Seminar Friday, December 2, 2016


Kenneth C. Curley, MD
Iatrikos Research and Development Strategies, LLC
Washington, DC and Tampa, FL



Traumatic Brain Injury Research: A Historical and Current Perspective



This presentation will review the topic of traumatic brain injury (TBI) from the distant past (6000+ years ago) to today. The theme of the presentation will be that much of what we have seen in the past 15 years is neither new nor necessarily unique. TBI has been a part of human and primate evolution, and our ancestors attempted to treat and understand it in the context of their own knowledge just as we do so today. The issue of TBI in combat casualties became of increasing concern in the 18th and 19th centuries, as more powerful explosive weapons were developed and used. By World War I, many of the findings and research conclusions were sufficiently detailed to be understandable and even current with our emerging knowledge base. The goal of this presentation is to urge researchers and clinicians to continue their investigations so that unlike past conflicts, this problem doesn’t yet again find itself pushed into dusty corners of medical libraries only to be “rediscovered” without any significant advancement of knowledge in the next major conflict.



Kenneth C. Curley, M.D. received his BS in Biology/Pre-Med, Cum Laud, in 1989 from John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant, US Army, via ROTC. He received his M.D. from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), Bethesda, MD in 1993. Dr. Curley completed a Pediatric internship in 1994 as part of the Academic Adult and Child Neurology residency pathway at Walter Reed Army Medical Center followed by a two-year assignment as a Medical Research Fellow and Principal Investigator, Dept. of Neuropharmacology and Molecular Neurobiology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where he studied glutamate excitotoxicity-induced neuronal apoptosis In Vitro. In 1997 he returned to WRAMC for the clinical neurology portion of his training. During this period, Dr. Curley sustained a C5 incomplete spinal cord injury. While he underwent years of treatment, he served as a medical informaticist, clinical research associate, and continuing medical education coordinator for the Departments of Neurosurgery at National Naval Medical Center and WRAMC. He received command appointments to medical information technology and quality assurance committees at NNMC and DoD. He assisted in the development of the DoD's first image-based diagnostics and computer-assisted surgical planning lab at NNMC. Dr. Curley then served as a research associate and resident in the Department of Radiology, WRAMC. He reported to the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s (USAMRMC) Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) in November, 2000 as a Clinical Consultant and Technology Analyst for biomedical engineering aspects of imaging, surgery, and medical modeling and simulation. He also served as a subject matter expert in tissue engineering, and neuroprostheses. He was medically retired from the Army in October 2002 and returned to TATRC in May, 2003 as an IPA with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and was appointed Chief Scientist in April, 2004, serving in that role until September, 2008. During his tenure, he oversaw the management of >$1.2B in extramural research funding. In 2006 he developed and became manager of the TATRC Neuroscience research portfolio to address issues associated with TBI and PTSD. Dr. Curley was appointed to the Civil Service in May 2009 as the Neurotrauma Research Portfolio Manager for the Combat Casualty Care Research Program and Joint Program Committee 6 of the Defense Health Program/Defense Health Agency and USAMRMC. He developed research strategy and oversaw the management of over 500 projects amounting to over $800M before his retirement in January, 2016. Dr. Curley currently works as a SME-contractor for General Dynamics Information Technology, supporting neurotrauma and psychological health-related advanced development and materiel acquisition activities at USAMRMC. He is also a founding partner and Chief Scientific Officer of Iatrikos Research and Development Strategies, LLC, a consultancy. Dr. Curley serves on numerous intergovernmental, agency (VA, DoD) and professional society research and development working groups including traumatic brain injury, stroke, psychological health, spinal cord injury and neuroprosthetics/neuromodulation. He is a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation Board of Directors as well as the USU Alumni Association Board of Directors. Dr. Curley is Research Assistant Professor of Surgery at USUHS. He is married and the father of four children (and two cats). He resides in Frederick, Maryland and Tampa, Florida.