Research Faculty


Phone: 212-305-5161
Fax: 212-342-0083
Jean-Paul Gerard Vonsattel, MD
Professor of Pathology
Service Activities

Jean Paul Vonsattel, MD is the director of the New York Brain Bank. At the autopsy, Dr. Vonsattel and other neuropathologists, examine brains for cytoskeletal protein abnormalities (tangles), amyloid deposition (plaques), synaptic density, and neuronal cell loss. They also give a definitive diagnosis, which can only be made upon examination of the brain. Dr. Vonsattel has implemented a state-of-the-art barcode inventory system to track the storage and disbursement of the tissue samples. Requests for tissue samples are made online at the Brain Bank website which is linked to the inventory database. This computerized system will facilitate the process of retrieving and distributing samples to clinicians and scientists at Columbia University and other institutions.
Selected Publications

Vonsattel JP, Myers RH, Stevens TJ, Ferrante RJ, Bird ED, Richardson EP, Jr. Neuropathological classification of Huntington's disease. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 1985;44(6):559-577. PMID: 2932539

Vonsattel JP, Myers RH, Hedley-Whyte ET, Ropper AH, Bird ED, Richardson EP, Jr. Cerebral amyloid angiopathy without and with cerebral hemorrhages : a comparative histological study. Annals of Neurology 1991;30: 637-649. PMID: 1763890

Vonsattel JP, Aizawa H, Ge P, DiFiglia M, McKee AC, MacDonald M, Gusella JF, Landwehrmeyer GB, Bird ED, Richardson EP Jr., Hedley-Whyte ET. An improved approach to prepare human brains for research. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 1995;54:42-56. PMID: 7815079

Greenberg S M, Vonsattel, JPG. Diagnosis of cerebral amyloid angiopathy: sensitivity and specificity of cortical biopsy. Stroke 1997;28,1418-1422. PMID: 9227694

Vonsattel, J.-P. G. and M. DiFiglia (1998). "Huntington disease." Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 57: 369-384. PMID: 9596408.
-Adamec E, Chang HT, Stopa EG, Hedreen J, Vonsattel J-P. Tau protein expression in frontotemporal dementia. Neuroscience Letters 2001;315:21-24. PMID: 11711205

Vonsattel JPG, Amaya M, Keller C. 21st Century Brain Banking: Processing brains for research. The Columbia Univeristy methods. Acta Neuropathologica 2008;115:509-532. DOI 10.1007/s00401-007-0311-9. PMID: 17985145

Hadzi TC, Hendricks AE, Latourelle JC, Lunetta KL, Cupples LA, Gillis T, Mysore JS, Gusella JF, MacDonald ME, Myers RH, Vonsattel J-P. Assessment of cortical and striatal involvement in 523 Huntington disease brains. Neurology 2012;79: 1708-1715. PMID: 23035064

Louis ED, Faust PL, Ma KJ, Cortés E, Vonsattel J-PG. Torpedoes in the cerebellar vermis in essential tremor. Cases vs. controls. Cerebellum 2011;10: 812-819. PMID: 2156041

Louis ED, Babij R, Ma K, Cortés E, Vonsattel JP. Essential tremor followed by progressive supranuclear palsy: Postmortem reports of 11 patients. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 2013;72(1): 8-17. PMID: 23242279

Louis ED, Babij R, Lee M, Cortés E, Vonsattel J-PG. Quantification of cerebellar hemispheric Purkinje cell linear density: 32 ET cases versus 16 controls. Movement Disorders. 2013;28(13):1854-9. DOI: 10.1002/mds.25629. PMID: 23925732. PMCID: PMC3830681
Current Projects

Neuropathology of age-related neurodegenerative diseases

Honors and Awards

2012 - Guest Faculty: Quebec 4th Symposium on neurodegenerative disease therapeutic. May 3-4, 2012, Quebec City, QC, Canada. Frequency of alpha-synuclein burden and pathological –clinical correlations: therapeutic challenges
2012 - Guest Speaker: Symposium on Brain Banks and Health – Radboud University Nijmegen. September 6, 2012, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. The New York Brain Bank at Columbia University of New York and donor data
2013 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Huntington’s disease biomarker and Diagnostic Criteria Workshop. February 27th – 28th Washington DC
2013 - Guest Faculty: The Movement Disorder Society’s 17th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Sydney, Australia. June 16-20. Plenary session: The pathophysiology of hyperkinetic movement: What has neuropathology taught us about hyperkinetic movement disorder?
2013 - Guest Speaker: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine – Faculty of Medicine University of Calgary – Canada. November 07. Continuing Medical Education Rounds: Distinct neuropathological changes causing imbalance of the outputs of “basal ganglia” with hypo- vs. hyperkinesia.
2013 - Guest Speaker: Cognitive Neuroscience Clinic, Foothills Medical Centre – Faculty of Medicine University of Calgary – Canada. November 08. Presenting at Dementia Academic Rounds: Brain Banking: Processing Brains for Research: Methods of the Columbia University of New York.

Committees , Council, and Professional Society Memberships

1994-2009 Tourette Syndrome Association Permanent Research Fund, Inc. Scientific Advisory Board / Brain Tissue Sub-Committee

1994-Present American Association for the Advancement of Science

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