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Emeritus Professor Marc Dichter, MD, PhD 

Dr. Marc Dichter, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Neurology and Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is the former Director of the David Mahoney Institute of Neurosciences and had served for twenty years as Director of the Penn Epilepsy Center. 

Dr. Dichter received his undergraduate education at Queens College of the City University of New York, and obtained an MD and PhD from New York University School of Medicine.  He trained in Medicine and Neurology at the Harvard-Longwood program.  He spent two years doing research at the NIH, after which he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School.  After fourteen years at Harvard, he joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1986. 


Dr. Dichter is active as a clinician, clinical researcher, basic researcher, educator and academic administrator.  His research has focused on both basic neuroscience and clinical investigations.  He has contributed significantly to the understanding of basic mechanisms underlying epilepsy, mechanisms of action of antiepileptic drugs, and the process of epileptogenesis.  Dr. Dichter’s research also involves translational and clinical studies in new approaches to treating intractable epilepsy, methods for preventing epilepsy, and neuroprotection.  He has been involved in the evaluation of many of the new antiepileptic drugs developed in the last three decades and co-directs a semi-annual conference in antiepileptic drug development that has been ongoing for more than 20 years.  He was most recently the PI of a DOD/USArmy sponsored pilot clinical trial using Topiramate to prevent epilepsy after traumatic brain injury and has been working with the VA system to enhance the treatment of war injured veterans, especially with regard to the problem of post-traumatic epilepsy. Dr. Dichter serves as the Chair of the National Advisory Committee overseeing the new VA Epilepsy Centers of Excellence.  Dr. Dichter has also worked in neurovirology, neuroimmunology, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and other neurological areas over the past four decades.  He also currently teaches a course on understanding brain diseases (both neurological and psychiatric) to undergraduate students at Penn which is largely based on a course he pioneered for graduate students in multiple neuroscience-related fields at Penn.


Dr. Dichter has published more than 110 research papers and 62 chapters and reviews, and has edited four books.  Dr. Dichter has been continuously funded by the NIH for more than four decades and is currently the PI of a training grant focused on MDs or MD-PhDs who are continuing their training in translational laboratory-based research in brain diseases.


Dr. Dichter has won several prestigious awards including the Javits Award from the NINDS, a Fulbright Fellowship, the Solomon Berson Distinguished Alumnus Award from New York University, the Airing Lectureship at the University of Cincinatti, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Award for Research in Antiepileptic Drugs and The William G. Lennox Award from the American Epilepsy Society and the President’s Award at Queens College.  Dr. Dichter is a past president of the American Epilepsy Society. 

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