Newswise — Boston, Mass. — Seward Rutkove, MD, has been named Chair of the Department of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). Starting March 1, Rutkove will lead the department’s cutting-edge patient care, clinical and translational research, as well as foster innovative approaches to diagnostics and delivery of care. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Rutkove into his new role as Chair of the Department of Neurology,” said Peter Healy, President of BIDMC. “His entrepreneurial spirit paired with deep knowledge of the field, dedication to delivering world-class care, and passion for academic medicine will enable the department and its faculty to flourish.” 

In 1995, Rutkove joined the BIDMC faculty as a physician in Neurology and in 2003 was named Chief of the Division of Neuromuscular Disease. Following his passion for education, Rutkove took on the roles of Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship Director from 1998 until 2008, and Associate Director for Investigators for Academic Careers and Faculty Development in 2018. Rutkove is also a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. 

An esteemed and dedicated researcher, Rutkove investigates innovative techniques for the assessment of neuromuscular disorders and muscle dysfunction. His lab, established in 1999, focuses on translating research into the development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics for the care of people with neuromuscular disease. Much of the lab’s work involves the refinement of innovative bioengineering approaches to diagnosing and treating disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), neuropathies, muscular dystrophy, and more.

With more than 200 publications in the research space, Rutkove currently serves as an associate editor for Annals of Neurology.

“I am thrilled and honored for this opportunity to lead such an exceptional department,” said Rutkove. “We already have a tremendous team of clinicians, researchers, nurses and administrative staff. And now through new collaborative efforts and initiatives we will build on the extraordinary level of research, education and patient care that we provide.” 

Rutkove received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. After two years of training in internal medicine at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI, he then completed his neurology residency in the former Harvard Longwood Program. Prior to joining the BIDMC faculty, Rutkove completed a fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is board certified in both Clinical Neurophysiology and Neurology.

Rutkove is succeeding Clifford B. Saper, MD, PhD, who has served in the role of Chairman of the Department of Neurology since 1992. Saper will continue his clinical, teaching and research responsibilities in the department.

“We are grateful to Dr. Saper and the many years of exemplary service he has provided our patients, our students and our faculty in the Department of Neurology and in our physician and research community,” said Alexa Kimball, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians.  “As a skilled and seasoned scientist-physician, Dr. Rutkove will seamlessly transition into his new role leading the Department of Neurology. His aptitude and enthusiasm for clinical-translational research and education in the field will strengthen the department’s existing programs and further the cutting-edge treatments we provide for patients in need.” 

About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding.

BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a new health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,000 physicians and 35,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.

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