As Associate Director for Clinical Research, Dr. McKhann will help the NINDS implement all plans for clinical research. He will also serve as Acting Clinical Director for Intramural Research and he hopes to bring together extramural researchers and the NINDS intramural community to collaborate on parts of the NINDS research agenda.
Referring to Dr. McKhann as a "key architect" in designing clinical directives in the neurosciences, Dr. Fischbach said, "It is a wonderful opportunity and honor for the NIH to attract Guy McKhann. He is a superb investigator and a wonderful judge of talent in all aspects of clinical science. He will strengthen our efforts to recruit a new generation of physician scientists and enhance collaboration among the many components of neuroscience."
"This is a very exciting time for the clinical neurosciences," said Dr. McKhann. "Years of productive basic neuroscience research have now reached the point where these findings are ready for clinical application. We can expect over the next few years to see the discovery of even more therapeutic approaches. In addition, there will be further development of animal models of human brain disorders and clinical trials of new agents in humans.
"When I first went into neurology, my colleagues would say, 'Why would you want to go into a field where you cannot change things?' The situation is entirely different now. Clinical neurosciences have become both interventional and therapeutic fields. We're not sure from where these new approaches will come people studying Lou Gehrig's disease may discover something equally applicable to multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease."
Dr. McKhann is director of the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at The Johns Hopkins University and founding director of the department of neurology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also is professor of neurology and the neurosciences at Johns Hopkins. He began his career as a pediatric neurologist but more recently has concentrated on diseases across the entire age spectrum. Internationally renowned for his research on acute inflammatory and demyelinating neuropathies, Dr. McKhann's current research is directed toward the mechanisms of Guillain-Barré syndrome and the neurological and cognitive outcomes after coronary artery bypass heart surgery.
Dr. McKhann attended Harvard University and received his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine. He is a member of several national neuroscience organizations and is a past president of the American Neurological Association. Dr. McKhann has authored 10 books on such topics as childhood neuropathies, Guillain-Barré syndrome, other diseases of the nervous system, and the neurology of language, more than 130 scientific papers, and 40 book chapters. He is a scientific advisor to the Charles A. Dana Foundation and an executive committee member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a component of the National Institutes of Health, is the nation's leading supporter of research on the brain and nervous system. The NINDS celebrates its 50th anniversary in the year 2000.