David Sulzer, PhD, is professor of psychiatry, neurology, and pharmacology at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute. His lab has published over 200 studies on synaptic function in normal and diseased states cited over 40,000 times. The research contributions to Parkinson’s disease includes the first recordings of quantal neurotransmitter release at synapses, invention of optical methods to study neurotransmission (fluorescent false neurotransmitters, with Dr. Dalibor Sames), the physiological role of alpha-synuclein, effects of dopamine on synaptic selection, the roles of lysosomes and autophagy (with Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo), and with members of this team, roles for neuronal antigen presentation and the acquired immune system.
He founded the Gordon Conference on Parkinson’s Disease, the Dopamine Society (with Dr. Louis-Eric Trudeau), and the journal Nature Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. Sulzer has received awards from the McKnight, Simons, Helmsley, and Brain Behavior Foundations and presented named lectureships at the NIH, Harvard, Yale, UCSF, and many international meetings.