Robert A. Stern, Ph.D.

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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RobertSternClick here for Dr. Stern’s curriculum vitae
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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(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 theNeuropsychological 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 (Download complete Curriculum Vitae Here)

Daneshvar, D.H., Baugh, C.M., Nowinski, C.J., McKee, A.C., Stern, R.A., & Cantu, R.C. (2011). Helmets and mouth guards:  The role of personal equipment in preventing sport-related concussions. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 30, 145-163. [PDF]

Gavett, B.E., Stern, R.A., & McKee, A.C. (2011). Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: A potential late effect of sport-related concussive and subconcussive head trauma. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 30, 179-188. [PDF]

Nair, A., Gavett, B.E., Damman, M., Dekker, W., Green, R.C., Mandel, A., Auerbach, S., Steinberg, E., Hubbard, E., and Stern, R.A. (2010). Clock Drawing Test ratings by practicing dementia specialists: Inter-rater reliability and diagnostic accuracy.  Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 22, 85-92. [PDF]

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. (2010). TDP-43 proteinopathy and motor neuron disease in chronic traumatic encephalopathy.  Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. 69, 918-929. [PDF]

Gavett BE, Ozonoff A, Doktor V, Palmisano J, Nair AK, Green RC, Jefferson AL, Stern RA. (2010). Predicting cognitive decline and conversion to Alzheimer’s disease in older adults using the NAB List Learning test. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 16, 651-660. [PDF]

Gavett, B.E., Stern, R.A., Cantu, R.C., Nowinski, C.J., & McKee, A.C. (2010). Mild traumatic brain injury: A risk factor for neurodegeneration. Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, 2, 18-21.

Eggermont, L.H., Gavett, B.E., Volkers, K.M., Blankevoort, C.G., Scherder, E.J., Jefferson, A.L., Steinberg, E., Nair, A., Green, R.C., & Stern, R.A. (2010). Lower extremity function in normal cognitive aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease.  Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 91, 584-588. [PDF]

McKee, A.C., Cantu, R.C., Nowinski, C.J., Hedley-Whyte, E.T., Lee, H.S., Kubilus, C.A., Gavett, B.E., Romero, R., Budson, A.E., Ryu, H., Santini, V.E., & Stern, R.A. (2009). Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in athletes: Progressive tauopathy following repetitive concussion. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, 68¸709-735.

Gavett, B.E., Poon, S.J., Ozonoff, A., Jefferson, A.L., Nair, A.K., Green, R.C., and Stern, R.A. (2009). Diagnostic utility of a list learning test in Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 15, 121-129. [PDF]

D’Ambrosio, L.A., Coughlin, J.F., Mohyde, M., Carruth, A., Hunter, J.D., & Stern, R.A.(2009).  Caregiver communications and the transition from driver to passenger among people with dementia.  Geriatric Rehabilitation, 25, 34–43.

Chung, W.W., Chen, C.A., Cupples, L.A., Roberts, J.S., Hiraki, S.C., Nair, A.K., Green, R.C., & Stern, R.A. (2009). A new scale measuring psychological impact of genetic susceptibility testing for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Disorders, 23, 50-56. . [PDF]

Ashendorf, L., Jefferson, A.L., Green, R.C., & Stern, R.A. (2009).  Test-retest stability on the WRAT-3 Reading subtest in geriatric cognitive evaluations.  Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 31, 605-610.

Stern, R.A., D’Ambrosio, L.A., Mohyde, M., Carruth, A., Tracton-Bishop, B., Hunter, J.D., Daneshvar, D.H., & Coughlin, J.F. (2008). At the Crossroads: Development and evaluation of a dementia caregiver group intervention to assist in driving cessation. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 29, 363-382.

Posternak, M.A., Novak, S.P., Stern, R.A., Hennessey, J.V., Joffe, R., Prange, A.J. Jr, & Zimmerman, M. (2008). A pilot effectiveness study: placebo-controlled trial of adjunctive L-triiodothyronine (T3) used to accelerate and potentiate the antidepressant response.The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 11, 15-25. [PDF]

Hubbard EJ, Santini, V, Blankevoort CG, Volkers, KM, Barrup, MS, Byerly L, Chaisson C, Jefferson AL, Kaplan, E, Green, RC, Stern RA. (2008). Clock Drawing Performance in Cognitively Normal Elderly. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 23, 295-327. [PDF]

Davis, J.D., Podolanczuk, A., Donahue, J.E., Stopa, E., Hennessey, J.V., Luo, L.G., Lim, Y-P., & Stern, R.A. (2008).  Thyroid hormone levels in the prefrontal cortex of post-mortem brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.  Current Aging Science, 1, 175-181.

Ashendorf A. Jefferson AL, O’Connor MK, Chaisson C, Green RC, & Stern, RA. (2008). Trail Making Test errors in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia.Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 23, 129-137. [PDF]

Ashendorf, L., Jefferson, A.L., Green, R.C., & Stern, R.A. (2008).  Test-retest stability on the WRAT-3 Reading subtest in geriatric cognitive evaluations.  Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.

Ropacki, S.A.L., Bert, A.A., Ropacki, M.T., Rogers, B.L., & Stern, R.A. (2007). The influence of cognitive reserve on neuropsychological functioning after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 22, 73-85. [PDF]

Jefferson, A.L., Wong, S., Gracer, T.S. Ozonoff, A., Green, R.C., & Stern, R.A. (2007). Geriatric performance on an abbreviated version of the Boston Naming Test. Applied Neuropsychology, 14, 215-223. [PDF]

View Dr. Robert A. Stern’s CV