Ann McKee, MD, Chief of Neuropathology for VA Boston Healthcare System and Director of the BU CTE Center, has been named a 2019 Service to America Medalist and received the Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement Medal from the Partnership for Public Service.
Named after the Partnership for Public Service’s late founder who was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s call to serve in 1963, the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals recognize dedicated civil servants who have made important contributions to the health, safety and prosperity of our country. Since its inception in 2002, the program has honored more than 500 outstanding federal employees who have made a difference and improved the lives of Americans and others around the world.
Dr. McKee, the William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor of neurology and pathology at BU, was one of six award winners chosen from more than 300 nominations submitted to the Partnership. The medalists were chosen by a selection committee that included leaders from government, business, foundations, academia, entertainment and the media.
This year, the Partnership renamed its Career Achievement Medal to honor Paul Volcker, a public servant who completed two terms as Federal Reserve chairman and headed two nonpartisan Commissions on the Public Service that recommended sweeping federal government reforms.
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 80 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 780) and neuropathologically confirmed CTE (more than 400).
Dr. McKee is a board-certified neurologist and neuropathologist who publishes widely on many neurodegenerative diseases. She has provided expert testimony to Congress and the Senate. She is a recipient of the Moore Award from the American Association of Neuropathologists; Ethos Award, Santa Clara University; Spivack Distinguished Scholar in the Neurosciences, BUSM; Vision Award, Associated Industries of Massachusetts; Neurology Faculty Research Award, BUSM; and the Scientific Impact Award from the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and named Bostonian of the Year in 2017 by The Boston Globe and to 2017 TIME 100, TIME magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
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.
The naming of the Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement award was made possible through the generous support of Ray and Barbara Dalio and The Volcker Alliance—a nonpartisan organization that advances effective management of government to achieve results that matter to citizens.