Share this story

A.M. Barrett named chair of Department of Neurology at UMass Chan

Physician-scientist named chief of neurology at VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare

A.M. Barrett, MD

Accomplished physician-scientist A.M. Barrett, MD, is joining UMass Chan Medical School as chair and professor of neurology. Additionally, Dr. Barrett has been named chief of the Neurology Service at the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System. Her new appointments were announced by Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the T.H. Chan School of Medicine, and Eric Dickson, MD, president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health.

Barrett comes to UMass Chan from the Emory University School of Medicine, where she has served as director of the neurorehabilitation division of the Department of Neurology Emory Brain Health Center and professor of neurology and rehabilitation. She also brings her experience as executive director for the Atlanta VA Healthcare System, Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Neuroscience, and medical director of the Atlanta VA Medical System Cognitive Neurology Clinic to veterans in Central Massachusetts. Previously, she was the director of stroke rehabilitation research at the Kessler Foundation and co-director of the stroke rehabilitation program at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey, and a faculty member at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine.

Barrett’s extensive experience brings together training in cognitive neurology and neuropsychology, neurology, medicine and brain injury. Her research program encompasses brain-behavior relationships relevant to spatial cognition and rehabilitation of spatial neglect; person-centered care and outcomes relevant to function and life participation; and identification and management of hidden disabilities and mechanisms of deficit unawareness.

Board-certified in neurology, behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry, and brain injury medicine, Barrett earned her medical degree at New York University School of Medicine. She completed an internship at Norwalk Hospital/Yale University School of Medicine, neurology residency at Columbia University/the Neurological Institute of New York, and fellowships in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry neuropsychology at the University of Florida. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association and the American Society of Neurorehabilitation. She is also a fellow of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women at the Drexel University College of Medicine. Throughout her career she has mentored and advised dozens of faculty, medical students, PhD candidates, undergraduates, residents and fellows.

Barrett assumes leadership of a department with a firm foundation and distinguished legacy. Research in the Department of Neurology is advancing knowledge in cognitive neuroscience, brain development, gene therapy in neurological disorders, shared decision making and neuro-prognostication, and is advancing care for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, dementia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, and traumatic brain injury. The residency program is developing the next generation of clinicians, neuroscientists and educators, with subspecialty fellowships in movement disorders, neuroimmunology, neurophysiology, vascular neurology and neurocritical care. The department houses specialty groups in epilepsy, general neurology, headache, multiple sclerosis/neuroimmunology, movement disorders, neuromuscular disorders/ALS, neurocritical care, neuro-oncology, neuropsychology and stroke.

Barrett succeeds Brian Silver, MD, the Endowed Chair in Neuroscience Research and professor of neurology, who served as interim chair following the tenure of chair Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, the Donna M. and Robert J. Manning Chair in Neurosciences and professor of neurology.

“We are grateful to Dr. Silver for so enthusiastically and ably serving as interim chair following the tenure of Dr. Brown. Thanks also to search committee members for their commitment to bringing a colleague of Dr. Barrett’s stature to our faculty,” said Provost Flotte.  

“We congratulate Dr. Barrett and welcome her to the UMass Chan Medical School community.”