M. Richard Koenigsberger Memorial Lecture

This lecture was established in 2018 in honor of Dr. M. Richard Koenigsberger who passed away on February 17, 2013.   

Photo of Dr. Richard Koenigsberger

Richard Koenigsberger was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, in 1933. He completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University, medical school at University of Chicago, and his internship and two years of pediatric residency at what is now NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center (NYP/CUIMC). He interrupted his professional education to be among the first to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa. Following his service, he completed a fellowship in neonatal neurology and trained at the Centre des Rechersches Neonatales (CRN), where he studied neonatal neurophysiology under the famous mentor Madame Collette Dreyfus-Brisac. He returned to CUIMC where he completed an NIH-sponsored fellowship in neurology and pediatric neurology under the mentorship of Dr. Sydney Carter. 

From 1968 to 1980, Dr. Koenigsberger remained on faculty at CUIMC and served as a principal investigator of multiple studies, including a United Cerebral Palsy-funded neurophysiology study of high-risk full-term and premature newborns. From 1980 to 1999, he served as the chief of pediatric neurology at the New Jersey Medical School (part of the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey). In 2000, he returned to NYP/CUIMC and served as a Clinical Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics and Director of the Child Neurology Resident Clinic until his retirement in 2012. 

Dr. Koenigsberger had exceptional skills in neonatal neurologic examination. His 1966 article in the Pediatric Clinics of North America journal was arguably the first superb summary of neonatal neurologic examination published in the United States. His honors have included Teacher of the Year at Harlem Hospital (1972–1973) and the Santiago Ramón y Cajal Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Ibero-American Academy of Pediatric Neurology (2000). He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Child Neurology Society in 2012. He carried his expertise throughout the United States, as well as to cities in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, and Spain. Dr. Koenigsberger was also a natural linguist and fluent in both Spanish and French. 

Among his most important contributions to the field of child neurology was a lifetime of exceptionally active and effective teaching and mentoring of generations of future child and adult neurologists. Indeed, Dr. Koenigsberger’s devotion to teaching remains legendary. 


2022 M. Richard Koenigsberger Memorial Lecture 

Precision Therapies for Epilepsy

Amy Brooks-Kayal, MD, FAAN, FANA, FAES
Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology
Andrew John Gabor, MD, PhD, Presidential Endowed Chair
University of California Davis School of Medicine

Photo of Amy Brooks-Kayal, MD

Amy Brooks-Kayal, MD is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology and the Andrew John Gabor, MD, PhD, Presidential Chair in Neurology at University of California Davis School of Medicine. She is an internationally recognized physician leader, epileptologist, and leader in research on novel seizure therapies.

She received her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed residencies in pediatrics and child neurology, and a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology, from the University of Pennsylvania/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. As a clinician, she specializes in the care of children and teens with difficult-to-manage or complex epilepsy. As a researcher, she has identified cellular and molecular changes involved in the transition of the brain from normal to epileptic, with particular emphasis on understanding the molecular regulation of GABA(A) receptor expression during epileptogenesis and development of novel therapeutics for the prevention, treatment and cure of epilepsy.

Dr. Brooks-Kayal has held numerous leadership roles in the neurology, epilepsy and neuroscience research communities, including as president of the American Epilepsy Society (AES), a member of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Advisory Council, chair of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Neuroplasticity and Neurotransmitters review panel, and is currently a director of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and Associate Editor for Epilepsy for the Annals of Neurology. She was the 2019 recipient of the AES Founders Award and a 2021 recipient of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Ambassador for Epilepsy award for her international contributions to activities advancing the cause of epilepsy.