Robert Stern

Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy & Neurobiology; Director of Clinical Research, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center

CTE & Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers, Robinson B7800

View Dr. Robert A. Stern’s Lab Website
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View Dr. Robert A. Stern’s Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Robert Stern is Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy and Neurobiology at Boston University (BU) School of Medicine, where he is also Director of Clinical Research for the BU Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center. From 2010-2019, he was the Director of the Clinical Core of the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center (funded by National Institutes of Health, NIH).

A major focus of Dr. Stern’s research involves the long-term effects of repetitive brain trauma in athletes, including the neurodegenerative disease, CTE. He has been funded 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. He is the lead principal investigator for the 7-year, multi-center DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The goal of DIAGNOSE is to develop methods of detecting and diagnosing CTE during life, including the development and examination of neuroimaging and fluid biomarkers, establishing and validating diagnostic criteria for Traumatic Encephalopathy Syndrome (TES), and studying potential risk factors of the disease. He is also the principal investigator of the new, NIH-funded Head Impact and Trauma Surveillance Study (HITSS). HITSS will involve annual (completely online) assessments of 2400 former soccer players (women and men) and 2400 former American football players, all age 40 or older, who played their sport at any level (from youth to pro), to examine repetitive head impact exposure and other risk factors for later-life cognitive, mood, and behavioral problems. 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. He is the BU site principal investigator for several clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. 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 the co-editor of two published books: Sports Neurology, which is part of the Handbook in Clinical Neurology series published by Elsevier, and The Oxford Handbook of Adult Cognitive Disorders, which is part of the Oxford Handbook collection. He is a Fellow of both the American Neuropsychiatric Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology. He has been a member of the Mackey-White Health and Safety Committee of the NFL Players Association, as well as the court-appointed Medical Scientific Committee for the NCAA Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation. Dr. Stern has testified before the US Senate Special Committee on Aging and the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. 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.

Research Interests

CTE, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Alzheimer’s Disease

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Profile Types
Clinical Core and Faculty

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