Greg Lemke, PhD


Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory

Françoise Gilot-Salk Chair

Greg Lemke
Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Videos


Salk scientists show how immune receptors clear dead and dysfunctional brain cells

By adolescence, your brain already contains most of the neurons that you’ll have for the rest of your life. But a few regions continue to grow new nerve cells—and require the services of cellular sentinels, specialized immune cells that keep the brain safe by getting rid of dead or dysfunctional cells.

Now, Salk scientists have uncovered the surprising extent to which both dying and dead neurons are cleared away, and have identified specific cellular switches that are key to this process.The work was detailed in Nature on April 6, 2016. Read more »

Dynamic duo takes out the cellular trash

Salk scientists identify how immune cells use two critical receptors to clear dead cells from the body, pointing the way to new autoimmune and cancer therapies.

In most of the tissues of the body, specialized immune cells are entrusted with the task of engulfing the billions of dead cells that are generated every day. When these garbage disposals don’t do their job, dead cells and their waste products rapidly pile up, destroying healthy tissue and leading to autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Read more »


BS, Life Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD, Biology, California Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Columbia University

Awards & Honors

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow, 2007-Current
  • Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, 1994-2001
  • Rita Allen Scholars Award, 1990-1995
  • Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award, March of Dimes, 1987-1989
  • Pew Scholar Award, 1986-1990
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1983-1985
  • Kroc Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1979-1981