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Dr. Ken Isaacs named director of WSU’s Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience

Closeup of Dr. Ken Isaacs
Dr. Ken Isaacs

SPOKANE, Wash.—Dr. Ken Isaacs, the regional director for neuroscience at the Providence Neuroscience Institute in Spokane, has been named director of WSU’s Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience. He will also serve as a faculty member in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Dr. Isaacs brings 34 years of neurology experience to the position.

Dr. Isaacs will maintain his role at Providence.

“Caring for patients and studying neurodegenerative disorders has been part of my life mission for many years,” Isaacs said. “This role allows me to tackle the challenges faced by patients and families. There’s a broad spectrum of approaches to provide a better quality of life for patients and families, and the Gleason Institute is one organization seeking that goal. It will take an integrated approach incorporating basic science, translational research, innovation, patients and providers.”

Dr. Isaacs will provide the overall strategic operational oversight of the Institute. He will be responsible for forging new partnerships at the local, state and national level, pursuing new funding opportunities, and will oversee all Institute facilities, staff and resources. Dr. Isaacs will be a key figure in the community in representing the mission of the Institute.

“Having someone of Dr. Isaacs’ caliber lead our Gleason Institute will help the Institute as it seeks to grow its contributions in our region,” said WSU Health Sciences Vice President and WSU Spokane Chancellor Daryll DeWald. “Dr. Isaacs is an amazing leader and brings more than three decades of experience in the neurological sciences and I’m excited to learn from him and enhance our ongoing partnership with Providence.”

At the Providence Neuroscience Institute, Dr. Isaacs is responsible for the Institute’s more than 50 clinicians in neurosurgery, inpatient and outpatient neurology, and physiatry. He supported Providence’s Physiatry Residency Program, which formed in 2021. He also works with Providence’s system-wide Neuroscience Institute programs, including programs for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, neuromuscular disorders and others.

Dr. Isaacs has previously been the president of the Washington State Medical Association and the past chair of the Washington Health Foundation.

“Having lived with ALS for more than a decade, it’s exciting to see WSU’s commitment to education, support and care for people living with neurodegenerative diseases through the Gleason Institute,” said WSU alum, Spokane native and the Institute’s namesake, Steve Gleason. “The addition of Dr. Isaacs’ leadership is an outstanding step toward solidifying the programs’ future successes. I look forward to supporting Dr. Isaacs in advancing the Institute’s mission and vision.”

WSU’s Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience formed in early 2019 and opened its Adaptive Technology Center by appointment only on Oct. 4. The Institute focuses on innovative care and cures for neurodegenerative diseases like ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and more. Learn more at gleason.wsu.edu.

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