Aleksey Kazantsev received his bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Moscow Pedagogical University. As a graduate student he was enrolled in the Genetics, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed his PhD thesis in 1997.
Dr. Kazantsev then joined David Housman's laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he started work on cellular models of neurodegeneration. At MIT he developed a strong interest in drug discovery, and worked on the development of high-throughput drug screening assays. Through involvement in collaborative work with Genzyme Corporation, he became co-inventor on a few patent applications, disclosing novel neurodegenerative assays and therapeutic agents. He discovered an inhibitor of polyglutamine aggregation, which was neuroprotective in a Huntington’s disease mouse model, and published extensively in the field of Huntington’s disease and drug discovery.
In 2002 Dr. Kazantsev was named assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and principal investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he continued to pursue his interest in drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases, setting up a high-throughput drug screening facility and in collaboration with other investigators performing drug screens targeting various neurodegenerative disorders. Currently he is a co-PI on a collaborative research project with Novartis toward the development of a cure for Huntington’ s disease.
Recently, in collaboration with Dr. Tiago Outeiro and other researchers, he discovered beneficial effects of SIRT2 inhibitors for reducing the burden of alpha-synuclein cytotoxicity. He is now the inventor on a patent disclosure describing novel SIRT2 inhibitors.
Dr. Kazantsev is a member of the American Society of Neurology and an associate member of the European HD Network.