» 1984 - B. Sc (Hon.) in Biochemistry, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia
» 1993 - Ph.D. (Biochemistry), The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia
» 1993-1995 - Fogarty Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD
» 1995-1996 - Research Fellow in Neurology Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Current Appointments: 2003-Present
» 2003-present - Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
» 2003-present - Health Science Specialist, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Administration Hospital, Madison, WI, USA
» 2003-present - Research Director, Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute, Madison, WI, USA
» 2003-present - Research Director, UW Comprehensive Memory Research Program, Madison, WI, USA
» 2003-present - Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Edith Cowan University, School of Biomedical & Sports Science, Faculty of Computing, Health and Science, Perth, Australia
» 2003-present - Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Dr. Atwood completed his bachelor and graduate degrees from the University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. Following this, he undertook a Fogarty International Research Fellowship in the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD. Here, his studies focused on the endocrinological regulation of mammary epithelial cell growth, development and apoptotic death and the role of endocrinological changes in breast cancer. Subsequently, he was recruited to the Genetics and Aging Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA where he became an Instructor of Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Assistant Biochemist at Massachusetts General Hospital. His work here centered on applying his knowledge of apoptosis to neuron loss in the Alzheimer's disease brain and understanding the physiological function the amyloid-b protein, the protein that deposits in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and following head injury. Subsequently, he has offered a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University where he began combining his expertise in endocrinology with that of neurodegenerative diseases. This lead to a research program directed at understanding the hormonal regulation of aging with a particular emphasis on Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer.
In 2003, he was recruited to the University of Wisconsin to help with the establishment of a basic research program in Alzheimer's disease. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Section of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and Research Director of both the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute and UW Comprehensive Memory Research Program. He has worked extensively in the area of endocrinology as it relates to menopausal and andropausal changes in amyloid/tau metabolism, cell cycle, oxidative stress and metallobiochemistry and his extensive research in these areas lead to the development of a new theory of aging - 'The Reproductive Cell Cycle Theory of Aging'. His research continues to examine how reproduction regulates longevity at the evolutionary, physiological and biochemical levels, and his group has characterized the molecular endocrinology of reproduction in the nematode worm C. elegans, an animal used as a model of aging.
Dr. Atwood's research interests are aimed at identifying ways to delay the onset or slow the progression of senescence and aging-related diseases like Alzheimer's disease. These research findings have contributed to the testing of two drugs (clioquinol and leuprolide acetate) in clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Leuprolide acetate is currently in Phase III clinical trials in the USA and Europe, while metal ion chelators are in pre-clinical development.
Over the last 20 years Dr. Atwood’s research has lead to 51 peer-reviewed publications, 40 reviews, 15 book chapters, 10 letters, 2 commentaries, 2 application notes for manuals, 1 book review, 11 online presentations/commentaries, and 115 abstracts. Dr. Atwood has over 3600 citations and a h-index of 29 (index h is defined as the number of papers with citation number =h). In 2006, he was awarded the Zenith Award from the Alzheimer's Association in recognition of his contributions to the field of Alzheimer’s disease research. His research also has been covered by MSA Partners, who publish a weekly report covering regulatory and industry developments in the U.S. pharmaceutical market.
Dr. Atwood’s research has obtained significant federal (NIH and VA), foundation (Alzheimer’s Association, Fullerton Foundation), company (Voyager Pharmaceutical Corporation) and service (Genotyping and Endocrinology Clinical Services) funding. He reviews grants from national (NIH study sections) and international organizations, and is a Senior Editor of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and an Editor of Current Alzheimer Research.