Joseph R. Mazzulli, PhD, received his BS in neuroscience and biochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and in 2007 completed a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania in the laboratory of Harry Ischiropoulos, PhD. During his PhD training, Dr. Mazzulli studied the effects of dopamine -- the brain chemical depleted in Parkinson's disease -- on the clumping of protein alpha-synuclein using cellular and pre-clinical models. He then joined the laboratory of Dimitri Krainc, MD, PhD, as a post-doctoral trainee at the Neurology department of Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. There Dr. Mazzulli examined the role of lysosomes -- tiny sacks that serve as cellular waste disposals -- in neurodegenerative diseases. He is currently an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. His laboratory is focused on determining how disease-related changes in alpha-synuclein -- misfolding and aggregation -- cause neurodegeneration. In his research, Dr. Mazzulli uses cultures of human dopamine-producing cells and pre-clinical models with features of neurodegeneration.