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Neurosurgeon to Speak about Career as Physician Scientist in Boyer School Lecture

Public Relations
Posted: Friday Oct 28, 2011

Dr. Robert M. Friedlander, professor and chairman of the department of neurological surgery and UPMC Endowed Professor of Neurosurgery and Neurobiology at UPMC Presbyterian, will give a talk at 7 p.m. Monday, November 7 in the ongoing Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing Lecture Series in the Dr. Frank J. Luparello Lecture Hall in the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion at Saint Vincent College. His topic is “Role of Death Cell Pathways in Neurologic Diseases and a Career as a Physician Scientist.” Admission is free and open to the public.

Dr. Friedlander attended Brandeis University where he earned both bachelors and masters degrees in biochemistry. He attended Harvard Medical School and completed his neurosurgery training at the Massachusetts General Hospital (1991-1998).

Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Friedlander was professor of neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School and vice-chairman of neurosurgery and associate director of cerebrovascular surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

As a sign of his prominence as a clinician and scientist, Dr. Friedlander, is one of a very select group of authors to have been invited by the New England Journal of Medicine to write both a basic science review (mechanisms of neuronal cell death), as well as a clinical review (management of AVMs).

Clinically, Dr. Friedlander focuses on the operative management of complex cerebrovascular disorders and brain tumors. Dr. Friedlander’s major research interests lie in the study of the mechanistic pathways of the caspase apoptosis gene family. His work includes the evaluation and the development of treatment strategies for neurodegenerative diseases (Huntington’s and ALS), stroke, brain trauma, and spinal cord injury through the modulation of the caspase-family apoptotic pathways.

Dr. Friedlander’s research has received significant media attention including major work published in Nature, Science, and Nature Medicine. His work has also been recognized through many academic awards, including the Neurosurgery Resident Award from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the Bayer Cerebrovascular Award from the Joint Section of Cerebrovascular Surgery, the International Charcot Prize for Motor Neuron Diseases, and the Award from the Academy of Neurological Surgeons. In 2006, he was elected as a member of the prestigious America Society for Clinical Investigation. Dr. Friedlander currently serves on the National Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Photo: Dr. Robert M. Friedlander