Gerald D. Fischbach, M.D.
Dr. Fischbach is the Scientific Director of The Simons Foundation, where he oversees the Autism Initiative focused on the advancement of Autism research. He previously served as Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences at Columbia University and was the former Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the N.I.H., where he served from 1998-2001. He was the Nathan Marsh Pusey Professor of Neurobiology and Chairman of the Neurobiology Departments of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital from 1990 to 1998. During 1981 to 1990, he was the Edison Professor of Neurobiology and Head of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Washington University School of Medicine. Throughout his career, Dr. Fischbach has studied the formation and maintenance of synapses. He pioneered the use of nerve cell cultures to study the electrophysiology, morphology and biochemistry of developing nerve-muscle and inter-neuronal synapses. Dr. Fischbach is a past President of the Society of Neuroscience, as well as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. He received an M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical School.