Campus Alert: Find the latest UMMS campus news and resources at

Search Close Search
Search Close Search
Page Menu

Accomplished and Approachable Faculty

A department and training program are only as good as the people who are in it.  The University of Massachusetts Department of Neurology even in its relatively young history already has a significant history of faculty that are prominent experts in the field, generous and gifted teachers and have established a legacy of scientific discovery.

Dr. David Drachman, Professor of Neurology, our founding chairman, the recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Clinical Excellence in 2016 was an acknowledged world expert on Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.  He was instrumental in developing the National Alzheimer’s Association, served as president of the American Neurological Association, chaired the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of the National Alzheimer’s Association, was member of the Advisory Panel on Alzheimer’s to the US Department of Health and Human Services and to Congress and founded the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society chapter at UMass Medical School. “AOA’s mission motto is ‘worthy to serve the suffering,’ and that was more than a motto to Dr. Drachman. It was the essence of the man,” said Dr. Michael Collins, the medical school’s chancellor. “He was the physician to consult when all others needed answers – listening intensely, caring deeply, examining thoughtfully, and diagnosing expertly.”

Dr. Daniel Pollen, Professor Emeritus of Neurology and Physiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, authored the internationally acclaimed `Hannah’s Heirs” that described the discovery of the gene causing early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease on chromosome 21 and identified the major genetic risk factor lending susceptibility to late-onset Alzheimer’s disease and was an active collaborator in further research elucidating the genetic basis for Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to his dementia research, he was also a well published author and authority on the neurology of vision, including the cerebral cortical bases for visual perception.

Our immediate past chairman, Dr. Robert H. Brown Jr.  the Leo P. and Theresa M. LaChance Chair, Professor of Neurology, Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Clinical Scholarship in 2017, is an internationally known and ground breaking researcher and world’s authority on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis who discovered that mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase  are associated with familial ALS and the FUS/TLS gene in chromosome 16 that causes familial ALS and continues to work tirelessly and with great passion towards investigating the genetic bases and molecular mechanisms of disease and developing therapies to silence genes that promote both familial and sporadic ALS.  More than just ALS, Dr. Brown has been called a “giant in the field of translational research” and has been instrumental greater research efforts to conquer neurological disease through his leadership of and membership in numerous charitable organizations and collaborative research endeavors in numerous neuromuscular diseases. A compassionate physician who cares deeply for his patients. He is “dedicated to helping patients with these difficult diseases, a side of his career that does not show up in publications and honors but is noteworthy for someone whose research and achievements might have been expected to consume his entire professional life”.  On the contrary, he has also provided dynamic and progressive leadership to our department and is passionate about residency training.

Our faculty are actively engaged in research and scholarship, are passionate about neurology and patient care and committed to resident education and teaching and friendly and approachable.