Susan Morgello, MD
Professor of Neurology, Pathology, and Neuroscience, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
Selected to present the 2015 Women in Neuroscience Lectureship
By Dionna W. Williams and Joan W. Berman
Dr. Susan Morgello is the recipient of the 2015 Women in Neuroscience Lectureship Award. A true leader in the field of neurovirology, Dr. Morgello has contributed extensively to our knowledge of the nervous system abnormalities associated with HIV infection, both in the clinical as well as basic research setting. She is passionate about mentoring women and underrepresented minorities, and has worked effortlessly for this cause. As both an extraordinary scientist and clinician with diverse interests, Susan contributes immensely to our understanding of neuropathogenic mechanisms not only by her outstanding and cutting edge research, but also by her immense support for other investigators.
A second-generation diagnostic neuropathologist, Dr. Morgello specializes in disorders of the nervous system, following in the footsteps of her mother. However, she had her own unique path into medicine, and participated in theater and performing arts prior to pursuing her undergraduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her interests for the arts persisted, and Susan took time off from medical school to join the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Theater. Realizing that her passions truly were in medicine, she received her MD from Duke University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology as well as in her subspecialty of Neuropathology at Cornell University Medical Center, and remained there as a junior faculty member. She was then recruited to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where she is currently a tenured Professor in the Departments of Neurology, Pathology, and Neuroscience.
Dr. Morgello is the Principal Investigator of the Manhattan HIV Brain Bank (MHBB), a large, multidisciplinary cohort study and research resource that examines the neurologic, neuropsychologic, psychiatric, neuropathologic, and general medicine abnormalities in HIV. With the largest, multidisciplinary NeuroAIDS cohort in New York City, Dr. Morgello leads a highly interdisciplinary and committed group of clinicians, basic scientists, clinical neuropsychologists, psychometrists, and nurses that together conduct longitudinal, observational studies of her patients. Through her research programs, Dr. Morgello has published over 200 research articles in top journals and has vast expertise in the neurology of HIV and comorbid Hepatitis C, substance abuse, and major depressive disorders that have greatly shaped the arena of neuroAIDS research. She is a proponent for the development of culturally sensitive neuropsychologic assessments and methodologies to diagnose more effectively this unique, multicultural patient population.
Through the MHBB and her roles as co-investigator of the CNS HIV Anti-Retroviral Therapy Effects Research and the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Center, Dr. Morgello provides invaluable samples from HIV infected individuals – resources that are freely available to scientists from many backgrounds and have been critical in bridging basic HIV research with translational studies. Equally important relative to her other responsibilities, Susan is also deeply committed to the mentorship and training of the next generation of new investigators. She leads an NIMH funded Mount Sinai Institute for neuroAIDS Disparities program to provide multidisciplinary education to young scientists interested in pursuing neuroAIDS research. Susan is passionate about helping her trainees achieve their academic goals and has served as the mentor on numerous Career Development Awards that resulted in the successful acquisition of independent faculty positions for her mentees. In these efforts, Susan is a champion for women and those from underrepresented groups, and has been recognized for this with awards from the American Medical Women’s Association and the Women’s Medical Association of the City of New York.
Dr. Morgello’s dedication to patients, the sophistication of her research, and her numerous collaborations and research resources make her a truly “Outstanding Woman in Neuroscience.” Susan’s dedication to mentoring early career investigators as well as her vibrant, caring personality truly set her apart not only as a phenomenal scientist, but also as an amazing person. We are delighted and honored to recognize all of her accomplishments by awarding her the Women in Neuroscience Lectureship.