NEWS | July 17, 2012

Gorin named to chair UC Davis Department of Neurology


Internationally respected neuroscientist Fredric A. Gorin, whose investigations of novel therapies for brain cancer, traumatic brain injury, cerebrovascular disease and stroke have resulted in four U.S. patents, has been appointed chair of the Department of Neurology in the UC Davis School of Medicine. Gorin's appointment became effective July 1.

Gorin oversees more than 100 faculty, volunteer clinical faculty, post-doctoral fellows, residents, graduate students, clinical fellows and staff members, who conduct research and provide expert clinical and diagnostic services for individuals suffering from a broad array of neurological and neuromuscular conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and other neurocognitive disorders, epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease and stroke, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases, traumatic brain injury and muscular dystrophy. 

Dr. Gorin © UC Regents
Fredric Gorin

A neuropharmacologist, Gorin is an expert in computer-based drug design and holds a doctorate in biophysics and physiology. His four patents are for novel small-molecule therapies designed to treat aggressive forms of primary brain cancers such as glioblastomas, neuroblastomas and medulloblastomas, as well as cancers that have spread to the central nervous system. Gorin also researches new drugs for treating the intracranial swelling that often accompanies conditions such as traumatic brain injury and stroke.

"Dr. Gorin's innovative and multifaceted investigations place him at the forefront of our understanding of diseases of the nervous system, from brain cancer to traumatic brain injury," said Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis. "His leadership will advance our commitment to translating scientific insights into new treatments and superior patient care for individuals affected by neurological conditions."

Gorin's earlier investigations led to the first chromosomal mapping of a human muscle disease, McArdle's disease. His subsequent research at UC Davis led to insights into the cellular mechanisms by which neuromuscular activity regulates skeletal muscle metabolism at the genetic level, elucidating that specific types of regenerated muscle acquire a metabolic disorder, making them susceptible to damage during high-intensity exercise.

"This is the decade of the brain," Gorin said. "Neurologists now are employing drugs to treat different types of strokes and can use 'clot busters' during the first three hours to reverse the effects of an acute stroke. We have multiple drugs to treat seizures and can employ electrical neuromodulation or neurosurgery to treat refractory seizures, and several immunomodulatory drugs can slow the progression of multiple sclerosis and certain autoimmune neuropathies.

"Neurology is rapidly undergoing a dramatic and important transition from being a predominantly diagnostic discipline to a much more therapeutically oriented profession," he said. "As a neuropharmacologist, I'm particularly excited about leading our department's move toward this more therapeutically enhanced platform."

Gorin began his academic career as adjunct assistant professor at UC San Francisco, in biochemistry in 1983 and neurology in 1984, following completion of his neurology residency there. He joined the UC Davis Department of Neurology in 1985 and holds a joint appointment in molecular biosciences in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He collaborates with researchers at the veterinary school, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience.

At UC Davis, Gorin has been the director of outpatient neurology, vice chair of the Pharmacology-Toxicology Graduate Group and neurology department vice chair. He is a member of the Committee of Research of the UC Davis Academic Senate and is a graduate advisor for neuroscience in the medical/doctoral program.  In 2008, Department of Neurology residents awarded him their Outstanding Teaching Award.

Gorin is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Immunotherapy, the American Academy for Cancer Research, the Society for Neuro-Oncology and the American Chemical Society.

He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from UC Davis. He earned a combined medical and doctoral degree in biophysics and physiology at the Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, Mo. He completed his internship at the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis.

His annual base salary is $203,600. Additional information about his compensation is available upon request.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at