department of neurology  
Columbia University Medical Center | Department of Neurology
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Ralph L. Sacco, MS, MD, FAAN, FAHA
Adjunct Professor,
Department of Neurology, Columbia University

Professor and Chairman,
Department of Neurology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami


  • MD: Boston University School of Medicine
  • MS: (Epidemiology) Columbia University, School of Public Health
  • Residency: Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
  • Fellowship: Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
Board Certification:
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Neurology)

Office Location:
Clinical Research Building
1120 NW 14th Street, Suite CRB-13
Miami, FL 33136

Office Telephone: 305-243-7519

Ralph L. Sacco, MD, MS, is the Chairman of Neurology, Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders, Miller Professor of Neurology, Epidemiology, and Human Genetics at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami and Chief of the Neurology Service at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He was the former Professor of Neurology and Director of the Stroke and Critical Care Division at the Neurological Institute of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, and the Sergievsky Center.

Dr. Sacco graduated from Cornell University with distinction, received his medical degree cum laude from Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts, and a master's degree in epidemiology from Columbia University, School of Public Health. Dr. Sacco completed a residency in neurology at Presbyterian Hospital of the City of New York. He completed his postdoctoral training in stroke and Epidemiology at Columbia under a NINDS-funded neuroepidemiology training grant.

Dr. Sacco's clinical research activities began in 1980 when he participated in the Framingham Heart Study. Since 1990, he has been the Principal Investigator of the Northern Manhattan Study an NIH-funded community-based, epidemiologic study designed to determine stroke incidence, risk factors, and prognosis in an elderly, multi-ethnic, urban population living in northern Manhattan in New York City. This study now includes a separate NINDS-funded project, the Northern Manhattan Family Study, to evaluate potential genetic determinants of stroke risk factors.

Dr. Sacco was also the founding principal investigator of the NY Columbia Collaborative Specialized Program in Translational Research in Acute Stroke. He is also co-investigator of six other NINDS grants. He has been involved in the design and conduct of multiple randomized trials including the co-principal investigator of the Warfarin Aspirin Recurrent Stroke Study, the principal investigator of the Glycine Antagonist in Neuroprotection Trial, and the current co-chair of the international PRoFESS Study (Prevention Regimen for Effectively avoiding Second Strokes). He serves on the Data Safety and Monitoring Boards of a number of NIH and pharmaceutical-sponsored clinical trials. In addition, Dr. Sacco is on the editorial board of Stroke, Neuroepidemiology, and Nature Clinical Practice Neurology. He has published extensively in the areas of stroke prevention, treatment, risk factors and stroke recurrence, with more than 475 original articles, case reports, book chapters, abstracts and communications to his credit. He has been a principal author on numerous evidence-based guidelines from the AHA and ACCP.

Dr. Sacco has helped train numerous fellows in stroke and epidemiology and was co-director of a T32 entitled Neuroepidemiology Training Program to train neurologists in epidemiology. He has been awarded the 2006 Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke and the 2007 Chairman's Award from the American Heart Association. In 2008, he received the Javits Award in Neuroscience and was inducted into the American Association of Physicians.

Dr. Sacco is a fellow of the Stroke and Epidemiology Councils of the American Heart Association, a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, a member of the American Neurological Association, past chair of the Clinical Research Committee of the American Academy of Neurology, and on the Medical Advisory Board of the Hazel K. Goddess Fund for Stroke Research in Women. He is a past member of the Epidemiology and Disease Control-3 NIH Study Section, NINDS Neuroscience Training Review Committee, and FDA Advisory Panel for Central and Peripheral Nervous System Drugs. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association, and a current member of the Board for the American Academy of Neurology and past president of the New York City AHA Board. He is a past member of the Stroke Prevention Advisory Panel of the National Stroke Association and past chair of the Stroke Advisory Committee of the American Stroke Association. After having completed a year as President-Elect of the American Heart Association, Dr. Sacco is now serving as President of the American Heart Association for the 2010-11 term.

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Department of Neurology | Columbia University Medical Center | Last updated: December 4, 2012 | Comments
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