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Louis Caplan

Louis R. Caplan MD

Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Senior Neurologist; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts

I was born in Baltimore, Maryland December 31, 1936. After graduating from the A course at Baltimore City College High School, I attended Williams College in Williamstown Massachusetts, was elected as a college junior to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated cum laude  in 1958.  Although I was a pre-med student I majored in history and was the recipient of the Williams College history prize. I attended the University of Maryland  Medical School and graduated in 1962 summa cum laude  and was the valedictorian of my medical school class.                                        

I was an intern and junior resident in Medicine at the Boston City Hospital from 1962 to 1964 . During this time, I decided to become a Neurologist. I had been stimulated by neuroanatomy professors  (Drs Nauta and  Kuypers)  in medical school, but it was contact with Dr Derek Denny-Brown the chief of Neurology at Harvard and the Boston City Hospital Harvard Neurological Unit that cemented my choice to become a Neurologist. At that time there weren’t many Neurologists and advisers told me that surely I would also have to practice Psychiatry to earn a living.                         

During 1962-4, I  served in the US Army as an internist but worked in the neurology clinic. I  returned to Boston and did my Neurology residency from 1966 to 1969 on the Harvard Neurological Unit at the Boston City Hospital under Dr Denny-Brown. My background in internal medicine and Neurology and the complexities of cerebrovascular disease led me to decide that stroke was to be my major life’s work. During the 1969-1970 year I was a Cerebrovascular Disease Fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital with Dr. C. Miller Fisher, In July 1970, I became a staff Neurologist at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and  Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr Jay P Mohr and I founded the Harvard Cooperative Stroke Registry and reported the results in 1978.                                                                         

In 1978, I moved to Chicago to become Neurologist-in-chief at the Michael Reese Hospital  and Professor of Neurology at the University of Chicago. I returned to Boston in 1984 to become Neurologist-in-chief at the New England Medical Center and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology and Professor of Medicine at Tufts. In 1998, I returned to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. I am now Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Senior Neurologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.   

I continue to enjoy most consulting on and caring for complex neurological patients. I also love to teach and to write. I learn something new almost every day. I am a diplomat of both the American Board of Internal Medicine (and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians) and of the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. I have been the author or editor of 44 books, mostly on various aspects of stroke and over 700 articles and chapters in medical journals and books. I have been the Chairman of the Stroke Council of the American Heart Association and chair of a number of Neurological and Stroke organizations including the Boston and Chicago Neurological Societies. I am an honorary member of the German, Australian, and Hong Kong Neurological Societies and the Korean Stroke Society. I am or have been on the editorial board of 30 different medical journals. I have delivered 42 named lectureships including the 2000 Thomas Willis lecture for the American Heart Association, the Houston Merritt lecture in 2009 for the American Academy of Neurology, and the Johan Jakob Wepfer lecture for the European Stroke organization in 2012. I have trained 70 stroke fellows, including 32 international fellows.    

I live in Brookline, Massachusetts with my wife Brenda. My six children and 13 grandchildren are scattered about the country and the world (Barcelona, San Francisco, New York, Baltimore, and Boston). My wife and I travel often. I love to play tennis at the Longwood Cricket Club, read avidly, and am a loyal New England Patriot and Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins fan.