G. Milton Shy Visiting Professorship

Dr. G. Milton Shy photo

The G. Milton Shy Visiting Professorship was established in honor of the memory and accomplishments of Dr. Milton Shy, who passed away on September 25, 1967, at the age of 47. It is a joint week-long professorship at the NIH, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

Dr. G. Milton Shy received his MD from the University of Oregon and completed his medical training at the National Hospital at Queen Square in London and the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University. He began his academic career as an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Colorado and while there also accepted the challenge of becoming the first Clinical Director of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (NINDB), now the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). During his 10 years at the NINDB he established many traditions of scholarship–one of which was the welcoming of visiting scientists from anywhere in the world for collaborative work.

Dr. Shy made numerous critical contributions to research – in his lab, through his service on the study sections of the NINDB, and as a member of the Editorial Board of Neurology. He was a pioneer in using electron microscopy to study muscle diseases and is credited with discovering five previously unrecognized diseases: central core disease, magaconial myopathy, pleoconial myopathy, myotubular myopathy and nemaline myopathy. His research was not limited to neuromuscular disorders; he also advanced radioisotopic localization of brain tumors and described the association of central nervous system disease and orthostatic hypotension –leading to the eponym Shy-Drager syndrome.

Dr. Shy’s devotion to scientific inquiry was matched by his passion for patient care. He demanded and provided an uncompromising standard of excellence. With apparently inexhaustible energy, he was also fiercely dedicated to education -becoming an inspiration to students, residents and staff of all the medical schools in the area.

Dr. Shy was lost at the height of his creativity but his legacy lives on –his former residents and fellows (and his Columbia-trained son, Michael Shy) now fill dozens of full-time academic appointments in neurology throughout the world.


2021 G. Milton Shy Visiting Professorship

Carsten G. Bönnemann, MD

Dr. Carsten G. Bönnemann photo

Dr. Carsten Bönnemann received his medical degree from the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg where he graduated with distinction. He began his training pediatrics Children's Hospital of Altona, Hamburg, Germany and completed further training in neurogenetics, child neurology and neuromuscular medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University.

He currently works as a pediatric neurologist and Chief of the Neuromuscular and Neurogenetic Disorders of Childhood Section in the Neurogenetics Branch of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the NIH and serves as an adjust full professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Research in his group focuses on the clinical and molecular genetic characterization of early onset neuromuscular disorders such as congenital disorders of muscle and nerve and on the translational development of molecular and gene directed treatment approaches to these conditions, including first-in-human intrathecal and intravenous AAV mediated gene transfer trials.

He has received numerous awards for his work including the Derek Denny-Brown Neurologic Scholar Award from the ANA, the Resident's Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania and the Ethel Brown Foerderer Fund for Excellence Award and the Rhone-Poulenc-Rorer First Prize Award for Neuromuscular Research to name a few and has given dozens of invited lectures around the world.

While the COVID pandemic has impacted the traditional week-long visiting professorship, Dr. Bönnemann was able to speak at the NIH, University of Pennsylvania and we are honored for him to present his 3rd and final lecture of the professorship today.