Ken Nakamura, MD, PhD
Photo: Ken Nakamura



Elected 2022

Dr. Nakamura is an Associate Professor of Neurology at UCSF and an Investigator at Gladstone Institutes. He received his medical and graduate training at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, and then completed his residency and a postdoctoral research and clinical fellowship in movement disorders at UCSF, where he continues to treat patients.

The Nakamura lab at Gladstone has two broad, intertwined objectives. The first is to gain insight into the normal physiology of mitochondria and glucose metabolism in the brain, with a particular focus on bioenergetics and mitochondrial quality control in neurons. His lab has made major efforts to identify genetic pathways that regulate energy levels, including defining the “ATPome,” a comprehensive database of the effects of every gene on cellular ATP levels. The lab’s second objective is to apply their insights from studies of normal function to understand how disrupting metabolism contributes to neurodegenerative diseases, especially Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and then to develop new approaches to target mitochondria and metabolism therapeutically.