Randy J. Nelson, PhD

Dr. Randy Nelson holds the Hazel Ruby McQuain Chair for Neurological Research in the WVU School of Medicine and serves as Director of Basic Science Research in the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute. He is Professor and Chair of the newly formed Department Neuroscience.

Dr. Nelson moved to WVU in 2018 from The Ohio State University where he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience. He held the Brumbaugh Chair in Brain Research and Teaching. Dr. Nelson was the codirector of research at the Neuroscience Research Institute, which oversaw the research efforts of ~300 neuroscientists at Ohio State. He also directed the Chronic Brain Injuries Discovery Theme as the Faculty Lead, as well as co-directed the Neuroscience Graduate program.

Dr. Nelson earned his AB and MA degrees at the University of California at Berkeley. He went on to earn a PhD in Psychology, as well as a second PhD in Endocrinology from UC Berkeley, the first person in the US to earn two PhDs simultaneously. Dr. Nelson then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas, Austin. Dr. Nelson served on the faculty at The Johns Hopkins University from 1986-2001 when he was recruited to Ohio State. He has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles and 11 books, describing biological rhythms, behavioral neuroendocrinology, and immune function. His research has been continually funded by federal grant agencies since 1984.

Dr. Nelson holds Fellow status in several scientific associations, and currently serves on the editorial boards of six scientific journals. He has also been recognized with several national honors, including most recently, the Bern Lecture by the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (2015), the Lehrman Lifetime Career Award by the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (2016) and the Award for Neuroscience Education by the Society for Neuroscience (2017).

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