Jason Shepherd

Jason Shepherd studies the fundamental cellular and molecular processes that underlie memory formation. As head of the Shepherd Lab, based out of the University of Utah School of Medicine, Jason is elucidating how the brain stores information from the molecular level through in vivo neuronal networks and how these processes go awry in neurological disorders and in cognitive decline during aging. Looking specifically at Arc, the neuronal gene critical for long-term memory and synaptic plasticity, Jason's lab recently discovered that Arc has homology to retroviruses and is able to form viral-like capsids capable of transporting RNA. This finding provides a conceptual advance in our understanding of information encoding and storage in the brain. Jason’s work has garnered world-wide attention, he is a National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow and the recipient of the 2010 Gruber International Research Award in Neuroscience.