Research Expertise & Professional Interests
Dr. McKee completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin and received her medical degree from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. She completed residency training in neurology at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and fellowship training in neuropathology at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was Assistant Professor of Neuropathology at Harvard Medical School from 1991-94, when she became Associate Professor of Neurology and Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine. In 2011, she was promoted to Professor of Neurology and Pathology. Dr. McKee directs the Neuropathology Service for the New England Veterans Administration Medical Centers (VISN-1) and the Brain Banks for the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, Framingham Heart Study, and Centenarian Study, which are all based at the Bedford VAMC. Dr. McKee is also the Chief Neuropathologist for the National VA ALS Brain Bank.
Dr. McKee’s research interests center on the neuropathological alterations of neurodegenerative diseases, with a primary focus on the role of tau protein, axonal injury, trauma, vascular injury, and neurodegeneration. Much of her current work centers on mild traumatic brain injury from contact sports and military service and its long-term consequences. As a board-certified neurologist and neuropathologist, she is particularly interested in the clinical, behavioral and psychological manifestations of pathological disease and the neuroanatomical localization of clinical symptoms. She has written widely on many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Multiple System Atrophy, Frontotemporal Degeneration, Corticobasal Degeneration and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). She has been an invited participant in several NIH-sponsored workshops on Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Vascular Dementia and Traumatic Brain Injury. Dr. McKee’s work has been essential in establishing the clinical and pathological spectrum of trauma induced neurodegenerative disease, including CTE and Chronic Traumatic Encephalomyelopathy.
Recently, she has received widespread acclaim for her case series featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that found nearly every former National Football League (NFL) player who played at least one regular season game and whose brain then was donated for research was diagnosed post-mortem with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).