Serge E. Przedborski, MD, PhD, an internationally recognized clinician-scientist in the neurobiology of disease, has been appointed the inaugural director of the Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative (CTNI). His work on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis exemplifies the potential of interdisciplinary, basic, and translational science to effect meaningful advances in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of neurologic disease.
As part of the P&S Strategic Plan, CTNI was established to integrate and coordinate CUMC’s research efforts related to the neurobiology of disease. CTNI promotes collaboration across laboratories, departments, and centers at CUMC for a better understanding of disorders of the nervous system and their treatment. Coupled with other neuroscience initiatives at Columbia, such as the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and the new Institute for Genomic Medicine, CTNI will be part of a comprehensive, university-wide neuroscience enterprise.
A native of Belgium, Dr. Przedborski earned his medical and PhD degrees at Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and came to Columbia in 1989 as a movement disorders fellow. He joined the P&S faculty in 1991 and was promoted to professor with tenure in 2002. Currently, he is the Page and William Black Professor of Neurology (in Pathology & Cell Biology), vice chair for research in the Department of Neurology, and co-director of Columbia’s Motor Neuron Center.
Jonathan Javitch, MD, PhD, the Lieber Professor of Experimental Therapeutics (in Psychiatry) and professor of pharmacology, and Carol Mason, PhD, professor of pathology & cell biology, neuroscience, and ophthalmic science (in ophthalmology) and the current president of the Society for Neuroscience, will serve as consulting directors of CTNI.
Dr. Przedborski succeeds Christopher Henderson, PhD, who served as the interim director of CTNI.