Michael Hutton


Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic

Associate Professor Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Professor Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Consultant, Mayo Clinic

Michael Hutton obtained his Bachelor degree from Manchester and his PhD from Cambridge. He moved to the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1994 and to Mayo Jacksonville in 1996. He was promoted quickly and became a full Professor in Neuroscience at the Mayo College of Medicine in 2003. He has published over 160 articles with several in Science, Nature, Nature Genetics and Nature Medicine.  In a now landmark paper his laboratory in 1998 published, in Nature, “Association of missense and splice site mutations in tau with inherited dementia (FTDP-17).” This paper described for the first time genetic mutations that cause FTD and is one of the main reasons he was awarded the Potamkin Prize in 2000. From this finding Dr Hutton’s group went on to make transgenic mice expressing tau and later improved the model by first crossing the mice with transgenic APP mice (showing that amyloid deposition accelerates tau pathology). His group (with Karen Ashe’s group from the University of Minnesota) has created transgenic mice in which the expression of the tau gene can be turned on and off and they have explored the resulting consequences both on pathology and memory.  In the past year, Dr Hutton’s group has identified mutations in a second gene on chr17q21 that encodes the growth factor Progranulin that cause tau-negative FTDP-17. This finding that was published in Nature in July 2006 and finally resolves a 10 year old mystery regarding the genetic cause of all families with FTD linked to region of chromosome 17. At present Dr Hutton’s group is pursuing other genetic causes of FTD and using their TG mice models to evaluate possible treatments of FTD.