Over 45 years, the research conducted and published by Mark Sherer, PhD, and his many collaborators has changed the way we treat patients with brain injury. He has made major contributions to the development of clinical services for people with brain injury and to research that informs the clinical care we deliver.
When Mark first came to TIRR Memorial Hermann in 1991 as the director of neuropsychology and the Challenge Program, he brought with him a history of success in the creation of a community re-entry program in Mobile, Ala., the first program of its kind in the Southeast. During the six years he directed our Challenge Program, he put it on the map as one of the most successful programs in the country to help brain injury survivors maximize their potential. He left TIRR in 1997 and built another successful community re-entry program in Jackson, Miss., returning to us in 2007 as director of research and senior scientist.
In a landmark series of studies, Mark and his colleagues found that the agitation many traumatic brain injury patients suffered in the early stages of recovery was due to disorientation and cognitive impairment, now known as the post-traumatic confusional state. This had an immediate and significant effect on our clinical practice. We began treating patients who became agitated with other, more effective medications, which had an immediate positive impact on their outcomes.
One research project led to the next for Mark, with more outside funding, and even more discoveries built on the insights that came before. His accomplishments go far beyond what I’ve written here. His service to TIRR and our specialty is immeasurable.
Congratulations on your upcoming retirement Mark, we will miss you.
Gerard E. Francisco, MD
Chief Medical Officer
TIRR Memorial Hermann
Professor and Wulfe Family Chair in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
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