Dr. Wise Young, founding director of the W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience and a professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is recognized as one of the world's outstanding and compassionate neuroscientists. He obtained a bachelor of arts degree from Reed College, a doctorate from the University of Iowa and a medical degree from Stanford University. After a surgery internship at New York University and Bellevue Medical Center, he joined the neurosurgery department at NYU. In 1984, he became director of neurosurgery research. In 1997, as part of Rutgers' commitment to the future, Dr. Young was recruited to establish and direct a world-class center for collaborative neuroscience.
Dr. Young was part of the team that discovered and established high-dose methylprednisolone (MP) as the first effective therapy for spinal cord injuries. This 1990 work upended concepts that spinal cord injuries were permanent, refocused research, and opened new vistas of hope. This team also played a major role in Andy Blight's signal work on 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), which shows significant promise for increasing nerve conductivity.
Dr. Young developed the first standardized rat spinal cord injury model used worldwide for testing therapies, formed the first consortium funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to test promising therapies, and helped establish several widely accepted clinical outcome measures in spinal cord injury research.
Dr. Young founded and served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neurotrauma. He organized the National and International Neurotrauma Societies as forums for scientists to share discoveries and collaborate on spinal cord injury and brain research. He serves or has served on advisory committees for the NIH, the National Academy of Sciences, and NICHD, and has served on advisory boards for many spinal cord injury organizations.
Well-known as a leader in spinal cord injury research, Dr. Young has appeared on "20/20" with Barbara Walters and Christopher Reeve, "48 Hours," "Today," "Eye-to-Eye," Fox News and CNN's news magazine with Jeff Greenfield. His work has been featured in a Life magazine special edition, in USA Today, and in innumerable other news, talk and print presentations throughout the world. His honors include the NIH Jacob Javits Neuroscience Award (1985-1992), Wakeman Award (1991), Tall Texan of the Year Award (1997), the "Cure" Award (1998), the Trustees Award for Excellence in Research (2001), the 2002 Asian American Achievement Award, and the Douglass Medal in 2003 for his work with the advancement of young women in the sciences. In August 2001, TIME Magazine named Dr. Young as ‘America’s Best’ in the field of spinal cord injury research.
Dr. Young recently concluded clinical trials for people with chronic complete spinal cord injuries using umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (UCBMC) injected into the spinal cord. Coupled with intense physical therapy, 75% of the participants walked with minimal assistance and 60% recovered bowel and bladder function. He has applied to the United States FDA to begin clinical trials in the U.S. in Fall of 2017. He also will be conducting trials in India in 2017 and in Taiwan, China, and Europe in 2018.