Lawrence Schut, MD

Professor, Department of Neurology

Lawrence Schut

Contact Info

MD, University of Minnesota

Neurology (under Dr. AB Baker), University of Minnesota

Neurochemistry, University of Minnesota

Summary

Dr. Schut is a neurologist specializing in the ataxias because part of his identity was framed by the fact that almost half of his father's relatives succumbed to a disease with onset from ages 15 to 30 years of age. As a teenager, he learned that the illness was hereditary ataxia and that his father was at risk for it. Fortunately he was spared but his uncle, Dr. John Schut, also a neurologist, showed symptoms at age 29. However, he was able to write seminal articles on the clinical, pathological and genetic aspects of the disease which eventually was categorized as spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1). Dr. Schut became a neurologist in private practice and asked his entire extended family to participate in collaborative research. They cooperated in full, leading to the discovery of the SCA1 gene by Drs. Harry Orr and Huda Zoghbi in 1993. Dr. Schut continued collaborative research with Dr. Laura Ranum at the UMN leading to discovery of mutated genes causing SCA5 and 8. His current research is directed toward finding other mutant genes that cause ataxia.

Research

Publications