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Jean-Claude Baron

Jean-Claude Baron MD, ScD, FMedSci

Director of Research and Deputy-Director of the Inserm/Paris Descartes University Research Centre for Psychiatry and Neuroscience and honorary neurology consultant at Sainte-Anne Hospital in Paris, France

Jean-Claude Baron, MD (Paris), ScD (Cambridge), FMedSci (UK), trained in Clinical Neurology at the Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, then in functional brain imaging at Harvard University, Boston, USA, and finally in Medical Physics at the Atomic Energy Commission, Orsay, France. In 1986 he was appointed Director of Research at INSERM; in 1988 Director of INSERM Unit 320 and Scientific Director of the CYCERON Neuroscience Centre at Caen University, France; and in 2000 Professor of Stroke Medicine and Honorary Neurology consultant at Cambridge University and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK. In late 2010, he returned to Paris as Director of Research and Deputy-Director of the Inserm/Paris Descartes University Research Centre for Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and honorary neurology consultant at Sainte-Anne Hospital – while still managing his group at Cambridge until early 2014. Professor Baron is a pioneer in the applications of positron emission tomography (PET) in cerebrovascular diseases, and has used this technique, along with other imaging methods including CT, MR and SPECT to study the pathophysiology of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) and acute ischemic stroke and the mechanisms underlying post-stroke recovery, both in patients and in animal models. His main contributions include the demonstration of the existence of the ischemic penumbra in man and of the key role of hemodynamic compromise in carotid-territory TIAs, and the discovery of crossed cerebellar diaschisis and thalamo-cortical diaschisis. He also documented the existence of distinct brain perfusion/metabolism patterns in acute ischemic stroke, and that extensive penumbra is present, and could be salvaged, until 16hrs after stroke onset in some patients, advocating the use of imaging rather than elapsed time to guide individualised treatment. Recently he has worked on selective neuronal loss both in animals and patients, showing this little-studied phenomenon is a common post-stroke sequelae that may have behavioral implications, and on early neurological deterioration occurring within 24hrs of intravenous thrombolysis, showing it is relatively common, consistently predicts poor outcome, can be predicted by persistence of proximal occlusion, and reflects local extension of the originally occluding thrombus, opening up new avenues for preventative and curative interventions. He has also made significant contributions in the field of cerebral amyloid angiopathy, as well as in neurodegenerative disorders, notably regarding the pathophysiology of cortical dysfunction and the mechanisms of cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. In 2005 he was the first awardee of the Johannes Wepfer award of the European Stroke Conference, and in 2014 won the French Academy of Sciences Mémain-Pelletier award for Biomedical Sciences. He has published around 400 peer-reviewed articles which have been cited over 26,000 times to date (Web of Science h-index: 87).