Commencement 2016

Professor Ken Kosik to speak at Division of Humanities and Fine Arts Commencement on Sunday, June 12, 2016.

Kenneth S. Kosik is a physician scientist who completed a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from Case Western Reserve University in 1972 and an M.D. from the Medial College of Pennsylvania in 1976.  He served as a resident in neurology at Tufts New England Medical Center and was Chief Resident in 1980.  From 1980 he held a series of academic appointments at the Harvard Medical School and achieved the rank of full professor there in 1996.  He also held appointments at McLean Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  In 2004, Kosik became the Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research and Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Kosik’s work with early onset familial Alzheimer’s disease in Colombia was the basis for a novel prevention trial to treat Alzheimer’s disease. He was one of several groups that discovered Tau protein in the Alzheimer neurofibrillary tangle and followed up with many studies on the biology and pathobiology of Tau. He co-founded the Learning and the Brain Conference and has a longstanding interest in the interface between neuroscience and education.  His published papers cover synaptic plasticity, neuronal microRNAs, stem cells, synapse evolution, and the biology of Alzheimer’s disease.

His awards include a Whitaker Health Sciences Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Milton Foundation Award from the Harvard Medical School, the Moore Award, American Association of Neuropathologists, the Metropolitan Life Foundation Medical Award, the Derek Denny-Brown Neurological Scholar Award from the American Neurological Association, the Zenith Award and Temple Award from the Alzheimer’s Association, the Ranwell Caputo Medal from the Argentine Society of Neurochemistry, the NASA Group Achievement Award to Neurolab Science Team, the Premio Aventis from the Academia Nacional de Medicina, Colombia, and the City of Santa Barbara Innovation Star Award.  With Ellen Clegg, he authored The Alzheimer’s Solution: How Today’s Care is Failing Millions and How We Can Do Better, which received the Will Solemine award.  Recently he co-authored Outsmarting Alzheimer’s Disease with Alisa Bowman. His work has been widely shown in the media including pieces in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, BBC, a CNN special called “Filling the Blank,” and an upcoming NOVA special called “Can Alzheimer’s Be Stopped?”

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