Robert E. Burke Memorial Lecture

Photo of Dr. Robert E. Burke

The Robert E. Burke Memorial Lecture was established in 2018 in honor to the memory and accomplishments of Dr. Robert Burke who passed on January 1, 2018 at the age of 68.

Dr. Burke was an outstanding clinical-scientist of the Department of Neurology and Pathology & Cell Biology at Columbia, highly recognized for his work in the molecular basis of neuronal programmed cell death in dopamine neurons and the neurobiology of their axons.

In his honor, the Department of Neurology and his wife, Dr. Sharon Wardlaw, established this lecture to stimulate studies on the cause and pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders of the aging-brain.

Dr. Burke graduated from Dartmouth College in 1971 and obtained his MD from Cornell University Medical School in 1975. He received training in Neurology and Clinical Movement Disorders at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and was subsequently appointed to the faculty where he spent his entire professional career. He was the Alfred & Minnie Bressler Professor of Neurology and Pathology & Cell Biology. He served as Director of the Laboratories for Research in Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders and led the NIH supported Morris K. Udall Research Center. He had expertise in clinical movement disorders and the neurobiology of Parkinson’s Disease and contributed to the training of many students, residents and fellows. He held leadership positions in the American Academy of Neurology, the Movement Disorder Society and the World Parkinson Congress. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was the recipient of awards from the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.


2022 Robert E. Burke Memorial Lecture

Molecular Approaches to Tackle Parkinson’s Disease

Ted M. Dawson, MD, PhD
Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Director, Institute for Cell Engineering
Professor, Departments of Neurology, Neuroscience and Pharmacology & Molecular Sciences
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Photo of Dr. Ted Dawson

Dr. Dawson is Professor of Neurology, Director of the Institute for Cell Engineering, and the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the Johns Hopkins University.  He graduated with a BS from Montana State University and received his MD degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine and his PhD from Utah State University.  He completed an internship in internal medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine, a residency in neurology at the University of Pennsylvania and fellowships in movement disorders and molecular neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University.

The Dawson lab studies molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration of Parkinson’s disease, nitric oxide signaling and neuronal cell death and neuroprotective and neurorestorative strategies in neurodegenerative diseases, stroke and trauma.  The Dawson lab is studying the genetic basis of Parkinson’s disease by investigating the mechanisms by which mutations in familial-linked genes cause PD, with hopes of identifying potential therapeutic targets for developing PD treatments. Current projects include the study of alpha-synuclein, LRRK2, parkin and PINK1.

Dr. Dawson has published numerous scholarly articles and has served on the editorial boards of Cell and the Journal of Clinical Investigation and on the scientific advisory board of CurePSP.  His many honors include elected membership in the National Academy of Medicine, elected fellowship in the National Academy of Inventors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the NINDS, the Jay Van Andel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Parkinson’s Disease Research, the Research and Education Lifetime Achievement Award from GASND, and a Distinguished Professorship at Xiangya Hospital.