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Michael Lodato named 2019 Next Generation Leader by Allen Institute

UMass Medical School Communications

September 25, 2019
Michael Lodato, PhD
Michael Lodato, PhD

Michael Lodato, PhD, assistant professor of molecular, cell & cancer biology, was named a 2019 Next Generation Leader by the Allen Institute.

Dr. Lodato is one of six early-career neuroscientists who will participate in a special advisory council for the Allen Institute for Brain Science, a division of the Allen Institute. The purpose of the Next Generation Leaders Program is to formally recognize the importance of fresh and innovative contributions from scientists at early stages of their careers.

“Over the past six years of this program, we’ve seen amazing accomplishments from our current and former Next Generation Leaders,” said Christof Koch, PhD, president and chief scientific officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. “The 2019 group is an impressive cadre of rising stars in neuroscience and we’re looking forward to the perspective they will bring to our research programs.”

Lodato earned his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked as a postdoc at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He served as an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard before joining UMass Medical School this month.

“I’m incredibly excited and honored to be named to the Next Generation Leaders Council,” Lodato said. “Our laboratory focuses on the rates, causes, and consequences of somatic mutations in the human brain. Our work has shown that somatic mutations accumulate in post-mitotic human neurons during aging, sometimes affecting genes critical for neuronal function. Research in my lab will benefit tremendously from collaboration with the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and I look forward to serving as a bridge between UMass and the Allen Institute.”

Next Generation Leaders are selected each year through a competitive process that includes applications from around the world. The six Next Generation Leaders selected will each have a three-year term on the advisory council.

The 18-member council will convene at this year’s Showcase Symposium at the Allen Institute, held Nov. 11-12, where they will present their own research and give feedback on research presented by early-career Allen Institute researchers. The members also attend one additional scientific advisory council meeting per year to provide feedback on specific research projects.