Stephen George Waxman MD, PhD
Bridget Marie Flaherty Professor of Neurology and Professor of Neurobiology and of Pharmacology; Director, Center for Neuroscience and Regeneration Research
Departments & OrganizationsYale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Neuroscience | Molecular Medicine, Pharmacology, and Physiology
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Center for Neuroscience and Regeneration Research
Stephen G. Waxman, MD, PhD
Stephen Waxman exemplifies the bridge between basic research and clinical medicine. He is the Bridget Flaherty Professor of Neurology, Neurobiology, and Pharmacology at Yale University. He served as Chairman of Neurology at Yale from 1986 until 2009. He founded and is Director of the Neuroscience & Regeneration Research Center at Yale. He also holds an appointment as Visiting Professor at University College London. Prior to moving to Yale, Dr. Waxman worked at Harvard, MIT, and Stanford.
Dr. Waxman received his BA from Harvard, and his MD and PhD degrees from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His research, which uses tools from the “molecular revolution” to find new therapies that will promote recovery of function after injury to the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, has received international recognition.
Dr. Waxman’s research has defined the ion channel architecture of nerve fibers, and demonstrated its importance for axonal conduction (Science, 1985). He demonstrated increased expression of sodium channels in demyelinated axons (Science, 1982), identified the channel isoforms responsible for this remarkable neuronal plasticity which supports remission in multiple sclerosis (PNAS, 2004), and delineated the roles of sodium channels in axonal degeneration (PNAS, 1993). He has made pivotal discoveries that explain pain after nerve injury. Most recently, in translational leaps from laboratory to humans, he carried out molecule-to-man studies combining molecular genetics, molecular biology, and biophysics to demonstrate the contribution of ion channels to human pain (Trends in Molec.Med, 2005; PNAS, 2006), led an international coalition that identified sodium channel mutations as causes of peripheral neuropathy (PNAS, 2012) and has used atomic-level modeling to advance pharmacogenomics (Nature Comm., 2012).
Dr. Waxman has published more than 600 scientific papers. He has as edited nine books, and is the author of Spinal Cord Compression and of Clinical Neuroanatomy (translated into eight languages). He has served on the editorial boards of many journals including The Journal of Physiology, Brain, Annals of Neurology, Trends in Neurosciences, Nature Reviews Neurology, and Trends in Molecular Medicine, and is Editor-in-Chief of Neuroscience Letters. He has trained more than 150 academic neurologists and neuroscientists who lead research teams around the world.
A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Waxman’s many awards include the Tuve Award (NIH), the Distinguished Alumnus Award (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), the Dystel Prize and Wartenberg Award (American Academy of Neurology), and the Middleton Award of the Veterans Administration. He received the Annual Prize of the British Physiological Society, an honor he shares with his heroes, Nobel Prize laureates Andrew Huxley, John Eccles, and Alan Hodgkin. He most recently was honored with the Paul Magnuson Award of the Veterans Administration for his achievements in translation of laboratory advances into new therapeutic strategies for restoration of function after injury to the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves