Rochester Physician Named Editor of Leading Neurology Journal

Nov. 5, 2009
Dr. Robert A. Gross
Robert A. Gross M.D., Ph.D.

A neurologist and epilepsy expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center has been named editor in chief of one of the world’s leading journals devoted to issues involving the brain and central nervous system. 

Robert A. Gross M.D., Ph.D., professor of Neurology and of Pharmacology and Physiology, was named today to lead the medical journal Neurology, the world’s leading clinical neurology journal. As editor, Gross assumes a major leadership role in the world of neurology, helping set the direction and focus for the discipline worldwide. He will contribute to decisions about which issues are of most importance to physicians and patients, and which new findings and new research avenues are most worthy of attention.

Gross has been involved with the journal for 20 years, first as a reviewer, then associate editor for the past eight years. During the last two he has also been deputy editor and most recently served as interim editor in chief.

Gross succeeds another Rochester neurologist, Professor Robert Griggs, M.D., who is now president of the American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 21,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals that publishes Neurology. Griggs himself served as the editor of the journal from 1997 to 2007.

At Rochester Gross is director of the Strong Epilepsy Center. He is an expert on the molecular underpinnings of epilepsy, and he is a frequent contributor to studies designed to test or improve medications used to treat the disorder or to prevent seizures altogether.  In current work he is using his knowledge of the brain to explore how drugs used to treat cancer might affect brain cells involved in cognition and mood regulation in an area called the hippocampus, which is also affected in epilepsy.

A fellow of the AAN, Gross is active in the Epilepsy Foundation of the Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton regions and currently chairs the region’s board of directors. At the University he has held a number of leadership posts and is currently a director of education for the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, where he heads a program that supports medical students who add an extra year to their studies to pursue research.

Gross received his bachelor’s degree in biology, summa cum laude, from Harvard, and his doctorate in pharmacology and his and medical degree from Washington University. He interned at Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and did his residency in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he served as chief resident. Gross served on the faculties of the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota before joining the University of Rochester Medical Center in 1994.

With Gross’s appointment, a University of Rochester neurologist will be at the helm of the field’s leading journal for a second decade, adding to Rochester’s reputation as a leading institution for research and clinical care in neurology. In recent years, two other major neurology journals have also been headed by Rochester faculty members – Robert Joynt, M.D., Ph.D., served as editor of Archives of Neurology, and the late David Goldblatt, M.D., served as editor of Seminars in Neurology.