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Neuroscience and Society Series: Traumatic Brain Injury

1200 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC

The Science and Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has been the recent focus of many in the neuroscience research community, professional sports world and the military. Speakers at this event discussed the current state of neuroscience research on TBI in the context of sport and combat; the areas of research that seem most promising for preventing and treating TBI; and a personal account of the effects of TBI on U.S. soldiers.

Speaker Biographies

Alan I. Leshner has been Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Executive Publisher of the journal Science since December 2001. Before coming to AAAS, Leshner was Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He also has served as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, held a variety of senior positions at the National Science Foundation, and served as a professor of Psychology at Bucknell University. Leshner received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University.

CAPT James L. Hancock is a native of Illiopolis, Il. He enlisted in the Navy in 1982, earned his Engineering BS in 1990 from the United States Naval Academy, a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1995 from Uniform Services University of Health Sciences. In 2002, as the Officer in Charge of Fleet Surgical Team Seven, he deployed for multiple missions in support of GWOT with Naval Special Warfare. His team developed and deployed the Concept of Operations for resuscitative surgery aboard small combatant ships engaged in distributed operations. In spring of 2008, Hancock deployed with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines to Afghanistan. Faced with extended casualty evacuation times, Hancock developed and deployed the tactical trauma team concept with mobile trauma bays providing advanced resuscitative trauma care far forward. In February of 2009, Hancock was named to the Chairman’s of the Joint Chief Of Staff, Gray Team tasked to evaluate and advise the Chairman on all facets of Traumatic Brain Injury treatment. Subsequently, he has deployed back to Iraq and Afghanistan in efforts to optimize treatment of traumatic brain injury. His academic appointments include Assistant Professor of Military/Emergency medicine and Assistant Professor of Neurology at USUHS. He is board certified in Emergency Medicine and Family Practice. CAPT Hancock currently serves as the Deputy Commander of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

COL Geoffrey Ling is the Program Manager for the Defense Sciences Offices at DARPA. He was formely a professor and Acting Chair of the Department of Neurology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). He received his doctorate in pharmacology from Cornell University’s Graduate School of Medical Sciences and his medical degree from Georgetown University. He completed his neurology residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, conducted further studies under a neuropharmacology research fellowship at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and completed a neurointensive care fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In addition to his DARPA programs, he serves on the critical care staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital. His research interests focus on brain and spinal cord injury, particularly that which is relevant to the military. His work studied diagnostic and therapeutic responses as well as elucidation of the basic mechanisms of penetrating injury.

Ann McKee completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin and received her medical degree from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. She completed residency training in neurology at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and fellowship training in neuropathology at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was Assistant Professor of Neuropathology at Harvard Medical School from 1991-94, when she became Associate Professor of Neurology and Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine. In 2011, she was promoted to Professor of Neurology and Pathology. Dr. McKee directs the Neuropathology Service for the New England Veterans Administration Medical Centers (VISN-1) and the Brain Banks for the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, Framingham Heart Study, and Centenarian Study, which are all based at the Bedford VAMC. Dr. McKee is also the Chief Neuropathologist for the National VA ALS Brain Bank.