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The Donald L. Price Research Fund

Support Research in Neuropathology

The Donald L. Price Research Fund is an endowed fund established in 2008 to honor Donald L. Price, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Pathology, Neurology, and Neuroscience, and a former Director of the Division of Neuropathology. Income from the fund supports research by fellows in the Division of Neuropathology.

Dr. Price was a towering figure in both stature and intellect and a pioneer in clinical and experimental neuropathology. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1956 from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, majoring in English and humanities, where his study of the links between poetry and psychology ignited his lifelong fascination with the human brain. Graduating in 1961 with his medical degree from Albany Medical School in New York, Dr. Price completed residency training in neurology and neuropathology at the Harvard Medical School Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. As a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy, he served as a staff neurologist from 1966 to 1968 at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He then returned to Boston where he completed a fellowship in neuropathology and worked as a research fellow in Harvard University’s Biological Laboratory. He held several teaching positions during his time at Harvard.

In 1971, Dr. Price was recruited to Johns Hopkins as an associate professor of pathology and director of the Division of Neuropathology. He was promoted to professor in 1978 and founded the Johns Hopkins Brain Resource Center. He also founded the Johns Hopkins Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, which he led for three decades starting in 1984. Dr. Price also played a critical role in establishing what is now the Pathobiology PhD Program at Johns Hopkins.

During his tenure at Hopkins, Dr. Price’s research improved the fundamental understanding of the molecular basis and drivers of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases and how the brain ages. An innovator who, with his colleagues, developed animal models of these human disorders, he integrated a deep understanding of pathology with mechanistic and therapeutic advances. He was an early champion of using transgenic mouse models of human neurological disease.

In an exceptional career spanning five decades, Dr. Price was recognized with numerous awards, including the Soriano Award for Outstanding Contribution to Neuroscience, the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Research, and the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Merit Award. He also was awarded a Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, from Albany Medical College. Dr. Price was a past president of both the American Association of Neuropathologists and the Society for Neuroscience and was also elected to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. A prolific researcher, Dr. Price had more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, his research papers generating more than 114,000 citations, and was an editor for the classic textbook Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular, and Medical Aspects.

Perhaps Dr. Price’s most important and enduring impact in medicine was in education-training and mentoring hundreds of medical and graduate students, residents, and fellows, many of whom have gone on to illustrious careers in academics and are leaders in the field of neuropathology. A much-loved faculty member, Dr. Price retired from the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2010. Sadly, he passed away on May 5, 2023.

If you would like to honor Dr. Price's legacy as an outstanding scientist, teacher, and mentor, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution in his memory to the Donald L. Price Research Fund through the Department of Pathology's secure online giving form by clicking the button below.

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