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University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean Appoints New Interim Chair of Department of Neurology

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

 Barney Stern, M.D.

Distinguished Physician-Scientist Barney J. Stern, M.D., to Lead Department

University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., has appointed Barney J. Stern, M.D., an accomplished expert in stroke and neurosarcoidosis with a distinguished career in clinical medicine and research, to serve as the interim chairman of the Department of Neurology.

“The Department of Neurology is a national leader in the study and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders including stroke and of movement disorders and others,” says Dean Reece, who is also vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Our faculty are conducting cutting edge research on devastating neurological conditions including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and more. At the same time, the department’s state-of-the-art clinical rehabilitation services are helping patients and their families to recover from these conditions and live fuller lives. Dr. Stern has long been a national leader in this department, and his experience and accomplishments make him the ideal physician-scientist to lead this department for the immediate future.”

Dr. Stern replaces professor and chairman William Weiner, M.D., who passed away in December 2012. Dr. Weiner had been chairman of the Department of Neurology since 2001, having joined the University of Maryland in 1990.

“Dr. Weiner was a nationally renowned physician-scientist, accomplished in the research and treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, dystonic tremor and other movement disorders,” says Dean Reece. “He was an outstanding leader and a wonderful individual who inspired our faculty. Dr. Weiner built our department into a world-class center for movement disorders and other neurologic conditions. He will be greatly missed. We will begin in the near future a national search for a new, permanent chairman of neurology. In the meantime, we are confident that Dr. Stern will be able to keep the department strong and moving forward.”

Dr. Stern has served as vice-chair of the Department of Neurology since July 2012, and as a professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine since 2004. Since 2009, he has had a secondary appointment as a professor of emergency medicine as well. He is also director of the neurology residency program, the Comprehensive Stroke Center and inpatient neurology services at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

“I am honored to have been selected by Dean Reece to lead the Department of Neurology during this difficult transition period,” says Dr. Stern. “I will do my best to sustain and extend Dr. William Weiner’s many accomplishments on behalf of the department and to honor his memory. The members of the department are an extraordinary group of individuals dedicated to our mission of providing optimal patient care, pursuing an aggressive research agenda, and being exemplary educators. It is a privilege to try to facilitate and enhance the multiple exciting activities that the department is engaged in.”

Dr. Stern is a distinguished and highly regarded physician-scientist who has conducted extensive research into stroke and the neurological complications of neurosarcoidosis. He is the Principal Investigator of the Maryland Consortium of the National Institutes of Health-funded Neurological Emergency Treatment Trials Network. He has written extensively on stroke and neurosarcoidosis. Dr. Stern is the founding editor-in-chief of The Neurologist, a review journal in its 18th year of publication. He is an author on 70 peer-reviewed publications as well as several dozen review articles and book chapters.

Dr. Stern is a member of several American Academy of Neurology committees and task forces. He is the Chair of the Academy’s A. B. Baker Section of Neurologic Educators. He is a member of the [Maryland] Governor’s Council on Heart Disease and Stroke and chairs the Stroke Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Systems Services’ Stroke Quality Improvement Committee. He serves on the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council’s Telemedicine Task Force’s Clinical Advisory Group and Technology Solutions and Standards Advisory Group.

In 1970, Dr. Stern earned his bachelor’s of science degree, magna cum laude, in chemistry from the City College of the City University of New York. He earned his medical degree in 1974 from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Stern completed two years of internal medicine training at the Boston City Hospital and a neurology residency at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester from 1976 to 1979. Upon completion of his training, Dr. Stern joined The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as a clinical instructor. He served as an assistant professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins from 1980 to 1988, and associate professor from 1988 to 1994. In 1992, he joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine as a clinical associate professor of psychiatry. He left the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins in 1994 to join Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., as a professor of neurology. In 2004, he rejoined the University of Maryland as professor neurology, adding his secondary appointment as professor of emergency medicine in 2009.

“Dr. Stern is a world-class physician-scientist and an outstanding leader,” says Dean Reece. “I am confident that he is the right choice to keep our Department of Neurology robust and flourishing during our national search for a new chairman.”

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