Keith Tansey,

    Getting to know Dr. Tansey...

Q: Who had the greatest influence on you during your childhood? 
A: Probably my Grand-dad.  He taught me how to transpose music into different keys and derive the quadratic formula.  He had multiple sclerosis and I learned about progressive disability and how one deals with that from him.

Q: Do you have children? 
A: My son Chris just graduated with honors from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science.  My daughter just completed her freshman year at Georgia Tech in architecture.

Q: What is your favorite book?
Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck.

Q: If you could have dinner with anyone, living or not, who would that be?
Thomas Jefferson, Ed Ricketts, Charles Sherrington.

Q: Best advice anyone has given you?
Not so much advice as insight, my PhD advisor told me that it is always better to be lucky than good.

Q: What factors influenced your career choice?
A: Discovery is more of an addiction than a choice.  Still, I like saying that I’m getting paid to be curious.

Q: If you could live in any other time, what would that be?
A: I think the 1200’s would have been interesting.

Q: What's the most unusual thing you've ever eaten?
A: Raw sea scallops, pried off a rock 45 feet underwater, on scuba (it is a challenge to balance eating and breathing).

Dr. Tansey, a neurology and physiology faculty member at Emory University, Atlanta, and a physician in the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, has joined the Medical Center faculty as a professor of rehabilitation medicine in the Department of Neurosurgery and in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Mississippi.

He will also work as a senior scientist in the Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery at Methodist Rehabilitation Center and as a physician in the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at the Jackson VA.

After receiving his B.S. and his M.S. in biology with a focus on biomechanics from Stanford University in 1985, Tansey earned his MD and his PhD in neuroscience at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, in 1994. From 1994-2002, he completed his residency in neurology at Washington University and fellowships in neurorehabilitation and spinal cord injury research there and at the University of California at Los Angeles.

He was board-certified in neurology and then earned subspecialty certifications in spinal cord injury medicine and neural repair and rehabilitation.

In 2002, Tansey joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as junior faculty and directed the Spinal Cord Injury Program there. In 2008, he joined the Emory University School of Medicine faculty and directed the Spinal Cord Injury Research Program at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

He serves on the boards of the American Society for Neurorehabilitation and the International Society for Restorative Neurology, and is the president-elect of the American Spinal Injury Association. He also works on scientific advisory boards, planning groups and a data safety and monitoring board for other national and international groups.

Tansey is an award-winning medical educator and an internationally sought speaker. He studies plasticity in neural circuits for pain, autonomic function and locomotion in animal models and humans after spinal cord injury, with an interest in shaping that plasticity to improve functional recovery.

He is the author or coauthor of many articles in peer-reviewed, professional publications, three book chapters and more than 100 meeting abstracts and poster presentations. He is currently co-editing a book, “Neurological Aspects of Spinal Cord Injury,” with colleagues from Heidelberg for the Springer Publishing Company.

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