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Dr. Brad Dickerson is a behavioral neurologist and neuroscientist dedicated to the sophisticated, compassionate, and multidisciplinary care of patients with neurodegenerative disorders, including Primary Progressive Aphasia, Alzheimer’s disease, Frontotemporal Dementia, Posterior Cortical Atrophy, and related disorders. He is the Tommy Rickles Endowed Chair in Progressive Aphasia Research, Director of the MGH Frontotemporal Disorders Unit, Leader of the Neuroimaging Core of the MGH Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and is Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.
He completed undergraduate studies in biomedical engineering at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and neurology residency at MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals in Boston; he did fellowships in neuroimaging at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and in behavioral neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Dr. Dickerson runs a multidisciplinary team of 30 clinicians and scientists using advanced brain imaging and behavioral methods to study how memory, language, emotion, and social behaviors change in normal aging and in patients with neurodegenerative disease. His team also studies new approaches to caregiving.
As a neuroscientist, Dr. Dickerson has made contributions to the investigation of neuroimaging and cognitive-behavioral abnormalities in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. His contributions have provided new fundamental insights into brain-behavior relationships in these diseases, some of which have been translated into key advances in diagnosis, monitoring, and prognostication. In addition, he has led research that has provided innovative insights into normal age-related changes in brain structure, function, and memory; the phenomenon of SuperAging (the anatomical and functional neural basis of older adults with superior (“youthful”) memory; and the functional neuroanatomy of normal human memory, affective function, and social behavior. Dr. Dickerson has published more than 200 peer-reviewed publications on these topics. The impact of his original scientific investigations has been substantial, with more than 25,000 citations, an h index > 70, and an i10 index > 170 (metrics of the impact of scientific scholarship). Because of his internationally regarded research expertise, he has been invited to write multiple reviews and editorials, participate in or lead multiple national and international research committees, and he received the prestigious Norman Geschwind Award in Behavioral Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology. He has served on many national and international grant review committees. Dr. Dickerson has had sustained NIH funding for 17 years and has been the Principal Investigator on more than two dozen federal or foundation grants. Dr. Dickerson is the immediate past Co-Editor-in-Chief of Neuroimage: Clinical, Section Editor for Cortex and Alzheimer’s Diagnosis and Disease Management, and is on the editorial boards of 4 other journals. Dr. Dickerson served on the Executive Committee of the Alzheimer’s Association Neuroimaging Professional Interest Area, most recently as Chair, and he chaired the 2019 Alzheimer’s Imaging Consortium research meeting, which was attended by more than 700 researchers from around the world. He served on the Scientific Program Committee for the 2020 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
In addition to his accomplishments in Investigation, Dr. Dickerson has an international reputation for Clinical Expertise, having contributed substantially to the diagnostic criteria for Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) and Posterior Cortical Atrophy. Currently, Dr. Dickerson is co-chairing the Alzheimer’s Association-sponsored Clinical Practice Guideline workgroup that is developing best practices guidelines for the diagnostic evaluation of patients with cognitive impairment, which is expected to be the major guideline for primary and specialty care in the United States. In addition, he led the development of two novel scales to measure the types and severity of symptoms in patients with FTD and Primary Progressive Aphasia, both of which have been or are being incorporated into multi-center natural history studies and clinical trials. Because of his clinical expertise, he has been invited to give lectures (including a keynote lecture at the 2019 World Congress of Neurology) and to contribute chapters and editorials by an international array of colleagues and is on multiple corporate scientific advisory boards. He co-edited a widely regarded 2014 textbook Dementia: Comprehensive Principles and Practice (Oxford University Press), which is now undergoing revision and expansion for its second edition. He also edited a 2016 textbook Hodges’ Frontotemporal
Dementia (Cambridge University Press), which has now become the definitive reference on these diseases. He is Chair of the Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Medical and Scientific Advisory Board, and Chair-elect of the National Association for Frontotemporal Dementia’s Medical Advisory Council.
In addition to Investigation and Clinical Expertise, Dr. Dickerson has also contributed substantially to teaching. He has provided major mentorship roles to more than 60 mentees at a variety of levels, including serving on the dissertation committees of graduate students, being a primary mentor for post-doctoral clinical or research fellows, and mentoring individuals in the transition from post-doctoral trainees to junior faculty, including being a primary mentor on multiple funded K career development awards. For the past decade, he has co-directed the 3.5 days annual Harvard Medical School CME Dementia Course, the major national medical education course on dementia with a faculty of 25 international leaders and approximately 250-300 clinician attendees. He is a regular lecturer in multiple Harvard Medical School courses. At the national level, he has directed multiple courses at the annual American Academy of Neurology (AAN).