Media Briefing:
Concussions and Brain Health

Panelist Biographies

Dr. Angela Colantonio

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Dr. Angela Colantonio is the director of the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto, and a professor in the department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. She held a Canadian Institutes for Health Research Chair in Gender, Work and Health with a focus on brain injury. She is also a senior research scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network, where she was the inaugural Saunderson Family Chair in Acquired Brain Injury Research, and is currently leading the Acquired Brain Injury and Society team. Dr. Colantonio heads a broad, internationally recognized program of research on acquired brain injury which includes diverse foci on women, sex and gender analysis, return-to-work, work-related traumatic brain injury, violence, criminalized populations, and traumatic brain injury and Intimate Partner Violence. She has authored over 270 publications and has given presentations to over 500 research, clinical and lay audiences. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American College of Epidemiology. In 2015, she was awarded the Robert L. Moody Prize for Distinguished Initiatives in Brain Injury Research and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Ann McKee

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Ann McKee, M.D., is a professor of neurology and pathology at Boston University School of Medicine, director of neuropathology for VA Boston Healthcare, and director of the BU Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center. Dr. McKee is a board certified neurologist and neuropathologist whose career has focused on Alzheimer’s disease, aging and most recently, chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.

McKee has published over 70% of the world’s cases of CTE ever reported and created the Veterans Affairs – Boston University – Concussion Legacy Foundation (VA-BU-CLF) brain bank, the world’s largest repository of brains from individuals exposed to traumatic brain injuries (over 600) and neuropathologically confirmed CTE (over 350). McKee completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin and received her medical degree from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in neurology at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and in neuropathology at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is director of the Neuropathology Core and associate director for the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center (BUADC). McKee also directs the brain banks for the BUADC, Framingham Heart Study and Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium, which are all based at VA Boston. Recently she received the Henry Wisniewski Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s disease research by the Alzheimer’s Association. She was also named Bostonian of the Year by the Boston Globe and one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World 2018 by Time magazine.

Dr. Andrew Peterson

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Andrew Peterson, M.D., is an associate professor in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics at the University of Iowa. He completed his undergraduate education at Lawrence University and Medical School at the University of Wisconsin. He did his residency training in Pediatrics and completed fellowships in both Primary Care Sports Medicine and Clinical Research at the University of Wisconsin. He now directs the University of Iowa Primary Care Sports Medicine and Sport Concussion Programs. He works clinically as a Sports Medicine Physician and as a Team Physician for the Iowa Hawkeyes and USA Wrestling. His primary research interests are related to the validation of sideline concussion tests and the injury epidemiology of youth sports

Rick Weiss (moderator)


Rick Weiss is the Director of SciLine.

He has more than three decades of experience in journalism and public affairs, including 15 years as a science reporter at the Washington Post and more than a decade leading strategic communications and media relations activities around issues of science and technology in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. While at The Post, Rick wrote more than 1,000 news and feature articles about advances in science and technology and their economic, societal, and ethical implications. His awards include the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing’s Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting and the National Association of Science Writers’ Science and Society Award.

Rick earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a license in medical technology with the American Society for Clinical Pathology. He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife Natalie Angier, the New York Times science writer and author.


About This Media Briefing

Concussions are a common injury among athletes and can happen to anyone. But there are shockingly few evidence-based protocols for their clinical management – and their long-term health effects are still poorly understood. Our Oct. 11 media briefing covered what scientists now know about the links between concussions and long-term brain health, new studies that suggest women may be more vulnerable to concussion risks, and emerging advances in diagnostics, prevention, and treatment.