Foxe Appointed to Head Neuromedicine Research at URMC

Jun. 9, 2015

 John J. Foxe, Ph.D., a nationally-regarded scientist in the field of neurobiology, has been named the research director of the DelMonte Neuromedicine Institute (DNI) and the Kilian J. and Caroline F. Schmitt Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

“The University of Rochester has long been home to some of the nation’s most innovative and groundbreaking research in the field of neuroscience and neuromedicine,” said Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester. “John’s appointment signals our determination to make this field a centerpiece of our progress as a University and Medical Center.”

“We are deeply grateful that John has agreed to join our faculty and play a critical role in the next chapter of neuromedicine research and care here in Rochester,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). “Over the next several years he will be a leader in the Medical Center’s plans to foster greater scientific collaboration and become a national destination for people seeking advanced care for neurological disorders.”

“I am honored to be taking the helm of the DNI at this incredibly exciting time in modern neuroscience research,” said Foxe. “The University of Rochester is already world-renowned for its superb work in this field and we now have the opportunity to build an even stronger presence. Tens of millions of Americans suffer from a major mental illness each year, be it depression or anxiety, a major psychotic disorder, or Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, or addiction. And the list goes on. The National Institutes of Health estimates that only about half of these people ever receive treatment. We can and we must do better. It is only through research that we can develop new effective treatments and I am committed to placing the DNI and the University of Rochester at the very forefront of these efforts.”

As research director of DNI, Foxe – who currently serves as the director of Research for the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine – will be responsible for bringing together the leaders of the multiple departments and centers across the University that focus on the nervous system. He will oversee the creation of a broad strategic plan that coordinates and expands research and education programs and accelerates the translation of scientific discoveries into new treatments. 

As chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Foxe will be responsible for recruiting 6-10 new scientists to create a critical mass of new research activity in the Department.   Foxe’s appointment will be effective October 1, 2015, pending the approval of the University Board of Trustees

About John J. Foxe

Foxe is a translational researcher with more than 20 year of experience studying developmental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. The core mission of his research is to understand the underlying biological mechanisms of these diseases, with the goal of developing more effective treatments and interventions.  

His lab studies the neurobiology of multisensory integration – how sight, sound, and touch are knitted together in the brain. Children with autism often have difficulty processing sensory information and the resulting overload may contribute to the repetitive behaviors, social isolation, and the other problems that individuals with this condition experience.  Upon arriving in Rochester, Foxe will oversee the creation of a new center that focuses on autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Foxe has received more than $20 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and numerous corporations and foundations. He has served on several National Institutes of Health study sections, which help guide federal research priorities and review grant applications.  

He has authored and co-authored more than 200 research and clinical papers, book chapters, commentaries, and proceedings. Foxe also currently serves as editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Neuroscience.  

Before joining the faculty at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Foxe served for six years as the director of the Ph.D. program in Cognitive Neuroscience at The City College of New York.  He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1999 and his M.S. in Neuroscience in 1996. 

Foxe was selected after an intensive national search. Members of the University search committee included:


  • Hartmut “Hucky” Land, Ph.D. (chair), co-director, Wilmot Cancer Institute, chair, Biomedical Genetics
  • Richard Aslin, Ph.D., professor, Brain and Cognitive Sciences
  • Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., professor, Medicine
  • Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D., vice dean for Research, School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Greg DeAngelis, Ph.D., chair, Brain and Cognitive Sciences
  • Robert “Berch” Griggs, M.D., professor, Neurology
  • Lynne Maquat, Ph.D., professor, Biochemistry and Biophysics
  • Nina Schor, M.D., Ph.D., chair, Pediatrics
  • David Williams, Ph.D., dean for Research, College of Arts Sciences & Engineering

Building on Foundation of Strength

Foxe will be charged with strengthening what is already one of the nation’s leading centers for research and care in neurobiology and neurological disorders. The URMC Department of Neurology is ranked seventh in the nation in the amount of research funding it receives from the National Institutes of Health and approximately 25 percent of total research activity at the Medical Center is in the field of neuromedicine. The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences on the River Campus and the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy in the Medical Center are highly regarded for their work in understanding how the brain’s neural networks help us understand the world around us and shape behavior.

URMC also serves as the hub of several global networks of researchers seeking new treatments for a range of neurodegenerative diseases and the Medical Center possesses the unique capabilities to provide both the logistical and scientific support necessary to conduct multi-center clinical trials. 

The URMC Department of Neurosurgery is home to one of the state’s most advanced brain and spinal surgical programs and Strong Memorial Hospital is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top hospitals in the nation in Neurology and Neurosurgery. Last year, URMC announced plans to create the University of Rochester Neurorestoration Institute, a new center that will combine research and state-of-the-art clinical care for individuals recovering from stroke and spinal cord injury.