Dr. Traynor received his medical degree (MB, BCh, BAO, 1993), his Medical Doctorate (MD, 2000), and his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, 2012) from the University College Dublin. He also received a Masters in Medical Science (MMSc) from Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology HST in 2004. He completed a neurology residency and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Dr. Traynor serves on the Integration Panel for the Congressionally Mandated Department of Defense ALS Research Program, and the Genetics of Health and Disease NIH Study Section. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurology, Neurobiology of Aging, and JAMA Neurology.
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Dr. Traynor is a neurologist and a senior investigator at the National Institute on Aging. He is best known for his work unraveling the genetic causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). He led the international consortium that identified a pathogenic hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9orf72 gene as a cause of a large proportion of ALS and FTD (Neuron 2011). His team also identified the same mutation in ~1% of patients clinically diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (NEJM 2012).
Other notable achievements of his laboratory include discovering mutations in the VCP, MATR3, and KIF5A genes as causes of familial ALS (Neuron 2010, Nature Neuroscience 2014, Neuron 2018).
Dr. Traynor is the co-recipient of the 2013 Sheila Essey Award and 2016 Potamkin Prize for his discovery of the C9orf72 repeat expansion as an important cause of neurodegeneration. He also received the 2012 NIH Director’s Award for his continued commitment to our understanding of ALS. He was elected Fellow of the American Neurological Association in 2012 and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2020.
Dr. Traynor has over 200 publications in the neurology field, and he is an inventor on three issued patents