Brain Health Awareness Week 2023

Dr. Philip A. DeFina

Philip DeFina, PhD., ABSNP, ABPdN is a well-known neuroscientist, author, and lecturer. He is also the founder of the International Brain Research Foundation (IBRF), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation registered in New York. He is most known for developing novel, groundbreaking treatment protocols for traumatic brain injury, coma, autism spectrum, and PTSD.

Dr. Philip A. DeFina has over 40 years of experience as a neuropsychologist and cognitive neuroscientist. He served on the NYU faculty as an associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and the Bellevue Hospital Center. He was a forensic neuropsychologist at the Mount Sinai-Elmhurst Hospital Medical Center and was an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Psychology Department. Dr. DeFina was the founder and first director of the Fielding Graduate University’s Post-Doctoral Clinical Neuropsychology Training Program. Dr. DeFina subsequently co-founded the school neuropsychology training program at Texas Women’s University and co-founded the American Board Of School Neuropsychology, and was one of the original founding members of the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology. He has published numerous peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, books, and book chapters. He has been the Principal Investigator in several prominent research studies, including the recently completed Department of Defense Research Study on Severe Disorders of Consciousness and Coma recovery. Dr. DeFina is the Principal Investigator on a novel study using Stellate Ganglion Block Stimulation to treat chronic PTSD, Post-Partum Depression, and Post-Menopausal Syndrome. He was a research scientist and collaborator at the NYU- Brookhaven National Laboratory’s first PET-Schizophrenia Study. He has developed neuropsychological psychometric Test instruments for ADHD, Memory Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Specific Learning Disabilities, and Disorders of the Aging Brain.

Dr. DeFina and the International Brain Research Foundation have been involved with many highly publicized cases of brain injury treatment, including the case of a 12-year old boy who was hit in the chest with a line drive during a baseball game and the highly controversial case of Jahi McMath, who was pronounced brain dead and then legally dead following a surgery in 2013. Dr. DeFina has also participated in many lectures, panels, and congresses throughout his career

His passion for unlocking the mysteries of the brain has been and continues to be his impetus in life.