Richard Mayeux, MD, MSc, Named Chair of Neurology

February 28, 2011

Dr. Richard Mayeux

Dr. Richard Mayeux


Richard Mayeux, MD, MSc, has been named the new Chair of the Department of Neurology of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Neurologist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. His appointment begins March 1, 2011.

Since joining the faculty in 1978, Mayeux has led significant research into the genetic basis and epidemiology of Alzheimer’s and other neuro-degenerative diseases. A highly respected clinician and educator, he has served as a clinical consultant at the hospital, medical student advisor and representative on the University Senate. In addition, he has chaired search committies for Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery, Biostatistics, Psychiatry and Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Mayeux has led a federally supported, population-based investigation of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related disorders known as the Washington Heights–Inwood Community Aging Project for the past 22 years. This study has provided information on the rates and risk factors for these diseases among elderly from African-American, Caribbean Hispanic and white populations. This study uncovered the relationships between Alzheimer’s disease and environmental and medical risk factors, the genotypic variability of apolipoprotein-ε risk among different ethnic groups, and the relationship of alterations in lipid metabolism and risk of dementia.

More recently he was one of the lead scientists in a multinational effort that ultimately identified genetic variants in the SORL1 and SORCS1 as putative genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. He is current the national director of the National Institute on Aging Family Study of Alzheimer’s Disease and one of the leading investigators in the National Institute on Aging Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Consortium.

Mayeux also served as a member of an Institute of Medicine committee that conducted in-depth reviews of the health effects of the Gulf War. His efforts included edited reports describing the effects of exposures to solvents and pesticides, fuels, combustion products and propellants and sarin. He was also the chair of the committee’s report on the physiologic, psychologic and psychosocial effects of deployment stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.

He currently is the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Epidemiology; Director of the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, a center devoted to the epidemiological investigation of neurological diseases; and Co-Director of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center. Mayeux was elected to the Association of American Physicians, the American Epidemiological Society and The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. His many honors include the Leadership and Excellence in Alzheimer’s Disease Award from the National Institute of Aging for his investigation of genetic and environmental interaction in the etiology and pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia, and he was the recipient of the 2007 Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology.

In 2008, he received the John Stearns Award for Lifetime Achievement in Medicine from the New York Academy of Medicine, and in 2009, the Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Research from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Mayeux takes over a department that has grown considerably under the stewardship of Tim Pedley, MD, since 1998, whose his dedication and leadership is deeply appreciated.

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