Protein Folding Diseases Initiative

Composite image of scientific illustrations of protein folding diseases


The Protein Folding Diseases (PFD) Initiative connects diverse campus-wide expertise on disorders of abnormal protein accumulation and perturbations in “protein quality control.”

This growing list of diseases numbers more than a hundred, with diseases affecting nearly all organ systems and ranging from some of the most common acquired disorders to a wide array of hereditary diseases.

Many PFD disorders are poorly understood, untreatable and often fatal. Accordingly, the unmet needs are tremendous. As one example, more than 5 million people in the U.S. now suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and, as our population ages, this number will climb rapidly.

Similarly, for cancer treatment, the regulation of protein degradation has emerged as an important target with profound therapeutic implications.

A better understanding of disease mechanisms and more effective therapies is needed for nearly all PFD disorders. The programs developed by the PFD Initiative promise to accelerate the path to new mechanistic insights and improved treatments for these diseases.




Seminar Series


November 6, 2014

Linda Hendershot

Linda M. Hendershot, Ph.D.

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

2515 BSRB

"Dissecting the Sequence-Based ER Quality Control Code for the Hsp70 Chaperone System"




PFDI Related Talks


October 31, 2014

James Bardwell

Neurodegenerative Disease Research Seminar

James C. Bardwell, Ph.D.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

5515 BSRB

"Discovery of protein folding factors including ones that specifically affect amyloid formation"



February 11, 2014

Dennis Selkoe

Neurology Grand Rounds

Dennis J. Selkoe, M.D.

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Danto Auditorium, Cardiovascular Center




April 1, 2014

William E. Balch


Neurology Grand Rounds

William E. Balch, Ph.D.