SfN Welcomes Walter J. Koroshetz as New NINDS Director
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) today welcomed the news that Walter J. Koroshetz, MD, will serve as the new director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NINDS plays a key role within the NIH in both funding and performing basic and translational neuroscience research, and is the largest funder of neurology research worldwide. Koroshetz’s appointment comes at a time of great scientific promise for brain research and extraordinary public interest in the brain, including a growing recognition of the global toll of brain disorders.
“Walter will be a dedicated and effective partner in shaping the future of neuroscience in the U.S. and around the world,” said Steven E. Hyman, MD, SfN president and director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. “As a highly accomplished clinician-scientist, he has a keen understanding of and commitment to basic science and the essential role it plays in the ultimate realization of clinical advances. I am confident that he will effectively guide NINDS’ large and diverse research portfolio to achieve a greater understanding of basic brain mechanisms and novel applications that improve health.”
SfN values NINDS’ commitment to innovative efforts that advance neuroscience discovery, as well as its work to promote the progress and potential of neuroscience to the public. For instance, NINDS is helping to guide the BRAIN (Brain Research Advances Through Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative, in partnership with other NIH institutes, the National Science Foundation, and neuroscience institutions worldwide. Building on a road map developed by leading scientists, BRAIN will develop new tools and technologies that enhance scientists’ ability to understand relationships between genes, brain cells, circuits, and behavior. These new tools are essential to enabling scientists to better understand brain function and to identify new potential treatments for the more than 1,000 neurological and psychiatric diseases that affect nearly a billion people worldwide and cost societies trillions of dollars in health expenses and economic losses.
Koroshetz is currently NINDS acting director, and he served for many years as NINDS deputy director under Story Landis, PhD. Before joining NINDS, he was vice chair of the neurology service and director of stroke and neurointensive care services at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He was a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and led neurology resident training at MGH from 1990 to 2007. Over that same period, he co-directed the HMS Neurobiology of Disease course with Edward Kravitz, PhD, and Robert H. Brown, DPhil, MD.
“I look forward to listening, learning, and working with SfN leadership and members in pursuing our shared mission— to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease,” Koroshetz said.
Hyman expressed confidence that the neuroscience community would continue to partner actively with NINDS and other NIH institutes, contributing to important dialogue between the field and one of its most important funders and partners. “It is a pleasure to welcome Walter to NINDS as permanent director,” Hyman said. “SfN looks forward to working with him to advance brain science and improve health.”