Leading Authority on Neurodegenerative Disorders to Present Special Lecture at 2020 Symposium


Merit Cudkowicz, MD, Chief of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), will present a special lecture at the Foundation’s 7th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound.

Dr. Cudkowicz will discuss progress being made using therapeutics to address neurodegenerative disorders, using amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as an example.

In addition to leading the Neurology Department at MGH, Dr. Cudkowicz is also the Director of the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS there and the Julieanne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.

Her research and clinical focuses have been the study and treatment of patients with neurodegenerative disorders, specifically developing novel treatments for ALS and novel approaches to clinical trial design and conduct. She built the Neurological Clinical Research Institute at MGH to coordinate and lead clinical trials, and she co-founded and co-directed the Northeast ALS Consortium, an international group of more than 134 clinical sites in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East who collaborate to test novel therapies in ALS.

“Merit is a world-renowned leader in her field, pioneering solutions for patients for whom the future looks bleak,” said Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. “She will share her insight on the current advantages and shortcomings of therapeutics in this space and the potential role of focused ultrasound.”

Dr. Cudkowicz received her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before earning an MD at Harvard Medical School and later an MSc in Clinical Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her postdoctoral training at MGH and Beth Israel Hospital in New York.

The 7th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound will be held virtually in November 2020.