Donald G . Stein : Pioneer in the Areas of Neuroplasticity and Recovery of Function

Gary L Dunbar


At Clark, Stein gained notoriety as a strong proponent of neuronal plasticity and for his work on the serial lesion effect which directly challenged the doctrine of localization of function. In 1988, Stein became vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School at Rutgers University, Newark and adjunct professor of neurology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. In 1995, Stein became the vice provost for graduate studies, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and interim vice president for research at Emory University for five years, before returning to full-time teaching and research. His recent work on the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of progesterone on the injured brain had its origins in his work on the role of sex differences on recovery of function that he started at Clark University. Stein vigorously pursued this line of research at Rutgers and Emory. His groundbreaking work on the efficacy of progesterone therapy following brain injury has been translated into clinical trials. Meanwhile, his most recent laboratory work has focused on the use of progesterone as therapy in rodent models of stroke. Stein has authored more than 400 articles, book chapters, reviews, and papers and has co-authored or edited 16 books on recovery of function after brain injury. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious honors and awards. He was most recently honored with a Festschrift at the Association for Psychological Science annual meeting in San Francisco for his pioneering work in neuroplasticity and recovery of function. Although primarily known for his research, Stein has excelled as an outstanding teacher, educator, and mentor during his long and distinguished career. In this interview, he offers some useful insights into how his research has enriched his teaching and mentoring and offers some helpful advice for undergraduate neuroscience educators.

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