Skip to main content

Faculty Highlight: Jason Shepherd

2018 was a remarkable year for Jason Shepherd, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy, beginning with publication of a key paper in Cell on January 11:“The Neuronal Gene Arc Encodes a Repurposed Retrotransposon Gag Protein that Mediates Intercellular mRNA Transfer”. This publication described the pioneering discovery that the Arc protein could assemble into viral-like capsids and mediate intercellular RNA transfer in the brain. The paper garnered major national and international coverage in both the lay and scientific press.
The excitement around this work has led to numerous speaking engagements at universities and conferences around the world, including a TedMed talk in November.  He was also invited to participate as a delegate in the 53rd annual International Achievement Summit in NYC in September, 2019.
To cap the year, Jason learned in November that he was selected for the Ben Barres Early Career Acceleration Award ($2.5M over 5 years) from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).  This award will enable Jason to significantly expand his research program and apply his innovative discoveries on ARC-mediated RNA transfer to the field of Alzheimer’s research. In the summer he was also awarded an Alzheimer’s Association International Research Grant.
Jason joined the department in January 2013 and has built an exciting research program with a talented team. He is currently recruiting new postdocs.