Joel Watts
Completed PhD 2008
For graduate studies, I chose LMP because of the world-class faculty members with expertise in neurodegenerative diseases. However, because of the unique diversity of interests within the department, I was exposed to many new fields of research, which helped prepare me for a career as an independent investigator in the biomedical sciences. LMP provided me with an ideal foundation for pursuing a career in academia, which helped me to obtain a postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner and ultimately to obtain a faculty position at the University of Toronto.
Current Position: 
Assistant Professor, Tanz CRND, Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto
Research Focus: 

My research focuses on developing animal and cell models of the prion diseases (such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans) as well as more common neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The aim of my work is to understand how pathological, prion-like protein aggregates spread throughout the brain and cause disease, with the ultimate goal of developing therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders in humans.