Neurology department anticipates arrival of new chair

Tetsuo Ashizawa, M.D.

Tetsuo Ashizawa, M.D.

Tetsuo Ashizawa, M.D., has been named chair of the department of neurology at the UF’s College of Medicine following a national search, according to an announcement by Dr. Michael Good, interim dean.  Ashizawa will begin at UF in April 2009.

Dr. Ashizawa is currently the chair of the department of neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “Ashizawa is a superlative clinician and administrator with a distinguished research program,” said Good. “He will lead the neurology department to new heights in its missions to conduct world-class research, provide excellent patient care and prepare students and residents for the clinical and academic challenges of tomorrow.”

While at UF Dr. Ashizawa plans to add faculty members, develop National Institutes of Health-funded research and strengthen collaborations throughout the College of Medicine, the McKnight Brain Institute and the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

His own research has been supported by grants from the NIH, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the FDA and other sources. His interests include basic, translational and clinical studies of disorders such as spinocerebellar ataxia type 10, myotonic dystrophy type 1, Huntington’s disease, Friedreich’s ataxia, Parkinson’s disease and myasthenia gravis. Ashizawa has extensive experience in multicenter clinical studies.

Dr. Ashizawa attended medical school at Keio University Medical School in Tokyo, obtained residency training in medicine at Kitasato University Hospital in Kanagawa, Japan, served a medical internship for internal medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, and obtained residency training in neurology at the Baylor College of Medicine.He became a professor of neurology at Baylor in 1997 before becoming the John Sealy chair in neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 2002. He has also served as the assistant chief of neurology service and the deputy executive of neurology care at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston.Ashizawa has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and more than 100 abstracts. Among his many honors, he has received “The Team Hope Award” for medical leadership from the Huntington’s Disease Society of America and the Research Excellence award from the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery of Mexico.