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  • photo of als research robert bowser

    Contact Dr. Bowser

    Call (602) 406-8989 or Email [email protected]

    Robert Bowser, PhD

    Chairman, Neurobiology
    Professor, Neurology and Neurobiology (602) 406-8989

    Dr. Robert Bowser is an internationally-recognized leader in ALS research. He has contributed to pioneering efforts to discover and validate biomarkers for ALS. These biomarkers can be useful as diagnostic indicators of disease, predictors of disease progression, and also in determining the effectiveness of drugs in clinical trials. Dr. Bowser has extensive experience in the translation of basic science discoveries to the clinic to impact patient care.

    As director of the ALS Research Center, Dr. Bowser directs research to determine the underlying mechanisms of ALS, identify new targets for drug treatment, develop improved therapies for ALS, and lead clinical research studies performed in numerous medical centers throughout North America.

    Dr. Bowser is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and obtained his PhD from Yale University. He performed fellowship training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and was a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh from 1994 to 2011, rising through the ranks to full professor. He joined the faculty at Barrow in 2011.

    Education & Training
    • Post-doctoral Fellowship, Pathology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1992-1994
    • PhD, Yale University, 1992
    • BS, Carnegie Mellon University, 1987
    Professional Memberships
    • Society for Neuroscience
    • American Society for Investigative Pathology
    • American Association of Neuropathologists
    • New York Academy of Sciences
    • ALS Research Group
    • International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science
    • World Federation of Neurology Research Group on Motor Neuron Diseases
    • The Royal Society of Medicine
    Honors and Awards
    • IBM Big Data and Analytics Hero, 2016
    • Sheila Essey Award for ALS Research, 2015
    • NEALS NeuroBank Pioneer Award, 2015
    • Arizona Innovation Challenge Award, 2015
    • John and Betty VenDenburgh Chair of Neuromuscular Disease, 2012
    • Scientific Advisory Board, Northeast Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Consortium, 2011
    • Guest Editor, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2010
    • Science Council, Association Francaise contre les Myopathies, 2009 – 2011
    • ALS Association “Walk to D’Feet ALS” Service Award, 2008
    • University of Pittsburgh Innovator Award, 2008
    • University of Pittsburgh Innovator Award, 2006
    • Pittsburgh Magazine “40 under 40” Award for young people shaping the region, 2005
    • ALS Association Lou Gehrig’s Challenge Award, 2004
    • University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award, 2003
    • ALS Association Public Service Award, 2002
    Selected Publications

    View complete list of publications on PubMed.

    1. Vu LT, Bowser R. Fluid-Based Biomarkers for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Neurotherapeutics. 2017;14(1):119-134.
    2. Medina DX, Householder KT, Ceton R, Kovalik T, Heffernan JM, Shankar RV, Bowser RP, Wechsler-Reya RJ, Sirianni RW. Optical barcoding of PLGA for multispectral analysis of nanoparticle fate in vivo. J Control Release. 2017;253:172-182.
    3. Gendron TF, C9ORF Neurofilament Study Group (including Bowser R), Daughrity LM, Heckman MG, Diehl NN, Wuu J, Miller TM, Pastor P, Trojanowski JQ, Grossman M, Berry JD, Hu WT, Ratti A, Benatar M, Silani V, Glass JD, Floeter MK, Jeromin A, Boylan KB, Petrucelli L. Phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain: A biomarker of survival for C9ORF72-associated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Ann Neurol. 2017;82(1):139-146.
    4. Finch NA, Wang X, Baker MC, Heckman MG, Gendron TF, Bieniek KF, Wuu J, DeJesus-Hernandez M, Brown PH, Chew J, Jansen-West KR, Daughrity LM, Nicholson AM, Murray ME, Josephs KA, Parisi JE, Knopman DS, Petersen RC, Petrucelli L, Boeve BF, Graff-Radford NR, Asmann YW, Dickson DW, Benatar M, Bowser R, Boylan KB, Rademakers R, van Blitterswijk M. Abnormal expression of homeobox genes and transthyretin in C9ORF72 expansion carriers. Neurol Genet. 2017;3(4):e161.
    5. Boehringer A, Garcia-Mansfield K, Singh G, Bakkar N, Pirrotte P, Bowser R. ALS Associated Mutations in Matrin 3 Alter Protein-Protein Interactions and Impede mRNA Nuclear Export. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):14529.
    6. Bakkar N, Kovalik T, Lorenzini I, Spangler S, Lacoste A, Sponaugle K, Ferrante P, Argentinis E, Sattler R, Bowser R. Artificial intelligence in neurodegenerative disease research: use of IBM Watson to identify additional RNA-binding proteins altered in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Acta Neuropathol. 2017.
    7. Oeckl PP, Jardel CPP, Salachas FM, Lamari FM, Andersen PMMP, Bowser RP, de Carvalho MP, Costa JP, van Damme PMP, Gray EP, Grosskreutz JM, Hernandez-Barral MM, Herukka SKPM, Huss AM, Jeromin AP, Kirby JP, Kuzma-Kozakiewicz MMP, Amador Mdel MM, Mora JSM, Morelli CM, Muckova PP, Petri SM, Poesen KPP, Rhode HM, Rikardsson AK, Robberecht WMP, Rodriguez Mahillo AIP, Shaw PM, Silani VM, Steinacker PP, Turner MRP, Tuzun EMP, Yetimler BM, Ludolph ACM, Otto MM. Multicenter validation of CSF neurofilaments as diagnostic biomarkers for ALS. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2016;17(5-6):404-413.
    8. Li Y, Collins M, An J, Geiser R, Tegeler T, Tsantilas K, Garcia K, Pirrotte P, Bowser R. Immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry defines an extensive RBM45 protein-protein interaction network. Brain Res. 2016;1647:79-93.
    9. Li Y, Collins M, Geiser R, Bakkar N, Riascos D, Bowser R. RBM45 homo-oligomerization mediates association with ALS-linked proteins and stress granules. Sci Rep. 2015;5:14262.
    10. Collins MA, An J, Peller D, Bowser R. Total protein is an effective loading control for cerebbrospinal fluid western blots. J Neurosci Methods. 2015;251:72-82.
    11. Collins MA, An J, Hood BL, Conrads TP, Bowser RP. Label-Free LC-MS/MS Proteomic Analysis of Cerebrospinal Fluid Identifies Protein/Pathway Alterations and Candidate Biomarkers for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. J Proteome Res. 2015;14(11):4486-4501.
    12. Bakkar N, Kousari A, Kovalik T, Li Y, Bowser R. RBM45 Modulates the Antioxidant Response in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis through Interactions with KEAP1. Mol Cell Biol. 2015;35(14):2385-2399.

    About Barrow Neurological Institute

    Since our doors opened as a regional specialty center in 1962, we have grown into one of the premier destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. Our experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists can provide you with a complete spectrum of care–from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation–under one roof. Barrow Neurological Institute: Discover. Educate. Heal.