José Brás, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Neurodegenerative Science

Areas of Expertise

Genetics, neurodegeneration, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, complex disease genomics, bioinformatics, data science


Dr. José Brás is a leading molecular geneticist whose research focuses on how genetic variability impacts the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. He earned his B.Sc. in biomedical sciences from Coimbra Polytechnic Institute, followed by his M.S. in biomolecular methods from Aveiro University, and his Ph.D. (with honors) from the Coimbra University. He conducted his doctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Singleton and Dr. Catarina Oliveira at the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, where he investigated the genetic basis of movement disorders. In 2010, he joined University College London as a postdoctoral research assistant in the Department of Molecular Neuroscience. In 2015, he became a tenured principal investigator and was later named as a Programme Leader at the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL. In 2018, Dr. Brás joined Van Andel Institute’s Department of Neurodegenerative Science as an associate professor.

He has received several awards and honors, including the 2014 Alzheimer’s Society Research Fellowship and the 2016 Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Research Leader Award.

He serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several journals, including Neurobiology of Aging, Annals of Neurology, Current Genomics, Neuron, American Journal of Human Genetics and Brain. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease (and Brain Communications) and an associate editor for Frontiers in Neurology— Neurogenetics.