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By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – Dr. Steven Rasmussen has been selected as the new chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, school officials announced on Nov. 26.
Rasmussen’s appointment, which was made jointly by Brown, Care New England and Lifespan, is the third leg of the medical team establishing clinical leadership of brain science research and treatment. Rasmussen joins Dr. Karen Furie, chair of neurology, and Dr. Rees Cosgrove, chair of neurosurgery, as leaders in a collaborative brain health initiative in Providence.
Rasmussen had served as medical director at Butler Hospital since 1998, where he had a profound impact on the treatment, teaching and research of brain-based illnesses, according to Dr. Patricia Recupero, president and CEO of Butler Hospital.
“A pioneer in the field of psychiatry and brain science, Steve’s research at Butler led to worldwide recognition of obsessive compulsive disorder and related illnesses as serious, widespread disorders,” Recupero said. “A man of sterling qualities and character, Steve brought together clinicians and researchers from across the campus and hospitals in shaping the development of brain science and in advancing the diagnosis and treatment of major psychiatric illnesses.”
Rasmussen’s successes at the cutting edge of new therapies illustrates the power of a physician-scientist operating in an academic medical center to translate research into benefits for patients, according to John Donoghue, director of the Brown Institute for Brain Science.
“Steve is a widely recognized scientist, clinician, and leader in psychiatry,” said Donoghue. “He has advanced innovative new circuit-based treatments for patients with debilitating psychiatric disorders. As part of our new clinical leadership in brain science, he’ll be able to guide research-driven discoveries from the lab to the patient, not only within his department but also across the Institute.”
Last month Donoghue and Rasmussen helped to dedicate the new Center of Excellence for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology at the Providence VA Medical Center, where Donoghue is the director and Rasmussen is co-leader of the research focus area on neuromodulation.