To deepen the research on brown fat Stanley Prusiner spends much of his fourth year of medical school at the Wenner-Gren Institute in Stockholm working with Olov Lindberg on the metabolism of isolated brown adipocytes.
Prusiner becomes a Resident in neurology at the University of California. During his residency Prusiner is in charge of a patient who dies of a rare fatal degenerative disorder of the brain, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Prusiner becomes intrigued by this little-known class of neurodegenerative disorders—the spongiform encephalopathies—that can affect humans and animals. He decides then to identify the molecular structure of the causative infectious agent.
Stanley Prusiner is born in Des Moines, Iowa, to Lawrence Prusiner and Miriam Spiegel.
Prusiner theorizes CJD is caused by prions, a term derived from "proteinaceous infectious particle". This pathogen consists only of protein and lacks the genetic material contained within all life-forms that is necessary for replication. His article about his finding upon scrapie causes an upheaval among the field’s scientists. Although positively identified in Prusiner's laboratory in 1983, the notion of prion as a new means of disease transmission is not widely accepted for nearly a decade.
Stanley Prusiner enters University of Pennsylvania where he majors in Chemistry. Here, besides many science courses, he enjoys philosophy, the history of architecture, economics, Russian history and rowing. In the summer of 1963, he begins in the Department of Surgery a research project with Sidney Wolfson on hypothermia that will continue through Prusiner's senior year.
Stanley Prusiner does an intership in medicine.
Stanley Prusiner receives the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discovery of Prions - a new biological principle of infection". His findings have impacted deeply the research into various diseases including a new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or "mad cow disease". It also seems that Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease share important characteristics with prion-derived diseases.
Stanley Prusiner serves in the US Public Health Service at the NIH. Here he works in Earl Stadtman's laboratory studying glutaminases in E. coli and learns an immense amount about the research process.
Stanley Prusiner goes to Cincinnati with his family, to allow his father to find a job as architect. Prusiner attends Walnut Hills High School where he studies Latin for five years. This Latin knowledge will be precious in his future.
Prusiner becomes Assistant Professor of Neurology at University of California. He studies scrapie, a related disorder of sheep, and in 1982 isolates the scrapie-causing agent, which he names “prion”. In 1980 he becomes Associate Professor and then Professor in 1984. In 1988 he becomes Professor of Biochemistry. Since 1999 he is Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases. Since 1984 he is also Professor of Virology in Residence at the University of California, Berkeley.
Stanley Prusiner enters University of Pennsylvania Medical School. During his second year here, Prusiner asks Britton Chance to study the surface fluorescence of brown adipose tissue in Syrian golden hamsters as they arise from hibernation.