Adriano Aguzzi is full professor of neuropathology and director of the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland). Born in Pavia, Italy, he earned an MD from the University of Freiburg Medical School (Freiburg, Germany) in 1986. Following postdoctoral studies in Vienna, he obtained the venia legendi in neuropathology at the University of Zurich in 1993. He holds three honorary doctorates from the Universities of Bologna, Teramo and Liège. Prof. Aguzzi is studying the molecular basis of prion diseases (rare progressive neurodegenerative disorders), combining genetics with molecular and immunological techniques. His pioneering work uncovered crucial steps in the pathogenesis of the disease, revealed the cells and molecules that allow prions to invade nerves and elucidated the mechanisms leading to brain damage in these diseases. Currently, Prof. Aguzzi is investigating the fundamental mechanisms of neurodegeneration.