Dr. Frank LaFerla

Neuroscientist · Alzheimer's Disease · Irvine, California
  • 214 Publications

Dr. Frank LaFerla had originally wanted to study the HIV virus but made the switch to researching Alzheimer’s thanks to a scientist he was working with. That his mother passed away from dementia at age 59 was also a factor in his desire to seek cures for neurological disorders.

As co-director of the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at the University of California, Irvine, Dr. LaFerla specializes in research on the molecular biology of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Some of his most significant research work included debunking the myth that nicotine was able to treat Alzheimer’s, and the discovery that stress aided in the progression of the disease in mice.

In recognition of his contributions, he received the Zenith Fellows Award from the Alzheimer’s Association and the Promising Work award under the MetLife Foundation Award for Medical Research.

"Although we have known for some time that higher levels of stress hormones are seen in individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer's, this is the first time we have seen how these hormones play such a direct role in exacerbating the underlying pathology of the disease." –
-Dr. Frank LaFerla



University of California Irvine School of Biological Sciences

Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior

University of California Irvine School of Biological Sciences


Ph.D. in Philosophy & Microbiology

University of Minnesota · 1990

Bachelor of Science in Biology

University of Minnesota · 1985


Dr. Frank LaFerla has been involved in 214 publications. View publications ›


Dr. Frank LaFerla is affiliated with University of California, Irvine at 5120 Natural Sciences II, Irvine, California.