Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D.,
Dr. Wise Young, founding director of the W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience and a professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is recognized as one of the world’s outstanding neuroscientists. He obtained a bachelor of arts degree from Reed College, a doctorate from the University of Iowa and a medical degree from Stanford University. After a surgery internship at New York University and Bellevue Medical Center, he joined the neurosurgery department at NYU. In 1984, he became director of neurosurgery research. In 1997, as part of Rutgers’ commitment to the future, Dr. Young was recruited to establish and direct a world-class center for collaborative neuroscience.
Dr. Young was part of the team that discovered and established high-dose methylprednisolone (MP) as the first effective therapy for spinal cord injuries. This 1990 work upended concepts that spinal cord injuries were permanent, refocused research, and opened new vistas of hope. This team also played a major role in Andy Blight’s signal work on 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), which shows significant promise for increasing nerve conductivity.
Dr. Young developed the first standardized rat spinal cord injury model used worldwide for testing therapies, formed the first consortium funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to test promising therapies, and helped establish several widely accepted clinical outcome measures in spinal cord injury research.
Dr. Young founded and served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neurotrauma. He organized the National and International Neurotrauma Societies as forums for scientists to share discoveries and collaborate on spinal cord injury and brain research. He serves or has served on advisory committees for the NIH, the National Academy of Sciences, and NICHD, and has served on advisory boards for many spinal cord injury organizations.
Well-known as a leader in spinal cord injury research, Dr. Young has appeared on “20/20″ with Barbara Walters and Christopher Reeve, “48 Hours,” “Today,” “Eye-to-Eye,” Fox News and CNN’s news magazine with Jeff Greenfield. His work has been featured in a Life magazine special edition, in USA Today, and in innumerable other news, talk and print presentations throughout the world. His honors include: NIH Jacob Javits Neuroscience Award (1985-1992), Wakeman Award (1991), Tall Texan of the Year Award (1997), “Cure” Award (1998), Trustees Award for Excellence in Research (2001), 2002 Asian American Achievement Award, Douglass Medal for work with the advancement of young women in the sciences (2003), and Elizabeth M. Boggs Award for service to the disability community (2004). In August 2001, TIME Magazine named Dr. Young as ‘America’s Best’ in the field of spinal cord injury research. In 2005 he was the first researcher elected to the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame. In 2006, Dr. Young received The Hope Award – A Salute to Research Innovation, the New Jersey Educator of the Year Award, and the Caring Heart Award. Also in 2006, the Richard H. Shindell Chair in Neuroscience was established at Rutgers University and Dr. Young was named as the first person to hold that chair. In 2007 the Motolinsky Foundation named Wise Young as the recipient of their Distinguished Citizen Award.
As part of his commitment to bring treatments to people with chronic spinal cord Injuries, Dr. Young has built and trained a twenty-five center clinical trial network in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. He presently is in the process of establishing a clinical trial network in the United States.
From Dr. Wise Young
Thank you everyone for all you have done and continue to do to make clinical trials and effective therapies a reality.
Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Director
Richard H. Shindell Chair in Neuroscience