The LaVoie Lab


Dr. LaVoie is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.  He received his PhD in 2000 from the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied the neurochemistry of animal models of Parkinson’s disease.  After a postdoctoral fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the field of Alzheimer’s disease, he was promoted to Instructor in Neurology in 2003 and began an independent research program investigating the molecular biology and protein biochemistry of Parkinson’s disease. 

Dr. LaVoie was appointed Assistant Professor in 2006 and Associate Professor in 2012, and has received the Smith Family Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, the Roberto Cornelli Award for Research in Parkinson’s Disease, and other honors.  The LaVoie lab is dedicated to uncovering the early molecular events responsible for the selective neurodegeneration and unique neuropathology associated with Parkinson’s disease.  A major goal of the lab is to understand the basic physiological functions of genes associated with familial Parkinson’s disease, and the impact of their pathogenic mutations.  Current work is dedicated to 1) uncovering the mechanistic links between E3 ligase activity of parkin and its potent neuro-protective function; 2) understanding the regulation and pathogenic properties of the multi-domain kinase, LRRK2; and 3) the molecular modeling of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease through the generation of novel cell culture systems and animal models.  By gaining a deeper understanding of biochemical pathways genetically linked to inherited forms of Parkinson’s disease, we hope to shed light upon the underlying mechanism of the more common sporadic cases of this progressive movement disorder.  To accomplish these goals, we employ a broad repertoire of techniques spanning protein biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and immunocytochemistry. 

Dr. LaVoie serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and the National Scientific Advisory Council for the American Foundation for Aging Research.  He served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry from 2010-15 and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Brain Research.  In addition to his responsibilities as Principal Investigator of a basic research laboratory at the Brigham, Dr. LaVoie was the Co-Founder and Co-Director (with Dr. Barbara Bierer) of the Brigham Research Leadership Program and Founder of the Career Building at a Research Hospital seminar series.  He has also been actively involved in education at Harvard Medical School, earning multiple honors for his teaching efforts.     


About Dr. LaVoie

Matthew J. LaVoie, PhD

See Dr. LaVoie’s PublicationsLaVoie_Publications.htmlLaVoie_Publications.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0