Benjamin Franklin's Junto
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, I went to Harvard as an undergraduate to study psychology. My special interest has always been in geriatrics. I then studied medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine before doing a medical internship at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. My residency was in psychiatry at Harvard's McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts where I further pursued my interest in geriatric psychiatry.
I went on to do a research fellowship in psychopharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health. It was there that I started a research program in Alzheimer's disease and geriatric depression. Over the next twenty years, I was able to build my interests from small individual studies to the widely recognized and respected Geriatric Psychiatry Branch.
I am currently a member of many national organizations and was recently President of the Society of Biological Psychiatry besides serving on editorial boards for multiple scientific journals and as a regular reviewer for many others. From 1990-2000, I was Chair of the Institutional Review Board for the National Institutes of Health during a time of much change at the National Institute of Mental Health. I was also Chair of the Medical Advisory Board for the Washington, D.C. Alzheimer Association for many years, and I have published over 250 scientific papers in national and international journals. I am co-author of Aging and Mental Health with Robert N. Butler and Myrna Lewis.
Recently, I moved to the LIJ/Hillside/North Shore hospital system as the first recipient of the Litwin-Zucker Chair of Geriatric Psychiatry. I am currently the Director of the Litwin-Zucker Center for the Study of Memory Disorders and Alzheimer's disease along with the Scientific Director, Peter Davies, Ph.D., and my current studies focus on the longitudinal follow-up of older subjects and the use of biomarkers to help establish an early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Early diagnostic strategies will employ genetic markers, structural and functional brain imaging, cognitive testing, blood tests and cerebrospinal fluid measures. It is hypothesized that these biomarkers will generate an early "fingerprint" of Alzheimer's disease. I am also interested in innovative treatment trials for early Alzheimer patients. The idea is that if the diagnosis can be made years before symptoms of memory disorder are evident, perhaps there are treatment strategies that might help delay or even prevent the first symptoms of this devastating illness. Together with the basic science of Dr. Peter Davies, we hope to quickly create a world-class research center within the LIJ/Hillside/North Shore hospital system.