Kenneth L. Tyler, MD
Dr. Tyler is the Louise Baum Endowed Chair and Chairman of the Department of Neurology, and Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Immunology-Microbiology. He trained in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Neurology at MGH, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship with the late Dr. Bernard Fields in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School. His laboratory uses a variety of neurotropic viruses, including reoviruses, Enterovirus D-68, and Flaviviruses (West Nile, Japanese encephalitis and Zika) to study the pathogenesis of viral CNS infections. A particular interest has been in understanding the nature of specific cellular pathways (signaling, gene expression, apoptosis) that are activated during neurotropic viral infections and that lead to neuronal injury and death. The laboratory uses primary cell cultures, ex vivo slice cultures of brain and spinal cord, and murine models to study virus-cell interactions. Recent studies have involved mapping transcription factor regulated gene expression pathways in brains of virally infected animals, defining virus-induced apoptotic signaling pathways, and examining the role of neuroinflammation (chemokine and cytokine expression, microglial and astrocyte activation) in neuronal death and CNS tissue injury. Dr. Tyler has been extensively involved in clinical studies related to PML and JC virus infection, WNV neuroinvasive disease, acute flaccid myelitis associated with Enterovirus D-68 infection, and in the studies of the use of CSF PCR and NextGen sequencing techniques in the diagnosis of CNS viral infections.