The 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. 

2021 M. Richard Koenigsberger Memorial Lecture 

Harvey B. Sarnat, MD, FRCPC, MS

Photo of Harvey B. Sarnat, MD, FRCPC, MS

Dr. Harvey B. Sarnat is Professor of Paediatrics, Pathology (Neuropathology) and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary (Canada), where he has practiced since 1981, except for a decade spent on faculty at the University of Washington (Seattle) and then UCLA (Los Angeles), returning to Calgary in 2004.  He is board-certified in Paediatrics and in Neurology in the U.S., and in Neurology by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Residency training in paediatrics was at the University of Illinois (Chicago) and in child neurology and neuropathology at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville). 

His academic interests and most of his research publications over many years are in the fields of neuroembryology, developmental (fetal and neonatal) neuropathology, brain malformations, neonatal neurology, and the neuropathology of childhood epilepsy. He serves on the editorial boards of nine journals, and has 180 research publications in peer-reviewed journals; he has authored, co-authored or edited 12 textbooks, and has contributed chapters to 120 other specialty books and monographs. He serves on the ILAE Commission on Neuropathology. 

Distinguished awards include the keynote Gordon Mathieson Lecture at the 50th anniversary meeting of the Canadian Association of Neuropathologists in 2010; the Bernard Sachs Research Award and Lecture at the 45th annual meeting of the Child Neurology Society in 2016; and an annual, endowed lectureship in his name at the University of Calgary since 2013: the Harvey Sarnat Developmental Neuroanatomy and Neuropathology Lectureship. He is a frequent invited speaker at many medical congresses and institutions within Canada and internationally in Europe, Latin America, Japan, Australia, and the United States. Dr. Sarnat did us the great honor of leading one of Columbia Neurology’s own resident didactics earlier this year.