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Alvaro Pascual-Leone (born 7 August 1961 in Valencia, Spain) is a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, with which he has been affiliated since 1997. He is the Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and Program Director of the Harvard-Thorndike Clinical Research Center of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Dr. Pascual-Leone obtained an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Neurophysiology from the Faculty of Medicine of Albert Ludwigs University in Germany. He also trained at the University of Minnesota and the US National Institutes of Health.
He has authored over 350 scientific papers and is the recipient of several international honors and awards, including the Ramon y Cajal Award in Neuroscience (Spain), the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology, the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany), and the Jean Signoret Prize from the Ipsen Foundation (France). In 2000, he won the Daniel D. Federman Outstanding Clinical Educator Award. He is a member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Pharmacy.
Pascual-Leone is a world leader in the development of transcranial magnetic stimulation for application in cognitive neuroscience and for therapeutic applications in neurology, psychiatry and neurorehabilitation. Pascual-Leone's research aims at understanding the mechanisms that control brain plasticity across the lifespan to be able to modify them for the subject’s optimal behavioral outcome. Pascual-Leone combines various brain imaging and brain stimulation methodologies to establish a causal relationship and a precise chronometry between regional brain activation and behavior, and uses noninvasive brain stimulation techniques to modulate brain plasticity, suppressing some changes and enhancing others, to gain a clinical benefit and behavioral advantage for a given individual. Such non-invasive approaches can lead to clinically relevant therapeutic effects in neuropsychiatry and neurorehabilitation, and serve as proof-of-principle prior to more invasive neuromodulatory interventions.
Pascual-Leone lives in Wayland, Massachusetts with his wife Elizabeth and their three children.