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Our Leadership Team

Dr. McDowell - Founder

A Message from Our CEO

Burke Neurological Institute (BNI) was created in 1978 to foster the development of new approaches to cognitive and motor rehabilitation based on the Burke campus in White Plains, New York. The Institute has enjoyed a long-standing synergy with Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell University.

Since its inception, the breadth and depth of research going on at the Institute has dramatically expanded. Indeed, fundamental research on molecules critical for brain repair and plasticity are coupled with drug discovery, novel cell transplantation approaches, human biomarker studies, non-invasive brain stimulation trials in humans, and robotics. These studies are providing an exciting base of knowledge on which the rehabilitation therapies of tomorrow for stroke, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury will be built. New programs in vision restoration, pain, motor, and cognitive recovery have recently been developed headed by a world-class cadre of scientists and clinician-scientists.

To provide the massive assault necessary to solve problems of neurological disability (#1 cause of disability in the United States), BNI currently has more than 20 Cornell faculty members working synergistically and collaboratively amongst themselves and with clinicians and scientists around the globe. The scientific efforts at the Institute are complemented by remarkable infrastructures that exist in Ithaca at the Cornell University undergraduate campus and downtown in Manhattan at Cornell Medical School. Each of our faculty members is sanctioned by appointment committees at our Ivy League affiliate.

Burke Neurological Institute is one of the only freestanding research facilities with dedicated programs in basic research (understanding how the normal brain functions and how it goes awry in disease), translational research (understanding how to move basic research to the human bedside), and clinical research (testing of new therapies in humans). These programs all enjoy the sanction that comes from intense competition for external support from the National Institutes of Health and from private and public foundations.

We welcome you to the Burke Neurological Institute website and hope that when you are on our campus you will accept our invitation to find out more about the cutting-edge research at our fine, research Institution.


Rajiv R. Ratan M.D., Ph.D.,
Burke Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience
Associate Dean, Weill Medical College

Chief Executive Officer, Burke Neurological Institute

Leadership Team

Raj's Photo
Chief Executive Officer
Burke Professor, Associate Dean (affiliate)
Dianna's Photo
Associate Director
Lab Director
Laboratory for Axonal and RNA Biology
Assistant Professor
Lynn Bilotto's Photo
Human Resources Director
John's Photo
Director of Finance
Darlene's Photo
Executive Assistant to Rajiv R. Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.

Researchers & Staff

Research scientists and staff at Burke Neurological Institute work tirelessly and are intensively driven to find novel discovers for tomorrow’s strategies, treatments and cures to help improve the quality of life and well-being of those affected by a disabling disease or injury.