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Leadership

Ali Rezai, MD

Executive Chair, Vice President of Neuroscience
Associate Dean, John D. Rockefeller IV tenured professor in neuroscience, West Virginia School of Medicine

Dr. Rezai earned his medical degree with honors from the University of Southern California and underwent neurosurgical training at New York University. He completed his subspecialty training in functional neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. He then joined the neurosurgical faculty at New York University Medical Center, becoming the director of the Center for Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery until January 2000, when he joined the faculty at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Rezai was the director of the Center for Neurological Restoration, as well as the Jane and Lee Seidman Chair in Functional Neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic until August 2009, when he joined the faculty at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where he served as associated dean of Neuroscience and the director and CEO of the OSU Neurological Institute.

A board-certified neurosurgeon, Dr. Rezai’s clinical areas of expertise are the neurosurgical management of patients with Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, chronic pain, brain and spinal cord injuries, spasticity, as well as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Dr. Rezai was named one of the best doctors in America in Castle and Connolly’s Guide to America’s Top Doctors from 2001-2017.

Dr. Rezai has published more than 175 peer-reviewed articles and 40 book chapters. He serves on the editorial board of five scientific journals and has edited a book on surgery for psychiatric disorders and the two-volume textbook, Neuromodulation. In addition, Dr. Rezai has been the principal investigator (PI) and co-investigator on eight NIH grants as well as being the PI of the state of Ohio’s Neurotechnology Innovations Translator Center. Dr. Rezai has trained over 40 fellows, delivered more than 500 lectures, and chaired numerous symposia and meetings. Dr. Rezai has also presented his work to the President of the United States as well as to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Capitol Hill. He is the past president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the largest neurosurgical society in the world, as well as the past president of the North American Neuromodulation Society, and the American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery.

Dr. Rezai’s research focuses on the neural circuitry, neurological sensors and monitors, and the development of surgical tools and new therapeutic strategies for neurological disorders. He has been involved in developing brain pacemaker innovations for treating Parkinson’s, depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, and obesity. He is also developing sensors and monitors for autism, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s, as well as the use of micro implants to treat migraine headaches, asthma, chronic pain, and anxiety disorders.

He is the recipient of the Bottrell Neurosurgical Award, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Clinical Fellowship Award, and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons William Sweet Investigator Award. He has also received several innovation awards. He also holds 50 U.S. patents for medical devices and technologies.

Dr. Rezai’s work has been in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, MIT’s Technology Review magazine, Newsweek, Time, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Reader’s Digest, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune. He has appeared on numerous local and national radio and television broadcasts including CBS’s 60 Minutes, The Charlie Rose Show, Prime Time, The Diane Rehm Show, CNN, NPR, PBS, the BBC, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, and The Discovery Channel.

Randy Nelson, PhD

Director of Basic Science Research

 Neuroscientist Randy Nelson, PhD, holds the Hazel Ruby McQuain Chair for Neurological Research in the WVU School of Medicine and is the director of basic science research in the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, as well as across the University. He also leads the Neuroscience PhD Program, one of the seven biomedical science PhD programs at the WVU Health Sciences Center, and serves as a professor in the WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry.

Dr. Nelson earned a PhD in psychology and a PhD in endocrinology from the University of California Berkeley. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Austin.

He came to WVU from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where he was professor and chair of the Department of Neuroscience. He held the Dr. John D. and E. Olive Brumbaugh Chair in Brain Research and Teaching and had a joint appointment as professor of psychology. Nelson was basic science director of the Neuroscience Research Institute, where he oversaw the research efforts of more than 280 neuroscientists at Ohio State. He also directed the Chronic Brain Injuries Discovery Theme as the faculty lead and co-directed the Neuroscience Graduate program prior to becoming the chair.

Nelson served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University from 1986-2001, when he moved to Ohio State. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and 11 books, including “Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology,” an internationally recognized textbook. Nelson was instrumental in developing the undergraduate program in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins, as well as an undergraduate major and minor in neuroscience at Ohio State. He has received numerous national honors and awards, including the 2017 Award for Education in Neuroscience by the Society for Neuroscience.

Scott Galster, PhD

Director of Human Performance

 Scott Galster, PhD, is a psychologist who serves as the director of human performance. He joined the WVU faculty in 2017 as a tenured professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the WVU School of Medicine. His work focuses on all aspects of human performance research, including physical, cognitive, behavioral, biomarker, physiological, environmental, and social measures used to assess an individual’s or team’s functional state. He earned a PhD in applied experimental psychology from The Catholic University of America.

Dr. Galster came to WVU from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, where he led research and collaboration programs on human performance and was the Senior International Focal Point for the 711 Human Performance Wing.

Prior to that he served as AFRL’s Applied Neuroscience Branch Chief, leading a team of 80-plus civilian, military, and contractor personnel focused on providing neuroscience-based solutions, augmentations, and capabilities to U.S. Airmen. He developed the Sense-Assess-Augment framework that is being used throughout the world to focus research efforts on applied problem spaces. He also is responsible for the co-development of Divergent Collaboration with the Wright Brothers Institute, featured in “Harvard Business Review,” and the “stitching” approach used within the Small Business Office at the Air Force to create large programs out of smaller efforts.

John V. Campo, MD

Assistant Dean of Behavioral Health and Wellness, Chief Behavioral Wellness Officer

Board certified in pediatrics, psychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry, Dr. Campo has been consistently recognized among America’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America. His scholarly work focuses on mental health services, including the delivery of mental health services in general medical settings, the study and prevention of suicide, and the relationship between physical and emotional health.

Mark R. Lee, MD, PhD

Chair, Department of Neurosurgery

Dr. Lee joins the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute from the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, Austin, where he specializes in conditions such as epilepsy, Chiari malformation, brain and spinal cord tumors, hydrocephalus, spasticity and spina bifida. He previously served as the Allen Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta. Dr. Lee’s efforts and leadership in pediatric neurosurgery and epilepsy have resulted in the development of one of the largest pediatric epilepsy surgery programs in the country, and the use of many innovations and new technologies such as robotics and stereotactic laser thermal ablation.

Dr. Lee is included, annually, in the prestigious listings of Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Doctors. He is board-certified in neurosurgery and pediatric neurosurgery. He obtained his medical degree and doctorate degree in neurobiology at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, completed residency training and a pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at New York University, as well as an epilepsy surgery fellowship at Medical College of Georgia. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business.

Dr. Lee is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Council of Neurological Societies Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery, American Epilepsy Society, American Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, American College of Surgeons and the Society of Neurological Surgeons. He has published nearly 200 papers and book chapters, and he served four years of active duty as a Major in the United States Army.

Robert Marsh, MD, PhD

Interim Chair, Neurosurgery

Robert Marsh, MD, PhD, FAANS, is a board-certified neurological surgeon who serves as interim chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and section chief of Neurotrauma. He joined the WVU faculty in 2016 as an assistant professor of neurosurgery and has been an active clinician, educator, and researcher. His clinical work focuses on patients with neurological trauma and spinal injuries. He has also been active in clinical research focused on new treatment options for patients with brain and spinal cord trauma.

Dr. Marsh earned a PhD in biomedical science with an emphasis in neuroscience from Kent State University in conjunction with Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and a medical degree from the University of Toledo College of Medicine. He completed a residency in neurosurgery and a fellowship in headache medicine at the University of North Carolina.

In previous roles, Marsh served as a neurosurgeon for the United States Army at San Antonio Military Medical center and as assistant professor, department of neuroscience section chief, and neurosurgical trauma section chief at Marshall University. Marsh is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the American Board of Neurological Surgeons.

Marc Haut, PhD

Chair, Department of Behavior Medicine and Psychiatry

Marc W. Haut, PhD, ABPP, is a board-certified, clinical neuropsychologist who serves as professor and chair of WVU’s Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry. He joined the WVU faculty in 1989 as an assistant professor and has been an active clinician, educator and researcher. In previous roles, he directed neuropsychology training and services and headed the psychology section.

In his current role he has focused on expanding clinical psychiatric and behavioral health services to underserved areas of the state through Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) programs and telepsychiatry. In addition, he is dedicated to expanding clinical services to address the current opioid epidemic. WVU is utilizing grant funding and collaborations throughout the state to expand Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) through the use of ECHO and a hub and spoke model. Additionally, he has been building the research infrastructure of the department to support development of novel treatment programs to improve outcome for addiction and other mental health services. He is working with Dr. Ali Rezai and others at the RNI to expanding the role of neuromodulation in the treatment of psychiatric disease, including addiction.

 

David Watson, MD

Chair, Department of Neurology

David Watson, MD, is a board-certified clinical headache specialist who serves as chair of the Department of Neurology and director of the WVU Headache Center. He joined the WVU faculty in 2008 as assistant professor of neurology and has been an active clinician, educator, and researcher. His clinical work focuses on patients with headache disorders, including migraine and cluster, as well as access to clinical care in underserved populations. He has also been active in clinical research focused on new treatment options for headache patients.

Dr. Watson earned his medical degree from the WVU School of Medicine and completed a residency in neurology and a fellowship in headache medicine at the University of North Carolina. In previous roles, he served as an assistant professor of neurology at the University Headache Center at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a clinical instructor in neurology at the University of North Carolina.

Watson is a member of the Government Relations Committee of the American Academy of Neurology and formerly served as the chair of the Grassroots Working Group. He founded and chairs Runnin’ For Research, a charitable organization dedicated to headache and migraine disorders research. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Palatucci Advocate of the Year award in 2017 by the American Academy of Neurology.

 

Amy Bush, RN, BSN, MBA, CNOR

System Vice President, Clinical Operations

 

Karyn Wallace, MBA, CNMT, PET

Assistant Vice President of Neuroscience and Radiology

 

Rhonda Campo, MBA

Associate Vice President of Strategic Development, Commercialization, and Innovation

 

Dr. Ali Rezai, executive chair of the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, lays out his bold, new vision for neuroscience at WVU. Joining Dr. Rezai are WVU President Gorden Gee, Albert Wright, president and chief executive officer of the West Virginia University Health System, and Clay Marsh, MD, vice president and executive dean for Health Science at WVU.

Research drives patient care at any large academic medical center. As stroke treatment has dramatically evolved in the past decade, WVU Medicine’s neurointerventionists have emerged as national leaders in their relatively new field. Here, Ansaar Rai, MD, WVU Medicine Radiology vice chair of clinical operations, discusses the past and present of stroke treatment.

Neurosurgeons treat their patients through the use of a delicate, targeted procedure; the best neurosurgeons are skilled at several. WVU Medicine neurosurgeon Robert A. Marsh, MD, PhD, says his best approach is unique to each patient, and considers wishes as well as needs.

WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute