Dean Brashear to discuss ‘bench to bedside,’ neuroscience at CTSI seminar

Allison Brashear.

Published May 17, 2023

“Dr. Brashear is not only a visionary leader but also an internationally recognized physician-scientist. As a CTSI K Scholar, I feel fortunate to have her support as I develop my research program.”
John Hu.

University at Buffalo Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Allison Brashear, MD, MBA, is considered the international expert on rapid onset Parkinsonism dystonia and related disorders. She will discuss her groundbreaking research at the next UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Community of Scholars Seminar

Brashear’s seminar, titled “Bench to Bedside and the Impact on Neuroscience,” will be held in person at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, in the Murphy Family Seminar Room 5019B at the Clinical and Translational Research Center. Register here to attend the seminar.

Brashear was invited to speak by John C. Hu, MD, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Jacobs School, and Physician, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, VA Western New York Health Care System. Hu is a member of the 2022 CTSI K Scholar cohort.

“As the dean of the Jacobs School, Dr. Brashear is not only a visionary leader but also an internationally recognized physician-scientist,” Hu says. “As a CTSI K Scholar, I feel fortunate to have her support as I develop my research program. I look forward to hearing more about her research and her accomplished career.”

Impact on neuroscience

During the June 13 seminar, Brashear will discuss how collaboration between scientists and physicians identified the first family with symptoms from the ATP1A3 gene and related neurologic disorders symptoms. This became a cross-continental effort to identify patients with the often underdiagnosed but most prevalent ATP1A3-related neurologic disorders — rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism (RDP); alternating hemiplegia of childhood (ACH); and cerebellar ataxia, areflexia, pes cavus, optic atrophy and sensorineural hearing loss (CAPOS).

In February, UBNow reported that Brashear is leading a five-year, $3.3 million National Institutes of Health-funded clinical study on the Clinical Genetic and Cellular Consequences of Mutations in ATP1A3. She brought the grant with her to Buffalo in 2021 after moving from the University of California, Davis.

As Brashear explained to UBNow, the research could have a profound impact on neuroscience, as it is expected to result in new knowledge about other brain diseases and how the brain functions in general.

“What do the variants that cause these disorders tell us about how the brain works and the pathways in the brain that are impacted by these mutations?” Brashear asked. “If we have a better understanding of this rare disease, then we might be able to better understand more common diseases.”

More information on the study is available here, and additional details are available in a University at Buffalo-produced YouTube video.

Advocating for patient-centered care

In March, Brashear reflected on her first year at UB in an interview with UBNow, stressing why patient-centered care is so vital to her work and the aims of the university. She stated that training the doctors of tomorrow involves teaching them how to “adapt to new challenges and lead during times of change while always putting the patient first.”

“Patients are the reason why scientists are working together to find better solutions to complex problems,” Brashear explained. “All the individuals who work at the UB schools of health are here because they want to impact health. They want to take research, education, clinical care and make a difference in the lives of patients in our community and nationally. We are taking new discoveries to hospitals, clinics and home care settings. That type of teach-science collaboration drives discoveries and advances to help better our world.”

For questions about the CTSI Community of Scholars Seminar Series, write to or call 716-829-4718.