Professor Ronald Schnaar
Ronald Schnaar, Ph.D., has performed and directed glycobiology research for over 40 years. He received his doctorate studying glycan recognition at Johns Hopkins University, and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neurobiology at the NIH before returning to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as a faculty member, where he currently holds the positions of Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences and Professor of Neuroscience. His research focuses on the roles of glycans and glycan recognition in intercellular interactions in the nervous and innate immune systems.
Dr. Schnaar’s studies on gangliosides, the major glycans of nerve cells and axons, revealed their role in axon-myelin interactions, including stabilization of axons and the control of axon regeneration after injury. The latter studies led to successful pre-clinical testing of the enzyme sialidase to enhance recovery from spinal cord injury. In collaborative studies he identified glycans on human neutrophils that initiate neutrophilic inflammation and glycans on tissues that regulate human eosinophilic (allergic) inflammation.
Dr. Schnaar has served as the Editor-in-chief of the journal Glycobiology, President of the Society for Glycobiology and Steering Committee Member of the Consortium for Functional Glycomics. He currently directs the Lung Inflammatory Disease Program of Excellence in Glycosciences, a multi-institutional NIH-funded program to harness glycan recognition to treat asthma and other inflammatory lung diseases.
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