Dr. Judd Aiken’s primary research interest is the role of the environment in the dissemination of prion diseases. Judd received his undergraduate training at the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point, his MS degree at the University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse and his PhD in Medical Biochemistry at the University of Calgary under the direction of Prof. Gordon H. Dixon. Following a short post-doctoral stint at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Dr. Aiken joined Dr. Richard Marsh’s lab working on the molecular genetics of prion disease. He then joined the faculty in the Department of Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. After 20 years at UW-Madison, Judd was recruited to the Prion Center at the University of Alberta. Dr. Aiken’s prion research is interdisciplinary focusing on: 1) impact of soil/soil microparticles on prion infectivity 2) biochemical analysis of the infectious agent; 3) inter-species transmission of the CWD agent; 4) contamination of the environment by the CWD agent (soil, landfills, wastewater treatment plants), and 5) development of biomarkers for disease as potential ante-mortem diagnostics.