Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Advocate Profile: Keith Black, MD

My brain is on overload. I’ve been finishing up final projects for the University of Florida, preparing for graduation, getting ready for medical school…. I’m surprised that I haven’t passed out! We know that the brain is an amazing organ, but did you know that:

• Your brain uses 20% of your body’s energy?
• Your brain feels like a ripe avocado and looks pink because of the blood running through it?
• Your brain generates 25 watts of power while you're awake (that’s enough to illuminate a light bulb)?

Researchers are still learning a lot about the brain functions and also how to solve problems in the brain when things go wrong. At the forefront of neuroscience and neurological research is Keith Black, MD. Black published his first scientific paper and earned a Westinghouse Science Award at the age of 17, well before he became a doctor. Ever since then, Dr. Black, has broken barriers in the field of neuroscience and neurosurgery, becoming a prominent neurosurgeon and researcher.

Today, Dr. Black is the head of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, has five patents, hundreds of research publications and countless awards. He's also pioneered research on finding ways to surpass the blood-brain barrier, developing a vaccine to boost the body's immune response to brain tumors and the use of optical technology for brain mapping.

He hasn't figured out how to permanently de-stress graduate students from the woes of life, but Dr. Black’s career has been phenomenal, and is still growing.

Click below to hear Dr. Black's inspirational advice upon receiving the BET Honors Public Service award. (Sorry about the intro commercials.)

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