TIME magazine has named Ann McKee, MD, Chief of Neuropathology, VA Boston Healthcare System, and Director of the BU CTE Center, to its first annual list of the 50 Most Influential People in Health Care of 2018.
Dr. McKee’s research focuses on the long-term effects of concussion, subconcussion and blast injury in contact sports athletes and military veterans, including Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Her work has shifted the prevailing paradigm of scientific thought regarding head trauma; she has demonstrated that “mild” head trauma, particularly repetitive mild head trauma, is not just an acute injury – it can provoke a persistent and progressive neurodegeneration, CTE, that continues long after the traumatic exposure. Dr. McKee has published more than 70 percent of the world’s cases of CTE ever reported and created the Veterans Affairs – Boston University – Concussion Legacy Foundation (VA-BU-CLF) brain bank, the world’s largest repository of brains from individuals exposed to traumatic brain injuries (more than 550) and neuropathologically confirmed CTE (more than 320).
A board-certified neurologist and neuropathologist, McKee publishes widely on many neurodegenerative diseases and has provided expert testimony on Capitol Hill. The Boston Globe recently named her Bostonian of the Year. Earlier this year, McKee was named to TIME magazine’s annual List of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. She also received the 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference Lifetime Achievement Award and was most recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. McKee completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin and received her medical degree from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in neurology at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and in neuropathology at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was assistant professor of neuropathology at Harvard Medical School until 1993 and is currently professor of neurology and pathology at Boston University School of Medicine. She also is director of the Neuropathology Core and associate director for the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center (BUADC). McKee also directs the brain banks for the BUADC, Framingham Heart Study and Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium, which are all based at VA Boston.
The list—curated by TIME’s health reporters and editors—recognizes 50 people who changed the state of health care in America this year, and bear watching for what they do next.