Ann McKee, MD

Professor of Neurology & Pathology, CTE Center Director,  ADC Center Associate Director, AD & CTE Center Neuropathology Core Director

mckeeDr. McKee completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin and received her medical degree from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. She completed residency training in neurology at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and fellowship training in neuropathology at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was Assistant Professor of Neuropathology at Harvard Medical School from 1991-94, when she became Associate Professor of Neurology and Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine. In 2011, she was promoted to Professor of Neurology and Pathology. Dr. McKee directs the Neuropathology Service for the New England Veterans Administration Medical Centers (VISN-1) and the Brain Banks for the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center, Framingham Heart Study, and Centenarian Study, which are all based at the Bedford VAMC. Dr. McKee is also the Chief Neuropathologist for the National VA ALS Brain Bank.

Research Interests

Dr. McKee’s research interests center on the neuropathological alterations of neurodegenerative diseases, with a primary focus on the role of tau protein, axonal injury, trauma, vascular injury, and neurodegeneration. Much of her current work centers on the long-term consequences of repetitive head injury from contact sports and military service. As a board-certified neurologist and neuropathologist, she is particularly interested in the clinical, behavioral and psychological manifestations of pathological disease and the neuroanatomical localization of clinical symptoms. She has written widely on many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Multiple System Atrophy, Frontotemporal Degeneration, Corticobasal Degeneration and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). She has been an invited participant in several NIH-sponsored workshops on Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Vascular Dementia and Traumatic Brain Injury. Dr. McKee has unparalleled experience in the neuropathology of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and recently won the Moore Award Honorable Mention for her paper entitled “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy of Football Players” at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neuropathologists. Her work has been essential in establishing the neuropathological diagnostic criteria for CTE and for microvascular CNS injury. She is also keenly interested in the neuropathology of normal aging and disorders of the spinal cord.

AD & CTE Center Role

Dr. McKee directs the Neuropathology Core of the Center, where she is responsible for conducting neuropathological analyses of brain tissue and maintaining the Center’s Brain Bank. Dr. McKee also leads clinical-pathological case conferences as part of the Center’s Research Seminar series. At her Bedford VAMC laboratory she conducts weekly brain cuttings and gives monthly clinicopathological case conferences to GRECC staff.

Awards/Memberships

Dr. McKee is a past recipient of the Moore Award and a recent recipient of the 2006 and 2009 Moore Award Honorable Mention from the American Association of Neuropathologists.  She is also a recipient of a Merit Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Recent Publications

For full list of publications click here.

Mez J, Solomon TM, Daneshvar DH, Stein TD, McKee AC. Pathologically Confirmed Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in a 25-Year-Old Former College Football Player. JAMA Neurol. 2016 Mar 1; 73(3):353-5. PMID: 26747562.

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Huber BR, Alosco ML, Stein TD, McKee AC. Potential Long-Term Consequences of Concussive and Subconcussive Injury. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2016 May; 27(2):503-11. PMID: 27154859.

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McKee AC, Cairns NJ, Dickson DW, Folkerth RD, Keene CD, Litvan I, Perl DP, Stein TD, Vonsattel JP, Stewart W, Tripodis Y, Crary JF, Bieniek KF, Dams-O’Connor K, Alvarez VE, Gordon WA. The first NINDS/NIBIB consensus meeting to define neuropathological criteria for the diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Acta Neuropathol. 2016 Jan; 131(1):75-86. PMID: 26667418.

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Kovacs GG, Ferrer I, Grinberg LT, Alafuzoff I, Attems J, Budka H, Cairns NJ, Crary JF, Duyckaerts C, Ghetti B, Halliday GM, Ironside JW, Love S, Mackenzie IR, Munoz DG, Murray ME, Nelson PT, Takahashi H, Trojanowski JQ, Ansorge O, Arzberger T, Baborie A, Beach TG, Bieniek KF, Bigio EH, Bodi I, Dugger BN, Feany M, Gelpi E, Gentleman SM, Giaccone G, Hatanpaa KJ, Heale R, Hof PR, Hofer M, Hortobágyi T, Jellinger K, Jicha GA, Ince P, Kofler J, Kövari E, Kril JJ, Mann DM, Matej R, McKee AC, McLean C, Milenkovic I, Montine TJ, Murayama S, Lee EB, Rahimi J, Rodriguez RD, Rozemüller A, Schneider JA, Schultz C, Seeley W, Seilhean D, Smith C, Tagliavini F, Takao M, Thal DR, Toledo JB, Tolnay M, Troncoso JC, Vinters HV, Weis S, Wharton SB, White CL, Wisniewski T, Woulfe JM, Yamada M, Dickson DW. Aging-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG): harmonized evaluation strategy. Acta Neuropathol. 2016 Jan; 131(1):87-102. PMID: 26659578.

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Bieniek KF, Ross OA, Cormier KA, Walton RL, Soto-Ortolaza A, Johnston AE, DeSaro P, Boylan KB, Graff-Radford NR, Wszolek ZK, Rademakers R, Boeve BF, McKee AC, Dickson DW. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy pathology in a neurodegenerative disorders brain bank. Acta Neuropathol. 2015 Dec; 130(6):877-89. PMID: 26518018.

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Mez J, Solomon TM, Daneshvar DH, Murphy L, Kiernan PT, Montenigro PH, Kriegel J, Abdolmohammadi B, Fry B, Babcock KJ, Adams JW, Bourlas AP, Papadopoulos Z, McHale L, Ardaugh BM, Martin BR, Dixon D, Nowinski CJ, Chaisson C, Alvarez VE, Tripodis Y, Stein TD, Goldstein LE, Katz DI, Kowall NW, Cantu RC, Stern RA, McKee AC. Assessing clinicopathological correlation in chronic traumatic encephalopathy: rationale and methods for the UNITE study. Alzheimers Res Ther. 2015; 7(1):62. PMID: 26455775.

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Stein TD, Alvarez VE, McKee AC. Concussion in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2015 Oct; 19(10):47. PMID: 26260277.

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Kondo A, Shahpasand K, Mannix R, Qiu J, Moncaster J, Chen CH, Yao Y, Lin YM, Driver JA, Sun Y, Wei S, Luo ML, Albayram O, Huang P, Rotenberg A, Ryo A, Goldstein LE, Pascual-Leone A, McKee AC, Meehan W, Zhou XZ, Lu KP. Antibody against early driver of neurodegeneration cis P-tau blocks brain injury and tauopathy. Nature. 2015 Jul 23; 523(7561):431-6. PMID: 26176913.

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Martinez-Ramirez S, Romero JR, Shoamanesh A, McKee AC, Van Etten E, Pontes-Neto O, Macklin EA, Ayres A, Auriel E, Himali JJ, Beiser AS, DeCarli C, Stein TD, Alvarez VE, Frosch MP, Rosand J, Greenberg SM, Gurol ME, Seshadri S, Viswanathan A. Diagnostic value of lobar microbleeds in individuals without intracerebral hemorrhage. Alzheimers Dement. 2015 Dec; 11(12):1480-8. PMID: 26079413.

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Stein TD, Montenigro PH, Alvarez VE, Xia W, Crary JF, Tripodis Y, Daneshvar DH, Mez J, Solomon T, Meng G, Kubilus CA, Cormier KA, Meng S, Babcock K, Kiernan P, Murphy L, Nowinski CJ, Martin B, Dixon D, Stern RA, Cantu RC, Kowall NW, McKee AC. Beta-amyloid deposition in chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Acta Neuropathol. 2015 Jul; 130(1):21-34. PMID: 25943889.

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McKee AC, Stein TD, Kiernan PT, Alvarez VE. The neuropathology of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Brain Pathol. 2015 May; 25(3):350-64. PMID: 25904048.

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Iglesias JE, Augustinack JC, Nguyen K, Player CM, Player A, Wright M, Roy N, Frosch MP, McKee AC, Wald LL, Fischl B, Van Leemput K. A computational atlas of the hippocampal formation using ex vivo, ultra-high resolution MRI: Application to adaptive segmentation of in vivo MRI. Neuroimage. 2015 Jul 15; 115:117-37. PMID: 25936807.

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Daneshvar DH, Goldstein LE, Kiernan PT, Stein TD, McKee AC. Post-traumatic neurodegeneration and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2015 May; 66(Pt B):81-90. PMID: 25758552.

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Smith AM, Stuart MJ, Dodick DW, Roberts WO, Alford PW, Ashare AB, Aubrey M, Benson BW, Burke CJ, Dick R, Eickhoff C, Emery CA, Flashman LA, Gaz DV, Giza CC, Greenwald RM, Herring SA, Hoshizaki TB, Hudziak JJ, Huston J, Krause D, LaVoi N, Leaf M, Leddy JJ, MacPherson A, McKee AC, Mihalik JP, Moessner AM, Montelpare WJ, Putukian M, Schneider KJ, Szalkowski R, Tabrum M, Whitehead JR, Wiese-Bjornstal DM. Ice Hockey Summit II: zero tolerance for head hits and fighting. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2015 Mar-Apr; 14(2):135-44. PMID: 25757010.

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Smith AM, Stuart MJ, Dodick DW, Roberts WO, Alford PW, Ashare AB, Aubrey M, Benson BW, Burke CJ, Dick R, Eickhoff C, Emery CA, Flashman LA, Gaz DV, Giza CC, Greenwald RM, Herring SA, Hoshizaki TB, Hudziak JJ, Huston J, Krause D, LaVoi N, Leaf M, Leddy JJ, MacPherson A, McKee AC, Mihalik JP, Moessner AM, Montelpare WJ, Putukian M, Schneider KJ, Szalkowski R, Tabrum M, Whitehead JR, Wiese-Bjornstal DM. Ice hockey summit II: zero tolerance for head hits and fighting. PM R. 2015 Mar; 7(3):283-95. PMID: 25797614.

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Smith AM, Stuart MJ, Dodick DW, Roberts WO, Alford PW, Ashare AB, Aubrey M, Benson BW, Burke CJ, Dick R, Eickhoff C, Emery CA, Flashman LA, Gaz D, Giza CC, Greenwald RM, Herring S, Hoshizaki TB, Hudziak JJ, Huston J, Krause D, LaVoi N, Leaf M, Leddy JJ, MacPherson A, McKee AC, Mihalik JP, Moessner AM, Montelpare WJ, Putukian M, Schneider KJ, Szalkowski R, Tabrum M, Whitehead J, Wiese-Bjornstal DM. Ice Hockey Summit II: zero tolerance for head hits and fighting. Clin J Sport Med. 2015 Mar; 25(2):78-87. PMID: 25866860.

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Kiernan PT, Montenigro PH, Solomon TM, McKee AC. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: a neurodegenerative consequence of repetitive traumatic brain injury. Semin Neurol. 2015 Feb; 35(1):20-8. PMID: 25714864.

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Wang LS, Naj AC, Graham RR, Crane PK, Kunkle BW, Cruchaga C, Murcia JD, Cannon-Albright L, Baldwin CT, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Kukull WA, Faber KM, Schupf N, Norton MC, Tschanz JT, Munger RG, Corcoran CD, Rogaeva E. Rarity of the Alzheimer disease-protective APP A673T variant in the United States. JAMA Neurol. 2015 Feb; 72(2):209-16. PMID: 25531812.

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Mckee AC, Daneshvar DH. The neuropathology of traumatic brain injury. Handb Clin Neurol. 2015; 127:45-66. PMID: 25702209.

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Baugh CM, Kiernan PT, Kroshus E, Daneshvar DH, Montenigro PH, McKee AC, Stern RA. Frequency of head-impact-related outcomes by position in NCAA division I collegiate football players. J Neurotrauma. 2015 Mar 1; 32(5):314-26. PMID: 25155288.

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Naj AC, Jun G, Reitz C, Kunkle BW, Perry W, Park YS, Beecham GW, Rajbhandary RA, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Wang LS, Kauwe JS, Huentelman MJ, Myers AJ, Bird TD, Boeve BF, Baldwin CT, Jarvik GP, Crane PK, Rogaeva E, Barmada MM, Demirci FY, Cruchaga C, Kramer PL, Ertekin-Taner N, Hardy J, Graff-Radford NR, Green RC, Larson EB, St George-Hyslop PH, Buxbaum JD, Evans DA, Schneider JA, Lunetta KL, Kamboh MI, Saykin AJ, Reiman EM, De Jager PL, Bennett DA, Morris JC, Montine TJ, Goate AM, Blacker D, Tsuang DW, Hakonarson H, Kukull WA, Foroud TM, Martin ER, Haines JL, Mayeux RP, Farrer LA, Schellenberg GD, Pericak-Vance MA. Effects of multiple genetic loci on age at onset in late-onset Alzheimer disease: a genome-wide association study. JAMA Neurol. 2014 Nov; 71(11):1394-404. PMID: 25199842.

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Goldstein LE, McKee AC, Stanton PK. Considerations for animal models of blast-related traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Alzheimers Res Ther. 2014; 6(5):64. PMID: 25478023.

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Baugh CM, Robbins CA, Stern RA, McKee AC. Current understanding of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2014 Sep; 16(9):306. PMID: 25023937.

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Albers MW, Gilmore GC, Kaye J, Murphy C, Wingfield A, Bennett DA, Boxer AL, Buchman AS, Cruickshanks KJ, Devanand DP, Duffy CJ, Gall CM, Gates GA, Granholm AC, Hensch T, Holtzer R, Hyman BT, Lin FR, McKee AC, Morris JC, Petersen RC, Silbert LC, Struble RG, Trojanowski JQ, Verghese J, Wilson DA, Xu S, Zhang LI. At the interface of sensory and motor dysfunctions and Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2015 Jan; 11(1):70-98. PMID: 25022540.

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Kaur B, Himali JJ, Seshadri S, Beiser AS, Au R, McKee AC, Auerbach S, Wolf PA, DeCarli CS. Association between neuropathology and brain volume in the Framingham Heart Study. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2014 Jul-Sep; 28(3):219-25. PMID: 24614264.

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McKee AC, Robinson ME. Military-related traumatic brain injury and neurodegeneration. Alzheimers Dement. 2014 Jun; 10(3 Suppl):S242-53. PMID: 24924675.

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Robbins CA, Daneshvar DH, Picano JD, Gavett BE, Baugh CM, Riley DO, Nowinski CJ, McKee AC, Cantu RC, Stern RA. Self-reported concussion history: impact of providing a definition of concussion. Open Access J Sports Med. 2014; 5:99-103. PMID: 24891816.

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McKee AC. Author’s reply: To PMID 19535999. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2014 Apr; 73(4):375. PMID: 24662934.

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Stein TD, Alvarez VE, McKee AC. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: a spectrum of neuropathological changes following repetitive brain trauma in athletes and military personnel. Alzheimers Res Ther. 2014; 6(1):4. PMID: 24423082.

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Saman S, Lee NC, Inoyo I, Jin J, Li Z, Doyle T, McKee AC, Hall GF. Proteins recruited to exosomes by tau overexpression implicate novel cellular mechanisms linking tau secretion with Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014; 40 Suppl 1:S47-70. PMID: 24718102.

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