David A. Hafler, M.D., a leader in multiple sclerosis (MS) research, was named chair of neurology at the School of Medicine and chief of neurology at Yale-New Haven Hospital, effective September 1.

An expert on the mechanisms of autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system, Hafler was director of molecular immunology in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and an associate member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. He was the Jack, Sadie, and David Breakstone Professor of Neurology (Neuroscience) at Harvard Medical School, and a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Hafler’s recruitment complements ongoing research at Yale in neurology, genetics, and translational immunology. Hafler will build upon existing neurology research in such areas as spinal cord injury and repair, epilepsy, and neurodegeneration, and he will expand research in MS and in other areas of neurology and the clinical neurosciences.

Hafler succeeds Stephen G. Waxman, M.D., Ph.D., the Bridget Marie Flaherty Professor of Neurology, Neurobiology, and Pharmacology, who has led the department since 1986 and will remain on the faculty and continue as director of the Center for Neuroscience & Regeneration/Neurorehabilitation Research.