David M. Greer, M.D., M.A., a specialist in the areas of coma, neurocritical care, stroke, and neuroimaging, has been named the inaugural Dr. Harry M. Zimmerman and Dr. Nicholas and Viola Spinelli Associate Professor of Neurology.

Greer’s research focuses on vascular neurology and on improving the ability of doctors to give an accurate prognosis for patients in coma, particularly after suffering a cardiac arrest. He is also interested in the use of hypothermia to improve neurological outcomes for various brain injuries.

After earning his M.D. and a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Florida, Greer trained in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where he underwent specialized fellowship training in stroke and neurocritical care. He was an associate neurologist and attending physician in neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and an attending physician and director of Neurology Consultive Services and the Inpatient Stroke Service at MGH, where he was also the program director of the Partners Neurology Residency Program.

Greer was an associate professor at Harvard Medical School before coming to Yale earlier this year as clinical vice chair and associate professor of neurology. At Yale, he also serves as program director of the Neurology Residency Program and director of the Outpatient Neurology Clinic.

Greer has also served as a specialty consultant to the New England Patriots, the Boston Bruins, and the Boston Red Sox. His numerous honors include a 2010 Teacher of the Year Award from the Partner Neurology Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he also received several Partners in Excellence Awards, among other distinctions.

The new professorship was established through the bequest of Nicholas “Nick” Spinelli, M.D., a beloved alumnus of Yale College and the School of Medicine who died in 2007, and his sister, Viola Spinelli, M.P.H., a 1964 graduate of the Yale School of Public Health. It honors Harry M. Zimmerman, M.D., a notable neuropathologist during Nicholas Spinelli’s student days at the medical school who became the founding director of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. In addition to the professorship, the Spinellis’ $4.5 million bequest supports a scholarship fund for medical students.

Nicholas Spinelli, a native of Stratford, Conn., entered Yale College in 1937 at 16 years old. After graduating in 1941, he entered the School of Medicine, and, like the rest of his classmates, was inducted into the Army as part of Yale’s Company C, combining his medical studies with military drills on the New Haven Green. After graduating, Spinelli served as an Army physician in Germany. Spinelli practiced medicine in Stratford until 1968, when a heart condition forced him to give up his practice. He was able to continue working, however, and served thereafter as director of medical education at Bridgeport Hospital. He was a familiar face on campus, serving from 1985 to 1990 as alumni director for Yale School of Medicine.