Karl Kieburtz, M.D., M.P.H. has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Kieburtz, the Robert J. Joynt Professor in Neurology, serves as director of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s (URMC) Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Center for Human Experimental Therapy (CHET).
AAAS is the world's largest and most prestigious scientific society and publishes the highly-regarded scientific journal Science. Fellows are elected annually by the AAAS for "efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications [which] are scientifically or socially distinguished." The new Fellows will be recognized at the AAAS annual meeting in Chicago in February 2014.
Kieburtz’s primary clinical and research interests are neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Over the years, he has served as principal investigator for more than two dozen clinical studies investigating new treatments for neurological disorders, including overseeing several late stage (Phase 2 and 3), multi-million dollar government, foundation, and industry-sponsored clinical trials.
He is also an expert on the design and implementation of large-scale, multi-site clinical studies. He has served as chair of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee, which reviews and recommends new drugs for approval, and is an active consultant to the FDA, the National Institutes of Health, and industry.
Kieburtz was the former chair of the executive committee of the Parkinson Study Group, an international network of more than 350 researchers, whose studies have led to the approval of several new medications to treat the disease. One of the primary goals of the group is to identify neuroprotective agents to help protect brain cells and slow or prevent the damage caused by Parkinson disease. Kieburtz has also served in leadership positions in the worldwide Huntington Study Group, whose work led to the approval of tetrabenazine, the first drug ever approved in the U.S. to treat the disease.
He was instrumental in the creation both CHET and the URMC Clinical Trial Coordination Center, two unique academic organizations that serve as the scientific, logistical, and analytical hubs for government and private sector-sponsored clinical trials.
Kieburtz has been with URMC since 1980, received both his M.D. and M.P.H. degrees from the URMC School of Medicine and Dentistry, and conducting his medical training at Strong Memorial and Highland Hospitals.