Posted on: March 16, 2022
Dr. Beal, University Professor of Neuroscience in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute and Professor of Neurology, died at home on June 12, 2021. He was an iconic, internationally recognized leader in neurology and neurogenerative disorders who made invaluable contributions to Weill Cornell Medicine as a scientist, department chair, and mentor.
Dr. Beal was recruited from Harvard Medical School in 1998 as chair of the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medicine and Neurologist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and served in that role until 2012. Under his leadership, Dr. Beal greatly expanded the department’s scientific enterprise and recruited leading neuroscientists to conduct high-impact research while enhancing the institutions’ reputation for clinical neurologic care. He had an outstanding bedside manner, which he eagerly demonstrated to medical students and neurology residents. He also had an encyclopedic knowledge of classical clinical neurology and was equally proficient in foundational neuroscience; his 600+ journal articles were cited by other scientists nearly 115,000 times. He received numerous awards and honors for his exemplary achievements, including membership in the National Academy of Medicine. He was an outstanding researcher, educator, and clinician who brought high quality and academic strength to the department, and he was greatly respected by colleagues, patients, and students.
Dr. Beal’s research focused on the mechanism of neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His laboratory worked to develop novel therapeutic interventions for these disorders by combining genetic and pharmacologic approaches. He will be greatly missed.
Our heartfelt condolences to his former wife Judy; their children Bradley and Emily and their respective spouses Erin and Andre; their four grandchildren; Dr. Beal’s four sisters; and their extended family and friends.