Lawrence Wechsler, MD, is Chair for the Department of Neurology. As Henry B. Higman Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery, Dr. Wechsler is also Vice President for Telemedicine for UPMC and has been very active in the treatment of stroke and its debilitating effects. He was among the first doctors to report on the direct intra-arterial injection of urokinase to dissolve blood clots in brains of people suffering stroke. He is past editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neuroimaging, of one of the leading texts on transcranial doppler ultrasound, a method that uses a microprocessor-controlled adjustable probe that records blood flow in intracranial arteries.
Dr. Wechsler has served as local principal investigator for national and international clinical trials testing new treatments for acute stroke. He also serves on advisory and steering committees for several large multicenter trials of acute stroke therapy.
Dr. Wechsler and Douglas Kondziolka, MD, Peter J. Jannetta Professor with the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery, pioneered studies of implantation of LBS-Neurons within a stroke patient's brain to restore nerve function.
Dr. Wechsler earned his bachelor's degree in biology from Harvard College and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at UPMC Presbyterian and residency in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he also completed a fellowship in cerebrovascular disease.
Dr. Wechsler holds memberships in several organizations, including the American Neurological Association, the American Academy of Neurology, and the American Society of Neuroimaging. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is board certified in vascular neurology.
He has authored or co-authored many papers and chapters on stroke and stroke treatment.
There are three vice chairs in the Department of Neurology:
- J. Timothy Greenamyre, MD, PhD is Professor of Neurology and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs. In this role he is responsible for the development of academic faculty, teaching and research. Dr. Greenamyre also serves as UPMC Endowed Chair & Chief of Movement Disorders, and Director of the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (PIND) and the American Parkinson Disease Association Advanced Center for Parkinson’s Disease Research at the University of Pittsburgh.
- Steven H. Graham, MD, PhD, is Vice Chair for Research. He directs the operations of the Research Division. Chief among his responsibilities is recruiting world-quality researchers to an expanding basic science program. Dr. Graham is an accomplished researcher in neuronal cell death following ischemic injury. He is Associate Chief of Staff for Research for the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System and directs the Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center.
- Paula Clemens, MD, is Associate Professor of Neurology and Vice Chair for Veterans Affairs. She is Chief of the Neurology Service at the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System, responsible for clinical care and teaching at the VA. She is also an accomplished researcher in clinical and basic studies of treatments for disorders of skeletal muscle.
Additional leadership is provided by the Executive Committee, consisting of the department chair, vice chairs, division chiefs, department administrator Patrick Conway and Leslie Dunn, academic administrator.