Wolfdieter Springer, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Mayo Clinic in Florida and head of the Parkinson's Disease Cell Biology Laboratory. He received his MSc in biology from the University of Regensburg in 1999 and earned his doctoral degree in biochemistry in 2005 from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.
For more than 15 years, Dr. Springer's work has revolved around the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and related disorders. He has helped identify the PINK1/Parkin-directed mitochondrial quality control pathway that serves to selectively remove damaged organelles via the autophagy/lysosome system (mitophagy). His recent studies highlight the disease relevance of mitophagy impairments as well as the contribution of certain heterozygous PINK1 mutations. Besides further mechanistic studies, current efforts in his lab focus on the development of biomarkers and future therapeutics for diseases where mitochondrial and autophagic/lysosomal dysfunctions emerge as a common leitmotif.