Robert Stern, PhD

Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy &  Neurobiology
Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Center Clinical Core
Director of Clinical Research, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center

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Dr. Robert Stern is Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy and Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine, where he is also Director of the Clinical Core of the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center

r (one of only 27 centers funded by the National Institutes of Health, NIH), and Director of Clinical Research for the BU Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center.  A major focus of his research involves the long-term effects of repetitive brain trauma in athletes, including the neurodegenerative disease, CTE.  He has funding from NIH and the Department of Defense for his work on developing methods of detecting and diagnosing CTE during life, as well as examining potential genetic and other risk factors for this disease.  His other major areas of funded research include the assessment and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, the cognitive effects of chemotherapy in the elderly, thyroid-brain relationships, and driving and dementia.  Dr. Stern has also published on various aspects of cognitive assessment and is the senior author of many widely used neuropsychological tests, including the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB).  Dr. Stern has received several NIH and other national grants, has published over 250 journal articles, chapters, and abstracts, and is a Fellow of both the American Neuropsychiatric Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology.  He is on several editorial boards and is on the Medical and Scientific Advisory Boards of the MA/NH Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and Sports Legacy Institute, and is also a member of the Mackey-White Traumatic Brain Injury Committee of the NFL Players Association. Dr. Stern has testified before the US Senate Special Committee on Aging. He appears frequently in national and international print and broadcast media for his work on CTE and AD.  He also appears in the feature length documentaries, “League of Denial” (PBS Frontline, 2013), “Head Games” (2012), and “I Remember Better When I Paint” (2009).


Dr. Stern received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Rhode Island. He completed his neuropsychology internship training at the Boston VA Medical Center, under the supervision of Dr. Edith Kaplan, and his postdoctoral fellowship training in both neuropsychology and psychoneuroendocrinology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine. He was on the faculty at UNC from 1990-1993, where he was Associate Director of the NIMH-funded Mental Health Clinical Research Center and Director of the Neurobehavioral Assessment Core. He then joined the faculty at Brown Medical School, where he was Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as Director of Neuropsychology and the Memory and Cognitive Assessment Program at Rhode Island Hospital. He was also directed the Brown Clinical Neuropsychology Internship Training Program.  In 2004, Dr. Stern joined the Boston University School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology as an Associate Professor. He was promoted to Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery in 2011  and was then appointed to professor of Neurology, Nuerosurgery, and Neurobiology, in 2014 . Dr. Stern and his wife, Susan Ryerson, live in Needham, MA and have four children.

Selected Recent Publications Curriculum Vitae

Lin AP, Ramadan S, Stern RA, Box HC, Nowinski CJ, Ross BD, Mountford CE. (in press). Changes in the neurochemistry of athletes with repetitive brain trauma: Preliminary results using 2D correlated spectroscopy. Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy

Qiu WQ, Lai A, Mon T, Mwamburi DM, Taylor W, Rosenzweig J, Kowall N, Stern RA, Zhu H, Steffens DC. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors and Alzheimer’s disease in the Presence of Apolipoprotein E4 Allele. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 Feb; 22(2): 177-85 [PDF]

Qiu WQ, Mwamburi M, Besser LM, Zhu H, Li H, Wallack M, Phillips L, Qiao L, Budson A, Stern, RA, Kowall N. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors and the reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease in the absence of Apoliprotein E4 allele. J Alzheimers Dis. 2013; 37(2): 421-28. [PDF]

Mandelblatt JS, Hurria A, McDonald BC, Saykin AJ, Stern RA, VanMeter JW, McGuckin M, Traina T, Denduluri N, Turner S, Howard D, Jacobsen PB, Ahles T. Cognitive effects of cancer and its treatments at the intersection of aging: What do we know; what do we need to know? Semin Oncol. 2013 Dec; 40(6): 709-25.

Mez J, Stern RA, McKee AC. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: Where are we and where are we going? Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2013 Dec; 13(12): 407. [PDF]

Stern RA, Daneshvar DH, Baugh CM, Seichepine DR, Montenigro PH, Riley DO, Fritts NG, Stamm JM, Robbins CA, McHale L, Simkin I, Stein TD, Alvarez V, Goldstein LE, Budson AE, Kowall NW, Nowinski CJ, Cantu RC, McKee AC. Clinical presentation of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Neurology 2013 Sep 24; 81(13): 1122-29 [Abstract] [Purchase]

Seichepine DR, Stamm JM, Daneshvar DH, Riley DO, Baugh CM, Gavett BE, Tripodis Y, Martin B, Chaisson C, McKee AC, Cantu RC, Nowinski CJ, Stern RA. Profile of self-reported problems with executive functioning in college and professional football players. J Neurotrauma. 2013 Jul 15; 30(14): 1299-304. [PDF]

Joffe RT, Pearce EN, Hennessey JV, Ryan JJ, Stern RA (2013). Subclinical hypothyroidism, mood, and cognition in the elderly: A review. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 Feb; 28(2): 111-18.

McKee A, Stern R, Nowinski C, Stein T, Alvare V, Daneshvar D, Lee H, Wojtowicz S, Hall G, Baugh B, Riley D, Kubilis C, Cormier K, Jacobs M, Martin B, Abraham C, Ikezu T, Reichard R, Wolozin B, Budson A, Goldstein G, Kowall N, Cantu R. The spectrum of disease in chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Brain. 2013 Jan; 136(Pt 1): 43-64.

Gavett BE, Lou KR, Daneshvar DH, Green RC, Jefferson AL, Stern RA. Diagnostic Accuracy Statistics for Seven Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB) Test Variables in the Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. <em>Appl Neuropsychol Adult</em> 2012; 19(2): 108–15. [PDF]

Niewoehner PM, Henderson RR, Dalchow J, Beardsley TL, Stern RA, Carr DB. Predicting road test performance in adults with cognitive or visual impairment referred to a Veterans Affairs Medical Center driving clinic. <em>J Am Geriatr Soc</em>. 2012 Nov; 60(11), 2070–74. [PDF]

Gavett BE, Stern RA. Dementia has a categorical, not dimensional, latent structure. <em>Psychol Aging</em> 2012 Sep;  27(3): 791–97: author reply 798–800. [PDF]

Baugh CM, Stamm JM, Riley DO, Gavett BE, Shenton ME, Lin A, Stern RA. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: neurodegeneration following repetitive concussive and subconcussive brain trauma. <em>Brain Imaging Behav</em> 2012 Jun; 6(2): 244–54. [PDF]

Shenton ME, Hamoda HM, Schneiderman JS, Bouix S, Pasternak O, Rathi Y, Stern RA, Zafonte R. A review of magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging findings in mild traumatic brain injury. <em>Brain Imaging Behav</em> 2012 Jun; 6(2): 137–92. [PDF]

Goldstein LE, Fisher AM, Tagge CA, Zhang XL, Velisek L, Stern RA, Sullivan JA, McKee AC. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in blast-exposed military veterans and a blast neurotrauma mouse model. <em>Sci Transl Med</em>. 2012 May 16; 4(134): 134ra60. [PDF]

Gavett BE, Cantu RC, Shenton M, Lin AP, Nowinski CJ, McKee AC,  Stern RA. Clinical appraisal of chronic traumatic encephalopathy: current perspectives and future directions. <em>Curr Opin Neurol</em>. 2011 Dec; 24(6): 525–31. [PDF]

Daneshvar DH, Riley DO, Nowinski CJ, McKee AC, Stern RA, Cantu RC. Long-term consequences: effects on normal development profile after concussion. <em> Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am</em>. 2011 Nov;22(4):683-700, ix. [PDF]

Stern RA, Riley DO, Daneshvar DH, Nowinski CJ, Cantu RC, McKee AC. Long-term consequences of repetitive brain trauma: chronic traumatic encephalopathy. <em>PM R</em> 2011 Oct; 3 (10 Suppl 2): S460–67. [PDF]

Ready RE, Carvalho JO, Green RC, Gavett BE, Stern RA. The structure and validity of self-reported affect in mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease. <em>Int Psychogeriatr</em>. 2011 Aug; 23(6): 887-98. [PDF]

Daneshvar DH, Baugh CM, Nowinski CJ, McKee AC, Stern RA,  Cantu RC. Helmets and mouth guards:  The role of personal equipment in preventing sport-related concussions. <em>Clin Sports Med</em>. 2011 Jan; 30(1): 145-63. [PDF]

Gavett BE, Stern, RA, McKee AC. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: A potential late effect of sport-related concussive and subconcussive head trauma. Clin Sports Med. 2011 Jan; 30(1): 179-88. [PDF]

Nair A, Gavett BE, Damman M, Dekker W, Green RC, Mandel A, Auerbach S, Steinberg E, Hubbard E,  Stern, R.A.  Clock Drawing Test ratings by practicing dementia specialists: Inter-rater reliability and diagnostic accuracy. <em>J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2010 Winter; 22(1): 85-92.

McKee, A.C., Gavett, B.E., Stern, R.A., Nowinski, C.J., Cantu, R.C., Kowall, N.W., Perl, D., Hedley-Whyte, E.T., Price, B., Sullivan, C., Morin, P., Lee, H.S., Kubilus, C.A., Daneshvar, D., Wulff, M., & Budson, A.E. TDP-43 proteinopathy and motor neuron disease in chronic traumatic encephalopathy. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2010 Sep; 69(9): 918-29. [PDF]

Gavett BE, Ozonoff A, Doktor V, Palmisano J, Nair AK, Green RC, Jefferson AL, Stern RA. Predicting cognitive decline and conversion to Alzheimer’s disease in older adults using the NAB List Learning test. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2010 Jul; 16(4): 651-60. [PDF]

Gavett BE, Stern RA, Cantu RC, Nowinski CJ, McKee AC. Mild traumatic brain injury: A risk factor for neurodegeneration. Alzheimers Res Ther. 2010 Jun 25; 2(3): 18. [PDF]

Eggermont LH, Gavett BE, Volkers KM, Blankevoort CG, Scherder EJ, Jefferson AL, Steinberg E, Nair A, Green RC, Stern RA. Lower extremity function in normal cognitive aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2010 Apr; 91(4): 584-88. [PDF]

McKee AC, Cantu RC, Nowinski CJ, Hedley-Whyte ET, Lee HS, Kubilus CA, Gavett BE, Romero R, Budson AE, Ryu H, Santini VE, Stern RA. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in athletes: Progressive tauopathy following repetitive concussion. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2009 Jul; 68(7): 709-35 [PDF]

Dr. Stern’s curriculum vitae