Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives member and Harvard professor and neuroscientist Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., also unofficially referred to as a “rock star of science,” is a skilled jazz organist, impassioned advocate for neuroscience research and public outreach, and a distinguished neuroscientist who co-discovered the gene for Alzheimer’s disease.
Tanzi, who worked with Aerosmith’s Joe Perry on a music track and a public service campaign highlighting the need for more funding for medical research, recently collaborated with Deepak Chopra, M.D., on a series of articles for the San Francisco Chronicle pondering the concept of a “conscious universe” as opposed to one that functions upon chance and randomness. Andrew Doerfler wrote in a Boston Globe article about Tanzi’s projects: “As strange as it seems for a renowned genetic researcher to end up playing on a new album with one of rock’s all time bands, Tanzi expects colleagues to react to his collaborations with Chopra with just as much surprise.” Indeed, Tanzi is eager to consider unconventional and holistic views of science.
Tanzi’s latest inspirational foray is his bestselling book “Super Brain.” Co-authored by Chopra, the book details how an individual can utilize his or her brain most efficiently to lead a spiritually fulfilling and energized life, while actively combatting common mental disorders like depression and anxiety. The book also dispels common myths about the lack of adaptability of the brain and explains how one can make lifestyle changes to maintain mental keenness throughout life. PBS aired a television adaptation of the book, "Super Brain with Dr. Rudy Tanzi," last month and showings continue through December. In the special, Tanzi and Chopra analyze diverse topics including Alzheimer’s, sleep, love, memory, and meditation in relation to the brain.
To read more about Tanzi’s musical pursuits and their relationship to neuroscience and his research on Alzheimer’s, check out the Dana Foundation article, “The Arts of Neuroscientists: Rudolph Tanzi.”