Dr. Deborah Mash is a Professor of Neurology and Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Miami School of Medicine. She is the Director of the University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank. The Brain Bank program has received national recognition for educating the public about the importance of brain donation during the Decade of the Brain (1990 – 2000). Dr. Mash holds the Jeanne C. Levey Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research.
Dr. Mash received her B.A. degree from Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, and her Ph.D. degree in pharmacology (neuropharmacology) from the University of Miami, Miami, FL. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in neurology and neuroanatomy at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. After completing her fellowship at Harvard Medical School, she joined the Department of Neurology at the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1986. (She is recognized nationally and internationally as a neuroscientist and neuropharmacologist, and has held peer-reviewed basic research grants continuously for the past twelve years. Her studies on aging, neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, and drug and alcohol research have been reported in over 200 articles, monographs, and presentations at national and international meetings. Her early research work in Alzheimer’s disease led to a new direction for drug development in muscarinic agents. In addition, studies underway in her laboratory indicate that the current epidemic of cocaine abuse may lead to a new wave of Parkinson’s disease in aging cocaine addicts.
Original work on the effects of cocaine on the brain and the discovery of the novel cocaine and alcohol metabolite—cocaethylene—brought national and international recognition to the University of Miami School of Medicine. The discovery of cocaethylene— termed in Miami Vice Metabolite in Science Magazine, helped to explain the epidemic of deaths in Dade County, FL, along with the rise in popularity of combined cocaine and alcoholuse in the laste 1980’s. She is currently studying an African rainforest alkaloid—ibogaine—as a potential medication for drug and alcohol dependence. This work had received national and international recognition with featured editorials in Science, JAMA, and the Lancet.
Dr. Mash continue to work with a team of neuroscientists, pharmacologist, toxicologists and clinical scientists to bring basic discoveries from her laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside. Her research emphasizes targets of major public health concerns for the millennium—diseases of the aging brain, drug and alcohol abuse and dependence.