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University of Iowa News Release

May 23, 2005

Rodnitzky Named Interim Head Of Neurology

Robert Rodnitzky, M.D., professor and vice chair of neurology in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, will serve as interim head of the Department of Neurology. Rodnitzky will oversee the academic and the clinical programs in both the UI Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics. The appointment will be effective July 1.

Rodnitzky will serve as interim department head while a nationwide search is conducted to fill the position vacated by Antonio Damasio, M.D., Ph.D., the Maurice Van Allen Professor of Neurology, who is leaving to direct the University of Southern California Institute for the Study of the Brain and Creativity.

Rodnitzky is an expert on movement disorders. He has been instrumental in the study and development of experimental therapies for patients with movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, and has published numerous scientific articles, book chapters and reviews on this area of research. He has been a UI faculty member for over three decades and during his tenure has served in several leadership positions, including vice chair of neurology since 1986, director of the neurology residency program since 1982 and director of the Division of Movement Disorders since 1988. He served as chief of staff at UI Hospitals and Clinics from 1992 to 1998.

Both Jean Robillard, M.D., dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine, and Donna Katen-Bahensky, director and CEO of UI Hospitals and Clinics, welcomed Rodnitzky's acceptance of the position of interim head of neurology.

"Dr. Rodnitzky is an outstanding researcher and gifted teacher. We can be confident that the department will continue its tradition of excellence in scholarship and education under his leadership," Robillard said.

"In addition to being a talented and compassionate physician, Dr. Rodnitzky also is an exceptional administrator," Katen-Bahensky added. "His many years of service at the UI demonstrate a deep commitment to his patients and to the institution."

Rodnitzky received a medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1966 and completed an internship in internal medicine at the UI and a residency in neurology at UI Hospitals and Clinics. He joined the UI faculty in 1972 and became a full professor in 1982.

Robillard and Katen-Bahensky also praised Damasio for his nearly two decades of leadership in neurology. Damasio has been a UI faulty member since 1976 and department head since 1986. In that time, the UI has developed an international reputation for excellence in many areas of neuroscience, ranging from basic research on emotion, cognition, language and memory to clinical studies of neurological diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, and stroke.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5135 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Brown, 319-335-9917,

PHOTO: A photo of Dr. Rodnitzky is available from Jennifer Brown (