Sponsored by: McKnight Brain Research Foundation
Luttge Lectureship Seminar
Monday, March 10, 2014 — 12:00 noon
Seminar title: “The Brain Fights Back: Neuroplasticity in Aging and Disease”
Speaker: Steven T. DeKosky, M.D.
Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Dr. DeKosky is currently Visiting Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. His primary appointment is at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, as Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, and Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center. From 2008 to 2013 he was Vice President and Dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and held the James Carroll Flippin Professor of Medical Science.
He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bucknell University and did graduate work in neuroscience and psychology at the University of Florida, graduating from the University of Florida College of Medicine in 1974. He completed an internship in internal medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and a three-year residency in neurology at the University of Florida, and then was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Neurochemistry at the Clinical Neuroscience Research Center at the University of Virginia. He joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine from 1979 to 1990, where he co-founded the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and was interim chair of the department of neurology from 1985 to 1987.
In 1990 he moved to the University of Pittsburgh as Professor of Psychiatry (primary) and Neurology, and from 1992-2000 was Director of the Division of Geriatrics and Neuropsychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry/Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, also at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2000 he became Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh, a position which he held until he moved to the University of Virginia in 2008. Dr. DeKosky was Director of the Pitt’s NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) from 1994-2008. His basic research centers on structural and neurochemical changes in human brain in aging and dementia and effects of traumatic brain injury. His clinical and translational research have centered on understanding the genetics, neuropsychiatric symptoms, neuroimaging, and treatment and prevention of AD. Beginning trauma studies as a Principal Investigator in the University of Pittsburgh Brain Trauma Research Center in 1992, he studied similarities in the injury cascades of TBI and AD. He was an author of the first reports of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in American professional football players. He was also a Principal Investigator in the clinical application of the breakthrough amyloid-imaging agent Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB). He directed an NIH-funded national multicenter trial to assess whether Ginkgo biloba can prevent or delay onset of dementia in normal elderly adults.
Dr. DeKosky has served on and led numerous NIH review and advisory committees, and taught and mentored in clinical research training programs sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). He was a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee from 2004-2007. In 2010 he was appointed to the National Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the NIH. Following that term, he was appointed to the NIH’s Council of Councils in 2013; the Council of Councils oversees the Common Fund of the NIH.
Dr. DeKosky was a member of the national Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association from 1994 to 2002 (Board Vice Chair in 2001-2002), and again from 2003 to 2010. He was Chair of the Association’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Council from 1997 to 2002, chaired the Association’s Strategic Planning Committee from 1997 to 2000, and served on the Ethics Advisory Board and the Public Policy, Finance, and Development Committees. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), the international organization of national Alzheimer’s Associations, and is now a member of the ADI Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel, a group he chaired from 2003-2006. He also serves on the National Advisory Board for the Center for Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at SUNY-Stony Brook.
Dr. DeKosky has served as Chair of the Section on Geriatrics of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), and chaired the AAN Practice Parameters Committee for Early Detection, Diagnosis and Management of Dementia. In 2003 he was elected to the Neurology Council of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN); in 2010 he was elected President of the Neurology Council and Vice President of the ABPN. He continues to chair the ABPN’s Part B (Behavioral Neurology, Cognition, and Psychiatry) Examination Committee.
Dr. DeKosky has received the Rita Hayworth Award from the Alzheimer’s Association and the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute Award for his contributions to research and advocacy on behalf of people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. In 2008 he received the Zaven Khachaturian Award from the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference for his contributions to Alzheimer’s disease research.
He is the founding Chair of the Advisory Council of ISTAART, the International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Treatment; in 2011 he was elected to a second 3-year term as Chair. As Chair of ISTAART he also serves (ad hoc) on the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council for the Alzheimer’s Association. He lectures nationally and internationally on multiple dimensions of Alzheimer’s Disease, including the cognitive, neurobehavioral, genetic, imaging, and basic research underpinnings of the disease.
Dr. DeKosky is a frequent commentator on Alzheimer’s disease and brain aging for the press and is a frequent lecturer on AD nationally. He has testified multiple times before U.S. Senate Committees for greater research funding for Alzheimer’s disease, and has met with government officials in other countries as a consultant and advocate for programs and support for people with dementia. He has received a Teacher Investigator Development Award from the NINDS, the Presidential Award of the American Neurological Association, and has been listed continuously in “The Best Doctors in America” and “America’s Top Doctors” for over a decade, with his most recent election to both honors in 2014. He has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He serves on the editorial boards of several leading neurology and Alzheimer’s journals and is a journal reviewer for multiple other journals.