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John Booss, MD

Professor Emeritus of Neurology; Retired National Director of Neurology for the Department of Veterans Affairs

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John Booss, MD


My laboratory work had been in the virology of the nervous system and in viral immunology with emphasis on the cytomegaloviruses. Clinically my interests had been in viral encephalitis, multiple sclerosis, and HIV of the nervous system. From 1993 until my retirement in 2005, I was the National Program Director for Neurology for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Our goal was to have neurological services coordinated nationally. During that time we were able to establish national centers of excellence for Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Just after my retirement, a coalition of organizations led by the American Academy of Neurology convinced the Congress to establish national VA centers of excellence in epilepsy. On retiring I established a voluntary Neurological Clinic at the Hill Health Center in New Haven, a Federally Qualified Community Health Center. Following retirement I have investigated topics in historical virology: see for example To Catch a Virus, Booss and Landry (with August), 2nd edition, ASM Press, 2023; and Booss and Tselis, A History of Viral Infections of the Central Nervous System in Neurovirology, vol. 123 in the series Handbook of Clinical Neurology, eds, Tselis and Booss, 2014. Presently I am working on subjects dealing with how epidemics have altered Native American history: see Booss, 2019, Survival of the Pilgrims: A re-evaluation of the Lethal Epidemic Among the Wampanoag, Hist. J. Mass, 47: 109-133; Norton and Booss, 2019, Missionaries, Measles and Manuscripts: Revisiting the Whitman Tragedy, J. Med. Library Assoc., 107: 108-113; Booss, 2022-2023, Fear and Betrayal: Smallpox and the Turning Point of the French and Indian War, New York History, winter 2022-2023.

Education & Training

  • Sabbatical fellow [xenogenic CNS transplantation with C Jacque]
    Hopital Salpetriere, Paris (1990)
  • Sabbatical fellow [immunopathology with MM Esiri]
    Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford University (1983)
  • Post doctoral fellow [with EF Wheelock]
    Jefferson Medical College (1975)
  • Post doctoral fellow [with GD Hsiung]
    VA Medical Center and Yale University (1971)
  • Resident
    New York University-Bellevue Hospital (1969)
  • Intern
    Cleveland Clinic (1966)
  • MD
    Albany Medical College (1965)


  • Board Certification
    AB of Psychiatry & Neurology, Neurology (1972)