Professor Gary L. Wenk, Ph. D.

Gary L. Wenk, a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University and Medical Center, is a leading authority on the consequences of chronic brain inflammation and animal models of Alzheimer's disease. He is also a member of the OSU Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair. He received a B.A. degree in psychology and biology from Albion College and a Ph.D. in Neurotoxicology from the University of Cincinnati. He then trained as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Drs. Peter Davies and Robert Terry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He joined the faculty of the Departments of Psychology and Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University for nine years and served as a Program Director for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory & Biological Basis of Behavior Program, Division of Behavioral and Neural Sciences, at the National Science Foundation. He joined the faculty of the University of Arizona and was a research scientist in the Division of Neural Systems, Memory & Aging for 15 years. He is a recipient of the Vernon & Virginia Furrow Excellence in Teaching Award and the Five Star Faculty Teaching Award. Professor Wenk's research is focused upon the investigation of drugs that can slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and rescue the brain from the consequences of normal and pathological aging. He has been interviewed about his work by many magazines and radio stations, including NPR, WBZ, WJR, CBS News, & WABC, numerous local and national television programs, including CNN, and was interviewed by Lucasfilm, Ltd. and Amanada Productions for a 2-hr TV documentary on the topic of cognitive enhancers.

Professor Wenk was elected in 2008 to the rank of Fellow at the American Assosciation for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions in the field of neuropharmacology, neurodegenerative diseases and neuroinflammatory processes. This rank was first given in 1874 to members of AAAS whose "efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished."

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Your Brain on Food

The distinction between what is considered a food (something that your body wants or needs in order to function optimally) or a drug (something that your brain wants or needs in order to function optimally) is becoming increasingly difficult to define. Thus from your brain's perspective, food is a drug. My blog is focused upon this novel way of understanding the effects of the chemicals we consume upon brain function.