Rudolph Tanzi Makes TIME Magazine’s ‘Influential People’ List

The Mass General researcher is a pioneer in Alzheimer’s research.

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY ADAM VOORHES

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY ADAM VOORHES

Rudolph (Rudy) Tanzi has been studying Alzheimer’s since 1982, and the Tanzi Lab at Mass General has been responsible for numerous advancements, including creating the “Alzheimer’s in a dish” model (human brain cells in a Petri dish that develop markers for the disease) that could make testing for Alzheimer’s drugs cheaper and easier.

Tanzi also co-wrote a book with Deepak Chopra called, Super Brain. The two met in the bathroom at a TEDMED conference. (True story.) Now, the local researcher has been named to TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list for 2015.

Tanzi’s write up was authored by Maria Shriver:

I’m a child of Alzheimer’s, and I know firsthand how scary it is to watch the mind of someone you love get slowly erased. I also know that despite the fact that we’re in the middle of an epidemic, we simply don’t yet have the drive—or the drugs—to put an end to Alzheimer’s. But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. Tanzi stands out as one of the few scientists who has committed his career to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, and last year he brought us one step closer. In a truly remarkable feat, Tanzi created what’s been nicknamed “Alzheimer’s in a dish”—human brain cells that, in a petri dish, develop the markers of this terrible disease. This makes it possible for scientists to better study which of the countless drugs out there might actually slow or wipe out this mind-blowing disease.

Although his work in the lab is serious and time consuming, Tanzi has found ways to relax outside of work, including jamming on the keyboard with his buddy, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry. Last April, Tanzi gave us lifestyle tips on how we can help train our brains and prevent Alzheimer’s.