Matthew Rizzo, MD, is UNMC’s 14th Scientist Laureate

Great Plains IDeA-CTR PI Matthew Rizzo, MD

Matthew Rizzo, MD, Frances & Edgar Reynolds Chair and professor in the UNMC Department of Neurological Sciences, has been named the 14th UNMC Scientist Laureate.

The award is the highest honor UNMC bestows upon its researchers.

Dr. Rizzo will be honored, along with 22 other researchers recently named UNMC Distinguished Scientist, Research Leadership and New Investigator Award winners for 2020, during a virtual awards ceremony on Feb. 23 at 4:30 p.m.

Dr. Rizzo also is the clinical program leader of neurosciences, the director of the Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network, the lead convenor of the National CTR PI group, the director of the Mind and Brain Health Laboratories, the co-director of the Center for Integrative and Translational Neuroscience and the chair of the American Brain Coalition.

He is a fellow of both the American Academy of Neurology and the American Neurological Association.

His research goal is to advance multidisciplinary research programs and activities of personnel devoted to basic, translational, and clinical research on human neurocognitive performance across laboratory and naturalistic settings. His research has been particularly focused on the impact of changes in cognition, from aging or other disorders, on real-world decision-making and behavior in the face of risk, as during automobile driving. He and collaborators have pioneered the design of new tools and techniques, including computer vision and machine learning, to process the flood of data spanning decades of continuous real-world observations in human subjects.

As leader of the Great Plains IDeA-CTR, Dr. Rizzo heads an organization that brings together institutions across North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas to collaborate on research and develop research resources across clinical-translational research. This grant is the largest single grant UNMC has ever received.

“Dr. Rizzo has broadened UNMC’s neurologic research portfolio into the area of clinical science, particularly how aging can affect behavior and decision making, like with the important and complex activity of driving,” said Jennifer Larsen, MD, UNMC vice chancellor for research. “Dr. Rizzo’s research also demonstrates the importance and value of team science, as he collaborates with a broad range of types of scientists for his research, from engineers to informaticists, basic scientists, image scientists and programmers.”

Dr. Rizzo received his MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City to complete his residency in neurology and his fellowship in behavioral neurology and cognitive neuroscience.

Currently, Dr. Rizzo sees patients with memory disorders and participates in several studies related to addressing behavioral consequences of aging and neurological disorders.

Leave a Reply