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Office of Neuroscience Research > WUSTL Neuroscience News > Brody named Stupp Professor of Neurology

Brody named Stupp Professor of Neurology

From the WUSTL Newsroom...

David Brody, MD, PhD, a leader in research on traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative diseases and the relationship between the two, has been named the Norman J. Stupp Professor of Neurology.

“David is at the forefront of efforts to develop better ways to understand and measure the effects of traumatic brain injury, as well as to better understand neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease,” said David M. Holtzman, MD, the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor and head of the Department of Neurology. “His work helps us identify people who are developing or who are at risk of developing dementia and contributes to the goal of finding better ways to prevent cognitive decline after traumatic brain injury and in neurodegenerative diseases.”

Brody’s research focuses on how concussive brain injury – the kind suffered by boxers punched in the head and soldiers injured in bomb blasts – damages the white matter of the brain and causes levels of the brain protein amyloid beta to rise. Abnormal aggregates of amyloid beta are associated with neurodegeneration, especially in Alzheimer’s disease.

He is best known for his work in U.S. military personnel. Brody and colleagues took MRI brain scans of service members who had suffered blast-related trauma, and developed techniques to identify precisely where the injuries occurred and correlate them with cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

Another part of Brody’s lab is working on purifying soluble clumps of amyloid beta. In animal models, brain injury leads to an increase in amyloid beta levels, causing toxicity to neurons in the brain. If his lab can find a way to purify these clumps, the researchers will be able to study them and design an approach to imaging them in people.

Brody is the third person to hold the Stupp professorship, following Eugene M. Johnson, PhD, who was named the inaugural Stupp professor in 1994, and Maurizio Corbetta, MD, who was named in 2005. Brody counts both as mentors.

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