Jesse Mez, MD, MS, Robert Stern, PhD and Ann McKee, MD
The Guest Editors of this issue of Seminars in Neurology are Drs. Jesse Mez, Bob Stern, and Ann McKee, all from Boston University (BU) School of Medicine.
Dr. Mez is Associate Professor of Neurology at BU School of Medicine. He received his AB from Cornell University in Mathematics, his MD from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and his MS in Biostatistics with an emphasis on Statistical Genetics from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He did his Neurology Residency at the Harvard Combined Program in Boston. This was followed by a Clinical Fellowship in Aging and Dementia and a Research Fellowship in Neuroepidemiology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He joined BU's faculty in 2013, where he has been an integral player in the field of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and dementia and is seen as an emerging leader in the field. He is the Director of the Clinical Core of the NIH-funded BU Alzheimer's Disease Center (ADC) and is a BU CTE Center, Framingham Heart Study, and AD Genetic Consortium Investigator. He leads several recent NIH- and DOD-funded projects, including being the lead principal investigator (PI) for the R01-funded Leveraging Existing Aging Research Networks to investigate traumatic brain injury (TBI) and AD/AD-related dementias (ADRD) risk (LEARN TBI & AD) study. His research interests include investigating risk factors for AD and CTE, including TBI, repetitive head impacts (RHI), genetics, and their interaction. His work also investigates clinicopathologic correlation in CTE with the goal to accurately diagnose CTE in life. He is the recipient of an NIH-funded K23 Career Development Award, an NIH-funded Loan Repayment Program Award, and the BU Carlos S. Kase Outstanding Contribution to Neurology Research Award and is a 2015 BU Spivack Neuroscience Scholar.
Dr. Stern is Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy & Neurobiology at BU School of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University, followed by his MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Rhode Island. He was Intern in Clinical Psychology/Neuropsychology at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Boston, followed by a Fellowship in Psychoneuroendocrinology/Neuropsychology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine. Prior to coming to BU in 2005, he was on the faculties of the UNC School of Medicine and Brown Medical School. He is the Co-Founder and Director of Clinical Research for the BU CTE Center. A major focus of his current research is on the long-term consequences of RHI, including the neuropathological, risk factors (e.g., genetic and head impact exposure), neuroimaging, biomarker development, and clinical diagnosis and descriptions of CTE. He is currently lead PI of an NINDS-funded, 7-year, multicenter project examining these issues. He was senior author of the 2014 publication of the provisional research diagnostic criteria for traumatic encephalopathy syndrome (TES) and led the First NINDS Consensus Workshop to Define the Diagnostic Criteria for TES in 2019. From 2010 to 2019, he was the Clinical Core Director of the NIA-funded BU ADC, and remains a Senior Investigator for the BU ADC. He has been funded by NIH for over 25 years and has been on several national and international advisory boards for the development of new treatments for AD and other disorders. He has also published extensively on the psychometric properties of many widely used tests in neuropsychology, as well as the use of various instruments and biomarkers in the differential diagnosis of AD and ADRD. He is the author of several neuropsychological tests, including the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery. Dr. Stern is on the faculty of the BU Center for Systems Neuroscience, the Behavioral Neurosciences Program, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the Spivack Center for Clinical and Translational Neuroscience. He is a fellow of the American Neuropsychiatric Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology, and is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the Jack Spivack 2019 Distinguished Neuroscientist Award at BU. Dr. Stern has held leadership positions in several training programs, mentored over 40 trainees, and played a key role in the professional development of junior faculty in the BU School of Medicine for many years.
Dr. McKee is Professor in Neurology and Psychiatry at BU School of Medicine, and has been an innovative leader in neurology and neuropathology of CTE and other forms of neurodegeneration for 30 years. She has published more than 70% of confirmed cases of CTE reported worldwide since CTE was first identified in 1928 by Harrison Martland, named CTE in 1949 by MacDonald Critchley, and highlighted in football players by Bennet Omalu in 2005. In July 2017 in JAMA, Dr. McKee reported 177 instances of CTE in 202 former American football players using rigorous clinical and pathological methods. She defined pathological criteria for diagnosis and staging for CTE in 2013, which were validated by NINDS consensus panels of expert neuropathologists in 2015 and 2016. Using the McKee criteria, the consensus panel further confirmed CTE as a unique neurodegenerative disease with a pathognomonic tau lesion that occurs after trauma. Dr. McKee is also global research leader in the establishment and validation of standardized criteria to quantitate vascular injury, correlating vascular neuropathology with clinical ischemic scores, the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile, apolipoprotein E, and cognitive profiles. She oversees repositories of >2,500 brains from BU Medical Center, the Framingham Study, CTE Center, and VA centers (ALS, Gulf War injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, TBI). Dr. McKee's groundbreaking work on CTE, AD, aging, and vascular neuropathology has revolutionized medicine's understanding of the clinicopathological and molecular features of CTE in athletes and veterans exposed to neurotrauma or blast injury and has changed the public dialogue on sports-related risk. She performed her internship in Internal Medicine at the Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, followed by her Neurology Residency at the same institution, where she was named Chief Resident of Neurology and Neuropathology. She was Fellow in Neurology of Aging at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and did her Residency in Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She was named the Bostonian of the Year in the Boston Globe in 2017, received the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh Scientific Impact Award in 2016, the Vision Award from the Associated Industries of Massachusetts in 2016, the Spivack Distinguished Scholar in the Neurosciences from BUSM in 2016, the Ethos Award at Santa Clara University Institute of Sports, Law and Ethics in 2014, and gave the Adams Lecture at the Massachusetts General Hospital in 2013, just to name a few of her numerous awards and accolades. She was elected into the National Academy of Medicine in 2018.
We greatly appreciate the efforts of Drs. Mez, Stern, and McKee, as well as all of the contributing authors, for their wonderful work in this issue of Seminars on CTE, an important entity that every neurologist should know about. I feel very fortunate to have such esteemed colleagues and friends to produce this issue for us, which I think is truly a landmark achievement. We hope you enjoy this amazing issue!
09 September 2020 (online)
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