Dr. Juan S. Bonifacino is the Head of the Cell Biology and Metabolism Program (CBMP) of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a position that he has held since December 1997. In this role, Dr. Bonifacino oversees the work of seven research groups devoted to the study of molecular and cellular mechanisms of pathogenesis. He is also the Chief of one of these research groups, the Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking, which studies the mechanisms by which proteins are delivered to different compartments of the endocytic and secretory pathways, and the diseases that result from dysfunction of these mechanisms.
Dr. Bonifacino received his doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1981. He then moved to the NIH, where he pursued post-doctoral studies with Dr. Richard D. Klausner. He rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the Head of the CBMP. In 2008, he was appointed NIH Distinguished Investigator. Since the early 1990s, Dr. Bonifacino's group at the NIH has conducted research on signals and adaptor proteins that mediate protein sorting to endosomes and lysosomes. His group discovered new sorting signals and adaptor proteins, and applied this knowledge to the elucidation of the causes of various human diseases including the Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome type 2 and autosomal dominant polycystic liver disease. Dr. Bonifacino has served in various editorial capacities at the journals, Developmental Cell, Molecular Cell, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Journal of Cell Biology, Journal of Biological Chemistry and Traffic. He is also the co-editor of the books Current Protocols in Cell Biology and Short Protocols in Cell Biology. He has served as a member of the Council of the American Society for Cell Biology and chaired various scientific conferences. He has delivered the Alex Novikoff, Leonardo Satz, George Connell and G. Burroughs Mider lectures, and is an Honorary Professor of Biological Chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires and a Sackler Lecturer at Tel Aviv University, Israel. His lab has trained over 70 post-doctoral fellows and students, most of whom have pursued careers in academic research.