Aaron Gitler, PhD, is professor of genetics at Stanford University. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. After postdoctoral studies with Dr. Susan Lindquist at the Whitehead Institute, he started his laboratory at University of Pennsylvania in 2007 before moving to Stanford in 2012. In his own lab, he has focused on studying the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases. His lab combines genome-wide screens in model systems, including mouse models, and yeast and human cells. His laboratory has made several fundamental discoveries regarding the role of aggregation-prone proteins in neurodegeneration. This work provided mechanistic insight into the aggregation and cytotoxicity of the ALS disease protein TDP-43 and the discovery of mutations in the ataxin-2 gene as one of the most common genetic risk factors for the disease. His laboratory’s efforts in Parkinson’s disease focus on alpha-synuclein and identification of disease modifiers.