Marsel Mesulam

Marsel Mesulam received his BA in 1968 and MD in 1972, both from Harvard University. He was appointed professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School where he founded and led the behavioral neurology unit of Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. In 1994 he was appointed the Dunbar Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry and the director of the multi-departmental Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

His research has addressed the connectivity of the monkey brain, the organization of human cholinergic pathways, the representation of cognitive functions by large-scale neurocognitive networks, and the neurobiology of dementias. He introduced a new method for tracing neural pathways by axonal transport, identified the source of cortical cholinergic pathways in the primate brain, and characterized a unique form of language-based dementia known as primary progressive aphasia.

His students and trainees lead laboratories and clinics around the world. He has published more than 300 research papers and edited a popular textbook of behavioral and cognitive neurology. He is a past vice president of the American Association of Neurology and a past president of the Organization of Human Brain Mapping. His current research focuses on the functional imaging of neurocognitive networks and on the pathophysiology of focal dementias.