Newswise — November 15, 2012 – (BRONX, NY) – Leading neurobiologist Michael Aschner, Ph.D., known for his research on the effect of heavy metals on the brain, will join the faculty of Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Dr. Aschner will be named professor of molecular pharmacology and of pediatrics.
“Michael Aschner is an outstanding scientist who will bring an important new dimension to Einstein’s research portfolio,” said Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean of Einstein. “His work on how heavy metals affect brain development and function has broad implications, ranging from elucidating basic questions regarding brain cell injury to practical issues related to environmental pollutants.”
Dr. Aschner’s research interests are in the neurobiology and physiology of astrocytes, specialized cells of the central nervous system, and the mechanisms of injury to the central nervous system. He has been particularly interested in metal uptake and distribution in the brain, devoting the last 25 years of his research to investigating the transport of methylmercury, manganese and uranium across the capillaries composing the blood–brain barrier, as well as the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurotoxicity. A principal investigator on multiple research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Aschner also studies the consequences of manganese deposition in the brains of newborns.
He has served on numerous national and international toxicology panels, including those for the Institute of Medicine, Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has also chaired an NIH study section and authored approximately 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts and chapters in the area of neurotoxicology.
Dr. Aschner comes to Einstein from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where he holds an endowed professorship of pediatrics and pharmacology, is director of the division of clinical pharmacology and pediatric toxicology, director of the center for molecular toxicology, and director of the training program in environmental toxicology.
Dr. Aschner, who is expected to arrive at Einstein in the fall of 2013, will join his wife Judy Aschner, M.D., who was recently named professor and chair of pediatrics at Einstein and physician-in-chief of the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. Both of their appointments emphasize the increasing focus on translational research at Einstein and Montefiore, the University Hospital and academic medical center for the College of Medicine, and the leveraging of assets at both institutions to advance human health.
About Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is one of the nation’s premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. During the 2011-2012 academic year, Einstein is home to 724 M.D. students, 248 Ph.D. students, 117 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and 368 postdoctoral research fellows. The College of Medicine has 2,522 full time faculty members located on the main campus and at its clinical affiliates. In 2011, Einstein received nearly $170 million in awards from the NIH. This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Its partnership with Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. Through its extensive affiliation network involving Montefiore, Jacobi Medical Center –
Einstein’s founding hospital, and five other hospital systems in the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island and Brooklyn, Einstein runs one of the largest post-graduate medical training programs in the United States, offering approximately 155 residency programs to more than 2,200 physicians in training. For more information, please visit www.einstein.yu.edu and follow us on Twitter @EinsteinMed.