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Dr. Ruben Kuzniecky

A renowned neurologist and epilepsy expert, Dr. Ruben Kuzniecky has dedicated his career to advancing diagnostics and treatments for epilepsy—both within research labs and while directly treating patients. He is credited with discovering that MRI can identify one of the most common causes of temporal lobe epilepsy: mesial temporal sclerosis (scar tissue in the temporal lobe). This discovery paved the way for thousands of patients to having surgery and, ultimately, being cured. He is also credited with defining the brain syndrome of bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria (Kuzniecky Syndrome) as well as discovering how MRI scans can be used to identify other neurological conditions affecting epilepsy.

Today, Dr. Kuzniecky focuses on epilepsy, epilepsy surgery, and neuro-imaging while serving as Vice-chair of Academic Affairs and the Professor of Neurology at Zucker-Hofstra School of Medicine, Northwell Health System. Prior to this position, he most recently co-directed the NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center for 14 years where he treated people with complex neurological disorders and directed epilepsy research. Earlier in his career in 1988, Dr. Kuzniecky founded the epilepsy surgery program at the University of Alabama Birmingham, which is now one of the largest programs in the US.

His career’s work has earned Dr. Kuzniecky multiple NIH foundation research grants for investigating medical areas of interest to better understanding epilepsy. Notably, he was the co-principal investigator on the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP), an international multi-institutional collaborative project studying the genetic basis of the most common forms of epilepsy.

His compassion for people living with epilepsy has inspired Dr. Kuzniecky to extend his influence and capabilities to those in need. In 2010, Dr. Kuzniecky launched an initiative in partnership with multiple US hospitals and the children’s hospital of Panama that provides free surgery to children suffering from severe epilepsy. His work there ultimately led to him founding in 2014 LUCES PANAMA, a non-profit foundation that provides social and educational support and free anticonvulsant medication to low income families. 

His research and expertise has been published in 4 books, 41 book chapter, and over 300 journal articles. Further, his dedication to his patients has resulted in  being presented with the American Registry’s most compassionate Doctor award and listed as best doctors in America and New York for several consecutive years.