John Crary, M.D., Ph.D.


Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology
Columbia University, PH15-124
630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032


Phone: 212-305-4531
Fax: 212-305-4548

Research Summary:

Our research focuses on the molecular neuropathology of neurodegenerative diseases. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we are trying to unravel the molecular changes occurring in Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and related conditions. We are using genetic, biochemical and molecular approaches to pinpoint underlying differences in the expression of various neurodegenerative phenotypes arising from alterations in beta-amyloid, the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT), alpha-synuclein and TDP-43.

One major outstanding issue surrounding neurodegenerative diseases in general involves the nature of the regional susceptibility of neuroanatomically distinct neuronal populations to degenerate. We are particularly interested in changes occurring in limbic (e.g., the hippocampus and amygdala) and mesolimbic structures, and how degenerative changes intersect with normal mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, cell survival, cell death and cell polarity.


Selected Publications:

  • Ling DS, Benardo LS, Serrano PA, Blace N, Kelly MT, Crary JF, Sacktor TC. 2002. Protein kinase Mzeta is necessary and sufficient for LTP maintenance. Nat Neurosci 5(4):295-6.
  • Hernandez AI, Blace N, Crary JF, Serrano PA, Leitges M, Libien JM, Weinstein G, Tcherapanov A, Sacktor TC. 2003. Protein kinase M zeta synthesis from a brain mRNA encoding an independent protein kinase C zeta catalytic domain. Implications for the molecular mechanism of memory. J Biol Chem 278(41):40305-16.
  • Crary JF, Shao CY, Mirra SS, Hernandez AI, Sacktor TC. 2006. Atypical protein kinase C in neurodegenerative disease I: PKMzeta aggregates with limbic neurofibrillary tangles and AMPA receptors in Alzheimer disease. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 65(4):319-26.
  • Shao CY, Crary JF, Rao C, Sacktor TC, Mirra SS. 2006. Atypical protein kinase C in neurodegenerative disease II: PKCiota/lambda in tauopathies and alpha-synucleinopathies. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 65(4):327-35.
  • Kelly MT, Crary JF, Sacktor TC. 2007. Regulation of protein kinase Mzeta synthesis by multiple kinases in long-term potentiation. J Neurosci 27(13):3439-44.
  • Tian D, Dmitrieva RI, Doris PA, Crary JF, Sondhi R, Sacktor TC, Bergold PJ. 2008. Protein kinase M zeta regulation of Na/K ATPase: a persistent neuroprotective mechanism of ischemic preconditioning in hippocampal slice cultures. Brain Res 1213:127-39.


Honors and Awards:

  • 2011 - Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Scholar
  • 2006 - SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence
  • 2006 - American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology
  • 2006 - SUNY Downstate Award for Excellence in Pathology
  • 2001 - Pine Family Foundation for Catastrophic Disease Research Scholarship
  • 1998 - SUNY Downstate Alumni Association Research Fellowship
  • 1996 - Honors in Neuroscience from Brown University

Education and Training


  • 1992-1996 SCB, Brown University
  • 1997-2006 MD-PhD, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • 2006-2010 Residency/Fellowship, Columbia University Medical Center