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Institute for Molecular Medicine & Infectious Disease 2014 International Symposium

W. Dalton Dietrich, PhD

W. Dalton Dietrich, PhD

Drexel Prize in Translational Medicine Lecture:
"Translational Research in Brain and Spinal Cord Injury: Accomplishments and Future Directions"

Dalton Dietrich, PhD, is scientific director at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and the Kinetic Concepts Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He received his PhD in anatomy from the Medical College of Virginia in 1979 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., 1981.  In 1981, Dr. Dietrich joined the Department of Neurology at the University of Miami, and in 1993 attained the rank of professor.  In 1997, he accepted the position of scientific director of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Dr. Dietrich also serves as the senior associate dean for discovery science at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Research in Dr. Dietrich’s laboratory is focused on clarifying the pathophysiology of brain and spinal cord injury with the ultimate goal of developing new therapies to protect and enhance recovery of function.  In terms of neuroprotection, he and his colleagues provided the initial preclinical data indicating that small differences in the temperature of the brain and spinal cord critically determine whether neurons die or not following an ischemic or traumatic injury.  These preclinical studies of modest hypothermia have now been translated to the clinical arena, where patients are being cooled following cardiac arrest, stroke, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Dr. Dietrich and colleagues are also using novel cellular and drug treatments to promote functional recovery after TBI and SCI. He is currently the sponsor of a first-in-man FDA-approved clinical trial testing the safety of human Schwann cell transplants in people with severe subacute SCI.

Dr. Dietrich has published over 300 refereed journal articles, 60 book chapters and four books. Dr. Dietrich has trained six PhD students and over 40 postdoctoral fellows. His research programs are supported by the NIH, DOD, State of Florida and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.  He serves on many study sections for NIH, Department of Defense, Veteran’s Administration, and several editorial boards.  He is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal Therapeutic Hypothermia & Temperature Management and deputy editor of the Journal of Neurotrauma.

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Students walking down the hall at the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease at Drexel University College of Medicine.