image of Gerald FischbachGerald D. Fischbach, M.D., assumed the position of Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health on July 15, 1998. He has been the Nathan Marsh Pusey Professor of Neurobiology and Chairman of the Neurobiology Departments of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital since June of 1990. He previously served for ten years as Edison Professor of Neurobiology and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Fischbach received his M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical School in New York and interned at the University of Washington Hospital in Seattle, Washington. Throughout his career, Dr. Fischbach has studied the formation and maintenance of synapses, the junctions between nerve cells and their targets through which information is transferred. His current focus is on trophic factors that influence synapse efficacy and nerve cell survival. He is a past-President of the Society for Neuroscience and he now serves on several medical and scientific advisory boards. He is a member of the National of Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, and he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a non-resident Fellow of the Salk Institute.