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July 2, 2003


Emory University School of Medicine Names New Chair of Neurology; Former Chair Takes on New Neuroscience Initiative

ATLANTA -- A renowned investigator of the degenerative brain disorders that lead to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases has been named the new chair of the Emory University School of Medicine's Department of Neurology, effective July 1. Allan I. Levey, MD, PhD currently serves as professor of neurology and vice chair of Academic Affairs Research for the department. A School of Medicine faculty member since 1991, he also holds the positions of director of the Emory-Morehouse Schools of Medicine Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Emory School of Medicine Neurodegenerative Disease Center and the Emory University School of Medicine MD/PhD Training Program. Dr. Levey has secondary faculty appointments in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Levey succeeds Mahlon R. DeLong, MD, William Timmie Professor, who recently announced his decision to step away from serving as department chair to focus his attention on developing and building the Emory School of Medicine Neuroscience Center. This center will bring together a large and diverse group of Emory faculty with expertise in numerous scientific and medical disciplines to take a leadership role in the U.S. in eradicating disabling diseases of the nervous system through innovative and translational research.

"These changes represent a win-win for the department, the university and these fields of science and medicine," says Dean Thomas J. Lawley. "We have gained another superb chairman of in the Department of Neurology, while one of the premier leaders in the field will focus his energies on an exciting new initiative at Emory."

Dean Lawley goes on to say, "Dr. Levey has demonstrated that he is an excellent researcher, teacher and clinician for more than 10 years at Emory. As he takes on a new role and a new challenge, we are certain that his knowledge of the department and his leadership abilities will maintain the department’s top-ranked standing, as well as develop new areas of basic and translational discovery."

Dr. Levey received his PhD and MD degrees from the University of Chicago. He completed his residency training and was chief resident in the neurology department at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He then held academic appointments in neurology and pathology at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Levey was recruited to Emory in 1991 and was appointed an associate professorship in the Department of Neurology. He was promoted to professor in 1996.

Dr. Levey is internationally recognized for pioneering research in the chemical, molecular and pharmacological organization of brain systems targeted in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. More than150 of his research articles have been published. His work has contributed to understanding the brain systems involved in neurodegenerative disorders and in identifying molecular targets for new therapeutic strategies.

Dr. Levey is already making plans to expand the department. "Dr. DeLong has done a fantastic job in creating one of the best neurology departments in the country," says Dr. Levey. "The opportunities are great and the environment at Emory is phenomenally favorable for growth. My vision is to continue to build on our strengths and develop innovative interdisciplinary programs throughout the department, building bridges between clinical care and basic research. Because the brain is so complex, we need to capitalize on our opportunities and strengths across the Emory campus, as well as our ties to collaborators around the world, to provide the best care and expertise for our patients."

In the near future, Dr. Levey expects to see growth in the sleep, stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and cognitive neuroscience programs, among others.

Dr. Levey's laboratory at Emory has been awarded millions of dollars in federally sponsored research support. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, the Society for Neuroscience and he is a member of the Board of Governors of the Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. He has received prestigious awards and honors from national scientific organizations in recognition of his contributions, including the American Neurological Association Derek Denny-Brown Neurological Scholar Award, the Alzheimer’s Association Faculty Scholar Award and the National Parkinson Foundation Heikkila Research Scholar Award.

As chair of the Department of Neurology for almost 13 years, Dr. DeLong made significant strides and contributions within the department, bringing it into the top tier nationally.

"Through his talent in recruiting, mentoring and training outstanding investigators and clinicians, Dr. DeLong’s vision for an academic clinical department has set the standard for neurology departments around the country," says Dean Lawley. "He took a small department and developed it into one of the most outstanding and most widely recognized neurology departments in the country. His remarkable contributions in the field of neurodegenerative diseases, both in clinical and basic science, have given new hope to patients with these diseases and patients come from all over the world to receive care from him and the neurology faculty. Because of his expertise and excellence in the neurosciences and his strong commitment to integrating research and clinical care, Dr. DeLong now begins to build this new initiative as director of the Emory School of Medicine Neuroscience Center."

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