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Haer Family Symposium: John Gale

Part of the Haer Family Symposium: Neuroscience Lecture Series

Presenter: John Gale, Ph.D. of Biomedical Sciences

  • Assistant Staff, Department of Neuroscience and Center for Neurological Restoration
  • Assistant Professor, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University

Presentation: Examining Physiology and Function During Deep Brain Stimulation Surgeries

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has demonstrated to provide significant therapeutic benefit for individuals suffering from movement disorder diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia, and is currently under investigation for the treatment of a wide-variety of additional neurological and psychiatric disorders. In addition to the value that it provides to these patient, DBS has provided a unique window opportunity to study and interrogate the function of the brain. In this session we will review the historical development of DBS, discuss the studies that have been conducted to understand brain function and conclude with the direction of its therapeutic use as well as how DBS will continue to be a means for investigating the brain functions that guide human behavior.

About the Haer Family Symposium: Neuroscience Lecture Series

This year’s symposium takes as its inspiration the lives of Thiel alums Fred and Jill Haer, whose various companies have advanced neuroscientific research and helped to develop new neurological and psychiatric therapies. And, true to the college’s missions, the Haers have created opportunities for Thiel College students to grow as learners and citizens.

About the Presenter, Dr. John Gale

Dr. Gale is an internationally recognized scientist studying how the brain functions. His work deals with issues uniquely important to humans, such as motivation, drug addiction, and memory. Already, his work has demonstrated the importance of looking at the brain as an electrical device.

Dr. Gale received his Bachelors degree in Science from McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) in 1992. He then began working in the Department of Research and Development at Neville Chemical Company, a specialty hydrocarbon-polymer facility located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Gale left the chemical industry in 1998 for a research technician position in the Department of Neurology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF). His position at the CCF led him to pursue his doctorate degree in biomedical sciences in a joint program between Kent State University and the Cleveland Clinic. With Erwin B. Montgomery Jr. MD serving as his advisor, Dr. Gale obtained his doctorate upon completing his dissertation, which focused on neuronal activities in the basal-ganglia–cortical-thalamic network (an area of the brain involved in Parkinson’s disease) and mechanisms of deep brain stimulation. Following postdoctoral fellowships at Georgetown University and Harvard Medical School, he was appointed Instructor at Harvard Medical School with a joint appointment as Research Scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Department of Neurosurgery. Dr. Gale continues his investigations into the function of the basal-ganglia–cortical-thalamic network and mechanisms of action of deep brain stimulation. This work includes human neurophysiology and the development of novel brain stimulation technologies.


Julie Graubard