A native of Germany, Prof. Heiko Braak, MD from the Institute for Clinical Neuroanatomy of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany studied medicine at the Universities of Kiel, Hamburg, and Berlin. After graduating from medical school in 1963 and receiving his medical doctorate from the University of Kiel (1964), he completed his habilitation in anatomy there (1970) and was appointed Professor of Anatomy (1974). As a Visiting Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School (1978), he worked together with Prof. Norman Geschwind, MD. The sabbatical in Boston resulted in the monograph entitled “Architectonics of the Human Telencephalic Cortex” (New York, Berlin: Springer, 1980).
From 1979 until 2002, Prof. Braak served as director of the Institute for Clinical Neuroanatomy. After his official retirement from teaching duties in October 2002, he was appointed by the Faculty of Medicine to the position of Guest Researcher at the Dr. Senckenberg Anatomical Institute at the University of Frankfurt where he continues to receive federal funding from the German Federal Research Council (DFG). Prof. Braak was named the Stanley Fahn Lecturer (MDS Congress, New Orleans, 2005) and held the Irving Cooper Lecture (Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, 2006).
In addition to the extranigral pathoanatomy and pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease, Prof. Braak’s major research interests include the architectonics and pathoarchitectonics of the human central nervous system, ontogenetic differentiation (myelination), the neuronal cytoskeleton, age-associated brain changes versus age-associated degenerative diseases of the human brain, Alzheimer’s disease, argyrophilic grain disease, multiple system atrophy, Pick’s disease, and progressive supranuclear palsy.