Scott A. Small is the director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia University, where he is the Boris and Rose Katz professor of neurology. He is appointed in the departments of neurology, psychiatry and radiology.
With expertise in Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive aging, Small focuses on the hippocampus, a circuit in the brain targeted by cognitive aging and age-related disorders, notably schizophrenia. He has pioneered the development and application of high-resolution functional MRI techniques that can pinpoint the parts of the hippocampus most affected by aging and disease. His lab uses this information to try to identify causes of these disorders. Over the years, his lab has used this ‘anatomical biology’ approach to isolate pathogenic mechanisms related to Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive aging and schizophrenia. More recently, his lab has used this approach for drug discovery and to develop therapeutic interventions, some of which are currently being tested in patients.
Small has co-authored over 150 articles, and his neuroimaging and molecular work has led to 10 patents and was the basis for the formation of two biotechnology companies. Small has received numerous awards, including the Beeson Scholar Award in aging research from the American Federation for Aging Research, the McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Award, the Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Scholar Award from the American Neurological Association, and the Lamport Award for Excellence in Clinical Science Research from Columbia University. He has been awarded an honorary Skou professorship in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia from Aarhus University.