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Conference Co-Chairs

Mark S. George

MSG

Mark S. George

Editor-in-Chief, Brain Stimulation, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA

Mark S. George, MD received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston in 1985, where he continued with dual residencies in both neurology and psychiatry. He is board certified in both areas.

After residency training he completed two research fellowships, first in London, England, and then in the Biological Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD. In London, he learned about PET and SPECT scanning. One day in 1990 at Queen Square he wandered into John Rothwell’s laboratory, after hearing about transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) from a patient in the elevator. He has continued to work in brain imaging and brain stimulation ever since.

In Washington, DC, working with Dr. Robert Post he use functional imaging (particularly oxygen PET) and discovered that specific brain regions change activity during normal emotions. This led to work using imaging to understand brain changes that occur in depression and mania. This imaging work directly led to his pioneering use of TMS as a probe of neuronal circuits regulating mood and to early clinical trials using TMS as an antidepressant. In 1993 while at the NIMH, he discovered that daily prefrontal rTMS over several weeks could treat depression and ever since he has worked to grow the science of TMS, both in terms of how it works in the brain, and in critically evaluating its therapeutic applications, especially in the area of treating depression. Most recently he was the PI on an international trial that resulted in TMS being FDA approved to help with smoking cessation (2020).

He returned to MUSC in 1996 and started the research imaging center, which he led until 2007. In June 1998 at MUSC, he also helped pioneer another new treatment for resistant depression, cervical vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). This was FDA approved in 2006.

Dr. George is thus a world expert in brain imaging and brain stimulation, particularly combining the two. Clinically he is an expert on depression and several other neuropsychiatric disorders. He is the editor-in-chief of a new journal he and Prof. Harold Sackeim launched with Elsevier in 2008 called, Brain Stimulation: Basic, Translation and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation. He has served as the chief editor for 15 years now and this journal is the top in its field. He is on several editorial review boards and NIH study sections, has published over 500 scientific articles or book chapters, and has written or edited 6 books.

He has been continuously funded by NIH and other funding agencies since his fellowships. He received both a NARSAD Young Investigator and Independent Investigator Award to pursue TMS research in depression. He has received numerous international awards including the NARSAD Klerman Award (2000), NARSAD Falcone Award (2008), the Lifetime Achievement Award (2007) given by the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) and the American Psychiatric Association Lifetime Research Award (2023).