Alvaro Pascual-Leone (Director)
Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD, is Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School; Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation; Program Director of the Harvard-Thorndike Clinical Research Unit; and an Attending Neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center — all in Boston. He is a practicing behavioral neurologist and movement disorders specialist.
Dr. Pascual-Leone received his M.D. in 1984 and his Ph.D. in Neurophysiology in 1985, both from Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany. Following an internship in Medicine at Staedtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe in Germany and residency in Internal Medicine at Hospital Universitario de Valencia in Spain, Dr. Pascual-Leone completed a Neurology residency at the Univeristy of Minnesota, and then trained in Clinical Neurophysiology and Human Motor Control at the University of Minnesota and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He joined Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 1997, after several years at the Cajal Institute of the Spanish Research Council.
Dr. Pascual-Leone is a world leader in research and development, clinical application, and teaching of noninvasive brain stimulation. Through Harvard's continuing medical education program, Dr. Pascual-Leone and the Berenson-Allen Center offer the longest-running medical education course in the world in noninvasive brain stimulation.
Dr. Pascual-Leone's work has been fundamental in establishing noninvasive brain stimulation, particularly transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), as a valuable tool in cognitive neurology, increasing knowledge about its mechanisms of action, critically improving the technology and its integration with several brain-imaging methodologies, and helping to create the field of therapeutic noninvasive brain stimulation. In clinical trials, he has provided proof-of-principle evidence for the efficacy of noninvasive brain stimulation in treating various neurologic and psychiatric conditions, including epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson disease, chronic pain, autism, and drug-resistant depression. Dr. Pascual-Leone has authored more than 450 scientific papers as well as several books, and is listed inventor in several patents. His work is highly regarded for its innovation and quality and is highly cited. According to the ISI Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar, Pascual-Leone has over 80 papers cited more than 100 times, an average citations per publication of 84, a total number of citations of nearly 30,000, an "h" index of 94 and an i10-index of 319. Dr. Pascual-Leone ranks number 1 among authors worldwide in the specific field of "Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation" and "Noninvasive Brain Stimulation" (http://www.authoratory.com/).
Dr Pascual-Leone is the recipient of several international honors and awards, including the Ramón y Cajal Award in Neuroscience (Spain), the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology, the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany), and the Jean-Louis Signoret Prize from the Ipsen Foundation (France). He is an elected member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Science (Farmacia). His work also has wide general public appeal and outreach through dissemination in articles in the lay press (Time Magazine, Newsweek, New Scientist, National Geographic) and documentaries on television and radio (Scientific American, 60 minutes, CNN, BBC, Discovery, National Geographic, etc.)
Dr. Pascual-Leone's current research aims at understanding the mechanisms that control brain plasticity across the life span to be able to modify them for the patient's optimal behavioral outcome, prevent age-related cognitive decline, reduce the risk for dementia, and minimize the impact of developmental disorders such as autism. Presently he is also the principal investigator of two multicenter studies assessing the therapeutic utility of noninvasive brain stimulation in Parkinson disease.