundamental routes of infection, innate immune responses to a foreign infectious agent, and structural characteristics of the infectious particle. Infectious particles can be stripped of detectable prion protein (PrP) yet remain highly infectious. Nucleases destroy infectivity but not PrP and Host PrP misfolding appears as a late stress response to trap and eliminate these infectious agents. Her  remarkable discovery that circular "SPHINX" DNAs derived from prokayotes are present in mammalian brain cells has major ramifications for the evolutionary symbiosis with the environment.

Education & Training

MD Yale University (1967)
BA Sarah Lawrence College (1963)


  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Mad Cow Disease Alzheimer's Disease New Haven, United States (2008)

    Professor Manuelidis has collaborations with investigators abroad on "mad cow disease" and human Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Recent collaborators include Dr. Kohtaro Miyazawa of Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan.

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