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Leading Neuroscientist Dr. Peter B. Crino Appointed Chair of UM SOM Department of Neurology

March 21, 2016

Peter B. Crino, MD, PhD

Expert in Developmental Brain Disorders to Lead Department of More Than 50 Neurologists; Further Strengthens SOM Position in Brain Science and Translational Research

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that Peter B. Crino, MD, PhD, professor and vice chair for research at Temple University School of Medicine’s Shriners Hospital Pediatric Research Center, and an internationally-recognized physician-scientist in developmental brain disorders, has been appointed Chairman of the UM SOM Department of Neurology. Dr. Crino succeeds Interim Chair Barney J. Stern, MD, Professor of Neurology, who had replaced William Weiner, MD, when he passed away in 2012. Dr. Stern will continue as Vice Chair and Professor of the Department of Neurology.

“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Stern for his dedicated leadership and service to the Department of Neurology and to the School of Medicine,” said Dean Reece, who is also the vice president for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “Building on Dr. Weiner’s and Dr. Stern’s leadership, we are excited to have an esteemed scholar such as Dr. Crino join our faculty as department chair, while we continue to build one of the nation’s leading goup of interdisciplinary brain scientists and neurological experts.”

Dr. Crino has spent his career studying and developing new models for treating some of the most difficult and complex disorders of the brain. For the past 20 years, he has worked as a physician-scientist and has had continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he has focused on translational research studying mechanisms of altered brain development associated with autism, intellectual disability and epilepsy. He is an expert in defining developmental disorders associated with intractable epilepsy, including tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), focal cortical dysplasia, hemimegalencephaly and autism.

At UM SOM, he will lead a department that has $10 million in research funding and is known for developing new therapeutic services based on basic science research and scientific advances. It is one of the few programs nationally that offer advanced management and treatment modalities to patients with Parkinson's disease and movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, spasticity and neuromuscular disease. It also provides state-of-the-art rehabilitation services.

“I am very excited to work with so many outstanding clinicians and researchers in translational neuroscience at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. There is great potential for collaborative and interdisciplinary research and clinical care focusing on the many serious and often devastating neurological disorders seen in the Neurology department such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, stroke, ALS, and epilepsy,” said Dr. Crino. “Our focus will be to foster our national reputation in Neurology across three broad thematic missions: state-of-the-art clinical care, cutting edge research, and top quality education for future neurologists and neuroscientists.”

Dr. Crino received an MD degree from Yale University, and a PhD degree in neuroscience from Boston University. He completed a neurology internship and residency at the University of Pennsylvania, and was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Physician Post-Doctoral Fellow, and Clinical Epilepsy Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the faculty in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2004. He served as director of the University of Pennsylvania epilepsy program between 2006 to 2012.

Dr. Crino joined the faculty at Temple University School of Medicine in 2012, where he served as the Vice Chair for Research. He was also the Director of the Temple University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. He has served as member of the Board of Directors of the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance and was awarded a Lifetime Service Award in 2008. He is a member of the Developmental Brain Disorders Study Section at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the NIH. Dr. Crino is currently the program chair for the American Epilepsy Society meeting and the chair of the 2015 Society of Neuroscience Neurobiology of Disease Workshop. He also is currently the president of the Philadelphia Neurological Society.

In his research, Dr. Crino has worked extensively on TSC, and has used the illness as a model disorder to show that many of focal brain lesions exhibit enhanced signaling through the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. He has collaborated on identifying several new genes associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, and pioneered single cell mRNA and DNA sequencing analysis in resected human tissues.

He has coauthored 151 peer reviewed manuscripts, chapters, and reviews, and has been an internationally invited speaker. He has four current grants from the NIH totaling $4.1M.

“Dr. Crino exemplifies the top, internationally-known physician-scientists we are now attracting to our faculty leadership,” Dean Reece added. “We are fortunate to have him as our newest chair and look forward to his significant collaborations and contributions to the SOM and to the field of Neurology. At the same time, we were fortunate to have Dr. Stern’s steady hand on the tiller over the past few years and will benefit greatly from his continuing to play an important role in the future of the department.”

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

The University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 and is the first public medical school in the United States and continues today as an innovative leader in accelerating innovation and discovery in medicine. The School of Medicine is the founding school of the University of Maryland and is an integral part of the 11-campus University System of Maryland. Located on the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine works closely with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide a research-intensive, academic and clinically based education. With 43 academic departments, centers and institutes and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians and research scientists plus more than $400 million in extramural funding, the School is regarded as one of the leading biomedical research institutions in the U.S. with top-tier faculty and programs in cancer, brain science, surgery and transplantation, trauma and emergency medicine, vaccine development and human genomics, among other centers of excellence. The School is not only concerned with the health of the citizens of Maryland and the nation, but also has a global presence, with research and treatment facilities in more than 35 countries around the world.


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