Roy H. Hamilton, MD, MS, Elected to the McKnight Brain Research Foundation Board of Trustees

Valerie PatmintraBrain Health, Cognitive Aging, News

Trustee Roy Hamilton, MD headshot

The McKnight Brain Research Foundation (MBRF) recently elected Dr. Roy H. Hamilton, a Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, to its Board of Trustees. Dr. Hamilton serves as Director of the Penn Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation and Director of the Penn Brain Science, Translation, Innovation and Modulation Center. The Center brings together neuromodulation specialists to develop novel brain stimulation approaches that revitalize and enhance the plasticity and performance of the human brain throughout the lifespan.

A clinically trained behavioral neurologist and cognitive neuroscientist, Dr. Hamilton has dedicated his career to exploring the structure-function relationships that underpin complex human behaviors. Dr. Hamilton has been engaged in research in the field of brain stimulation for 25 years and has employed non-invasive neuromodulation in a range of studies to explore cognitive control, visuospatial processing, language production, semantic memory and creativity. 

“Dr. Hamilton is a well-regarded leader in the field of behavioral neurology and we are thrilled to welcome him to our Board of Trustees. His research and commitment to enhancing human brain performance throughout the lifespan align perfectly with the Foundation’s mission to uncover new research and better understand how to prevent cognitive decline and memory loss associated with the aging process.”

Michael L. Dockery, MD, Chair of the McKnight Brain Research Foundation.

With cognitive changes due to the normal aging process affecting nearly 87 percent of people age 65 and older, the McKnight Brain Research Foundation is the nation’s only private foundation dedicated exclusively to solving the mysteries of the aging brain and helping people achieve a lifetime of cognitive health. The Foundation supports research focused specifically on cognitive aging, age-related cognitive decline and memory loss.

“Our world is aging. Between 2020 and 2060, the number of people aged 65 and older is projected to increase by nearly 70 percent and the number of persons aged 85 and older will nearly triple in the U.S. To meet the challenges of this demographic shift, it is more important than ever for researchers to make scientific advancements enabling people to enjoy robust health, especially cognitive health, later in life. I share the McKnight Brain Research Foundation’s commitment to helping people preserve their brain health and remain independent later in life and look forward to contributing my knowledge, conviction, and experience to help advance the MBRF’s important work.”

Roy H. Hamilton, MD, MS, McKnight Brain Research Foundation Trustee

As an advocate for diversity and inclusion in science and medicine, Dr. Hamilton is the inaugural Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion for the University of Pennsylvania Department of Neurology and served as Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion for the Perelman School of Medicine for the past 10 years.

Dr. Hamilton’s work has been consistently supported by a wide range of funding agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, American Academy of Neurology, Society of Neuroscience, Association for Frontotemporal Dementia, and Templeton Foundation. 

Dr. Hamilton has also received numerous awards throughout his career, including the American Academy of Neurology’s Norman Geschwind Award for Excellence in Behavioral Neurology Research (2014), the Leonard Berwick Memorial Teaching Award from the University of Pennsylvania (2015), the Center of Excellence Minority Faculty Scholar Award from the University of Pennsylvania Center of Excellence for Diversity in Health Education and Research (2016), and the American Academy of Neurology Change Maker Award (2023). Dr. Hamilton was named one of Cell Mentor’s 1,000 Inspiring Black Scientists in 2020 and inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society in 2023. 

Dr. Hamilton joins the MBRF’s current Board of Trustees, including Dr. Patricia A. Boyle, Dr. John E. Brady, Sharon Brangman, Dr. Allison Brashear, Dr. J. Lee Dockery, Dr. Michael L. Dockery, Chair, 
Dr. Susan L. Pekarske, Dr. Madhav Thambisetty, Vice Chair, and Melanie Cianciotto, Corporate Trustee, in working to improve quality of life for the public by alleviating age-related memory loss.

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