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Robert E. Burke, MD

  • Alfred and Minnie Bressler Professor of Neurology (in Pathology and Cell Biology) at CUMC
Robert E. Burke, MD

Dr. Burke obtained his MD from Cornell University Medical School in 1975, and received training in Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons from 1977 to 1980. He obtained Postdoctoral training in Clinical Movement Disorders with Dr Stanley Fahn from 1980 to 1982, and training in Molecular Neurobiology with Dr Tong Joh from 1985 to 1987. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Neurology at Columbia in 1982 and he is now the Alfred and Minnie Bressler Professor of Neurology and Pathology & Cell Biology. He served as the Director of Laboratory Research in Parkinson Disease in the Department of Neurology at Columbia from 1997 to 2014, and as the Director of the NINDS Udall Center Parkinson’s Disease Research at Columbia University from 2003 to 2014. His research interests have related to the molecular basis of neuronal programmed cell death in dopamine neurons, the role of endogenous GDNF and other trophic factors in their maintenance, and the neurobiology of their axons.

Representative Publications

Macaya A, Munell F, Gubits R, Burke RE. Apoptosis in substantia nigra following developmental striatal excitotoxic injury. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 1994;91:8117-8121.  

Ries V, Henchcliffe C, Kareva T, Rzhetskaya M, Bland R, During MJ, Kholodilov N, Burke RE. Oncoprotein Akt/PKB: Trophic effects in murine models of Parkinson’s Disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 2006, 103:18757-18762. 

Cheng H-C, Kim SR, Oo TF, Kareva T, Yarygina O, Rzhetskaya M, Wang C, During MJ, Talloczy Z, Tanaka K, Komatsu M, Kobayashi K, Okano H, Kholodilov N, Burke RE. Akt suppresses retrograde degeneration of axons by inhibition of macroautophagy. Journal of Neuroscience, 2011, 31:2125-2135.

Kim SR, Chen X, Oo TF, Kareva T, Yarygina O, Wang C, During MJ, Kholodilov N, Burke RE. Dopaminergic pathway reconstruction by Akt/Rheb-induced axon regeneration. Annals of Neurology, 2011, 70:110-120.

Dr. Burke's research focus is on basic neuroscience related to the cause and treatment of degenerative neurological disease, particularly Parkinson's Disease. His early work demonstrated that a genetically programmed form of cell death, called apoptosis, occurs in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra. He demonstrated that this form of cell death can be induced in models of parkinsonism and it can be effectively blocked by pharmacologic or genetic approaches that inhibit cell death signaling.

Recent work has shown that axonal degeneration, which is mediated by non-apoptotic pathways, can also be inhibited by genetic approaches. His laboratory has also recently shown that, contrary to the long-held belief that axons of the mature central nervous system are incapable of re-growth, they can be induced to grow by the kinase Akt and the GTPase Rheb expressed in dopamine neurons by viral vector transfer.

Dr. Burke's early clinical research included important work in dystonia and the tardive dyskinesias, and led to the first descriptions of the delayed-onset dystonias and tardive dystonia.

His publications have appeared in The Journal of Neuroscience, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), The Annals of Neurology, The Journal of Comparative Neurology, Molecular Therapy and other leading neuroscience journals.

The mission of the Burke Laboratory is to develop more effective treatments for Parkinson's disease, both neuroprotective therapies, to forestall disease progression, and restorative therapies, to repair the damage that has already been done by the time of diagnosis.

Departmental Appointments

  • Department of Neurology
    Division of Movement Disorders

Board Certifications

  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurology

Areas of Expertise

  • Parkinson Disease
  • Movement Disorders

Education & Training

  • Cornell University Medical College, NY
  • Internship: Case Western Reserve University Hospitals
  • Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
  • Fellowship: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Locations

  • William Black Building

    650 West 168th Street
    Black Bldg, Room 306
    New York, NY 10032

Centers/Institutes/Programs

  • Research Laboratories for Parkinson's Disease and Related Disorders

Provider Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia

Insurance Programs

Please contact the provider's office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

  • Cigna [POS]
  • Community Premier Plus [HMO, MCD, Medicaid]
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield [EPO, HMO, PPO]
  • Medicare [Medicare]
  • Oxford Health Plans [Freedom HMO, Freedom PPO, HMO, POS, PPO]
  • Physicians Health Services [HMO, POS, PPO]

This provider does not accept new patients

Lab Locations

  • William Black Medical Research Building

    622 West 168th Street
    New York, NY 10032
    Phone:
    (212) 305 7374
    Fax:
    (212) 305 5450
    Lab Phone:
    (212) 305 2212
    Email:
    rb43@cumc.columbia.edu

Contact Info

  • Office Phone: 212 305 7374
  • Fax: 212 305 5450

Presentations

2013-2015

2013
Merck Pharmaceuticals, Kenilworth, NJ, Research Seminar, “Reconstruction of the Adult Nigrostriatal Dopaminergic Pathway by mTor Signaling-Induced Axon Regeneration”

The University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, Neuroscience Research Seminar, “Reconstruction of the Adult Nigrostriatal Dopaminergic Pathway by mTor Signaling-Induced Axon Regeneration”

Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, Neuroscience Research Seminar, “Reconstruction of the Adult Nigrostriatal Dopaminergic Pathway by mTor Signaling-Induced Axon Regeneration”�

Universidad de Navarra, Symposium: Understanding Parkinson’s Disease: Cell Vulnerability and Disease Progression, Pamplona, Spain, “Neurodegeneration of the nigro-striatal system:� Where does it begin?”

2014
The 8th World Congress on Controversies in Neurology, Berlin, Germany, “Does Parkinson’s Disease Begin in the peripheral nervous System?”

Acorda Therapeutics, Ardsley, NY, Research Seminar, “Reconstruction of the Adult Nigrostriatal Dopaminergic Pathway by mTor Signaling-Induced Axon Regeneration”.

The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson Research, New York, NY, Trophic Factors Workshop, “The Importance of the Neurobiology of Axons in Parkinson’s Disease”.

2015

Stanley Fahn Symposium, New York, NY, “Induction of Long-Range Axon Re-growth in Adult Dopamine Neurons: A New Approach to Restoration in Parkinson’s Disease”.


SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York, New York, Department of Neurology Grand Rounds, “The Importance of the Neurobiology of Axons in Parkinson’s Disease”.


Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, Neuroscience Seminar Series, “Induction of Long-Range Axon Re-growth in Adult Dopamine Neurons: A New Approach to Restoration in Parkinson’s Disease”.

Community Service

Member, Parkinson’s Unity Walk Board of Directors

Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson Research

Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation

Patents

PATENT NUMBER;  US9333243 B2.  Gene delivery vehicles in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases .   May 10, 2016.  

Teaching Responsibilities

2017  Medical Student Preceptor, Clinical Clerkship, Department of Neurology

Committees/Societies/Memberships

American Academy of Neurology

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Neurological Association

American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy

Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease

International Brain Research Organization

Movement Disorder Society

New York Academy of Sciences

Society for Neuroscience

Honors & Awards

1970 Phi Beta Kappa

2004 President’s Award, The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation

2006 First Recipient of the J. William Langston Award of the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

2015 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Research Interests

  • Cause of neuron degeneration in Parkinson's disease
  • Cause of axon degeneration in Parkinson's disease
  • Approaches to axon regeneration in Parkinson's disease

Grants

Activation of mTor Signaling by Gene Transduction to Induce Axon Regeneration in the Central Nervous System Following Neural Injury

W81XVVH-12-1-0051.  US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. 

Project Dates:  2012-2017

NIH Grants

  • ACTIVATION OF MTOR SIGNALING BY GENE TRANSDUCTION TO INDUCE AXON REGENERATION IN THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM FOLLOWING NEURAL INJURY (Federal Gov)

    Feb 21 2012 - Feb 20 2017

    PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTER GRANT (Private)

    Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2016

    MECHANISMS OF DOPAMINE NEURON DEGENERATION (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2000 - Jul 31 2015

    PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTER GRANT (Private)

    Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2015

    PARKINSON S DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTE (Private)

    Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2014

    PARKINSON S DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTE (Private)

    Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2014

    PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION (PDF) RESEARCH CENTER GRANT 20 10-2011 (Private)

    Jul 1 2009 - Jun 30 2013

    PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION (PDF) RESEARCH CENTER GRANT 20 11-2012 (Private)

    Jul 1 2009 - Jun 30 2013

    PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION (PDF) RESEARCH CENTER GRANT 2012-2013 (Private)

    Jul 1 2009 - Jun 30 2013

    APOPTOSIS IN SUBSTANTIA NIGRA (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 1994 - Jun 30 2013

    ASSESSMENT OF AAV TRANSDUCTION WITH WILDTYPE AND CONSTITUTIV ELY ACTIVE P70S6K TO INDUCE AXON RE-GROWTH IN DOPAMINE NEURO (Private)

    Jul 1 2011 - Jun 30 2012

    HARLEM HOSPITAL AFFILIATION CONTRACT - GENERAL (NY Local Gov)

    Jul 1 2005 - Jun 30 2008

Lab Projects

Lab Members

  • Robert Burke, Principal Investigator
  • Nick Kholodilov, Research Scientist
  • Adriana Tagliaferro, Associate Research Scientist
  • Marla Oo, Senior Staff Associate
  • Tanya Kareva, Senior Technician