Madness and Memory

In his memoir Madness and Memory, Dr. Stanley Prusiner, IND Director and 1997 Nobel laureate, tells the remarkable story of his discovery of prions—infectious proteins that replicate and cause disease but surprisingly contain no genetic material—and reveals how superb and meticulous science is actually practiced with talented teams of researchers who persevere. He recounts the frustrations and rewards of years of research and offers fascinating portraits of his peers as they raced to discover the causes of fatal brain diseases. Prusiner’s hypothesis, once considered heresy, now stands as accepted science and the basis for developing diagnoses and eventual cures. He closes with a meditation on the legacy of his discovery: What will it take to cure Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s and other devastating diseases of the brain? (Courtesy of Yale University Press)

Madness and Memory has received many glowing reviews, links to which are provided below. To hear Dr. Prusiner speak about his work, you can listen to his interviews. In addition, Dr. Prusiner has been the subject of many newspaper articles and has written several important op-ed articles for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

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A Victory Lap for a Heretical Neurologist
By Abigail Zuger, M.D.
Published on May 19, 2014, in The New York Times

How Memory Speaks
By Jerome Groopman
Published on May 22, 2014, in The New York Review of Books

BOOKSHELF: Proteins, Prions, and Paradigm Shift—Persistence and a Little Self-Promotion Help
By Christopher M. Filley, M.D., F.A.A.N.
Published on May 1, 2014, in Neurology Today

Medicine: Outside the Fold
By Giovanna Mallucci
Published on April 10, 2014, in Nature

By Donald F. Calbreath, Ph.D.
Published on April 27, 2014, in the New York Journal of Books


Five Questions for Dr. Prusiner (Yale University Press)
Published on June 3, 2014

Interview with The New York Times science reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal (San Francisco, CA)
Aired on Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dr. Prusiner on the Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC, New York City, NY)
Aired on Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dr. Prusiner on Forum with Michael Krasny (KQED, San Francisco, CA)
Aired on Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Stanley Prusiner: "A Nobel prize doesn't wipe the scepticism away"
By Zoë Corbyn
Published on May 24, 2014, in The Guardian

Mad-Cow Disease May Hold Clues to Other Neurological Disorders
By Amy Dockser Marcus
Published on December 3, 2012, in The Wall Street Journal

UCSF Links Key Dementia Protein, Brain Traumas
By David Perlman
Published on June 22, 2012, in The San Francisco Chronicle


Alzheimer's and Its Uncounted Victims
By George Vradenburg and Stanley Prusiner
Published on March 16, 2014, in The Wall Street Journal
Read with subscription to the WSJ

Brain Research and the Challenge of Aging
By Stanley B. Prusiner and George P. Shultz
Published on July 5, 2011, in The Wall Street Journal
Read with subscription to the WSJ

The Age of Alzheimer’s
By Sandra Day O'Connor, Stanley Prusiner, and Ken Dychtwald
Published on October 27, 2010, in The New York Times