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June 25, 2004
MEDIA CONTACT:  John M. Lazarou
PHONE:  410-502-8902


Jeffery Palmer, M.D.
Jeffrey B. Palmer, M.D., chair for the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
*Click photo for high-resolution image.

Jeffrey B. Palmer, M.D., an expert on swallowing disorders, is the new chair for the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Palmer, also an accomplished pianist, began his academic career at Hopkins 21 years ago as an assistant professor in the department. His latest research focuses on neural control of swallowing and the interactions of mastication, swallowing and breathing.  Palmer is the author of 57 scientific publications and has given more than 50 scientific presentations on dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing, a condition that affects millions worldwide. He also co-authored a book on spinal cord injury for patients and their families.

Palmer earned his M.D. from New York University School of Medicine in 1980 and completed his residency at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he also received his master’s degree in rehabilitation medicine.  He holds a B.A. in music from the NYU College of Arts and Sciences and studied as a piano major at The Juilliard School of Music.

Palmer received the Johns Hopkins University Clinician Scientist Award in 1987 for the study of neuromuscular activity of the pharynx during swallowing.  His research on swallowing has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, beginning with a Clinical Investigator Development Award from 1987 to 1992, and continuing with an uninterrupted series of research grants to the present day.

In 1992, Palmer was promoted to associate professor in both the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Hopkins.  Since 2000, Palmer has served as the director of research for the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and in 2002, he was promoted to Professor in both departments. Palmer is also an Associate of Zoology at Harvard University and a Visiting Professor at Fujita Health University in Japan.

“Dr. Palmer is an exceptional clinician, teacher and mentor, with an impressive record as an investigator and program builder,” says Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean of faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine.  “With his combined abilities he has become an invaluable asset to the School of Medicine and the entire Johns Hopkins University.”

Palmer succeeds Barbara J. de Lateur, M.D., who served in the post for 10 years.  De Lateur, who will remain at Hopkins as a professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, was instrumental in building the program.  “Dr. Palmer has a wealth of knowledge and experience that will greatly benefit and enhance the work of a growing department,” said de Lateur.  “I am very pleased he will take on these important administrative responsibilities, and I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Palmer is a founding member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the journal Dysphagia and is an associate editor of The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  He is a member of the boards of directors of the Medstar Research Institute and Baltimore Chamber Orchestra.  Palmer has directed the swallowing disorders program at the Good Samaritan Hospital for the past ten years. He has received numerous awards and is recognized both nationally and internationally for his work.  Palmer was elected the first honorary member of the Japanese Society for Dysphagia Rehabilitation and is President of the Dysphagia Research Society. 

Palmer and his wife, Sara, live in Baltimore with their two children.


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