David John Irwin, MD

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Assistant Professor of Neurology
Department: Neurology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Department of Neurology
3400 Spruce Street, 3 W Gates
Philadelphia, Pa 19104
Drew University, 2001.
Drexel University College of Medicine, 2006.
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, 2015.
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Description of Research Expertise

My research program focuses on the interface of clinical symptoms and underlying neuropathology in neurodegenerative disease. The purpose of this approach is to better identify clinically, pathologically and genetically homogeneous patient populations for inclusion into clinical trials to efficiently study emerging disease modifying treatments that target the pathogenic proteins specific for each neuropathological subtype of disease (e.g. FTLD-associated with tau or TDP-43 protein inclusions).

Currently, the diagnostic standard is neuropathological examination at autopsy, which is a major obstacle for clinical trials in neurodegenerative disease. To address this problem our approach is to "work backwards" to study human brain tissue and measure neuropathology objectively using novel open-source digital image analysis tools; We use a "tissue-guided biomarker discovery” method to translate our findings with the ultimate goal to develop new laboratory and imaging tests to detect pathology in living patients.

Selected Publications

Irwin David J*, Lleó Alberto, Xie Sharon X, McMillan Corey T, Wolk David A, Lee Edward B, Van Deerlin Viviana M, Shaw Leslie M, Trojanowski John Q, Grossman Murray: Ante mortem cerebrospinal fluid tau levels correlate with postmortem tau pathology in frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Annals of neurology 82(2): 247-258, Aug 2017 Notes: *Corresponding author.

Irwin David J*, Grossman Murray, Weintraub Daniel, Hurtig Howard I, Duda John E, Xie Sharon X, Lee Edward B, Van Deerlin Vivianna M, Lopez Oscar L, Kofler Julia K, Nelson Peter T, Jicha Gregory A, Woltjer Randy, Quinn Joseph F, Kaye Jeffery, Leverenz James B, Tsuang Debby, Longfellow Katelan, Yearout Dora, Kukull Walter, Keene C Dirk, Montine Thomas J, Zabetian Cyrus P, Trojanowski John Q: Neuropathological and genetic correlates of survival and dementia onset in synucleinopathies: a retrospective analysis. The Lancet. Neurology 16(1): 55-65, Jan 2017 Notes: *Corresponding author.

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Last updated: 04/15/2021
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