Charles Poser

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Charles Marcel Poser (1923-2010) was an American neurologist.[1] He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (FRCPE).[2]

Poser was born on December 30, 1923, in Antwerp, Belgium.[1][2] He died on November 11, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Early life[edit]

His parents, fearing the outbreak of World War II, tried to move to the United States.[2] Their travel plans were derailed by the German invasion of France and the low countries. The Luftwaffe's aerial bombardment of Antwerp caused them to evacuate to De Panne. De Panne was near Dunkirk. When the allied front collapsed, sixteen year old Charles, on the strength of boy scout badge in first aid, volunteered to help at a British field hospital, during the Evacuation of Dunkirk.

His family did make it to New York City, where he finished high school in 1941.[2] He started studying at the City College of New York, but left to enlist in the United States Army. He was assigned to the Army military intelligence due to his ability to speak French, Dutch, and German. Poser was stationed in Bastogne, when it was surrounded by German troops, during the Battle of the Bulge.[1] He was present during the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp.


After the war, he finished his degree at CCNY, and earned a medical degree at the Columbia Medical School.[1][2] After earning his medical degree, he was a resident in Neurology at the New York Neurological Institute of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, where he worked under H. Houston Merritt.

He studied at the Institute Bunge, in Antwerp, in 1955, after earning a Fulbright Scholarship, where he studied under Ludo van Bogaert.[2] According to a profile of Poser by the FRCPE, he credited his two mentors, Merritt and Bogaert, with inspiring the research that made him famous.

Upon his return to America, Poser first joined the faculty at the University of Kansas.[2] He would later teach at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 1969 he moved to the University of Vermont as Chair of the Department of Neurology. In 1982 he moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he was associated with Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Veterans Administration Hospital.

Poser's particular interest was diseases of the myelin. His major scientific accomplishment was "the first definitive system for measuring and describing MS", the Poser criteria unveiled in 1983.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Charles M. Poser, M.D. 1923-2010". Stern Center. Archived from the original on 2016-03-19. Retrieved 2016-03-15. Poser served on many editorial boards throughout his career, including as the Founding Editor in Chief of World Neurology and the Founding Editor of Neurological Infections and Epidemiology.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Dave Lounsbury. "Honouring Dr. Charles M. Poser FRCPE". Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2016-03-19. Retrieved 2016-03-15. Charles once said that the parts of neurology most attractive to him were learned from his two mentors: "Merritt, who taught me to make a diagnosis on the basis of a good history, and van Bogaert, who helped me understand the underlying pathology."
  3. ^ "Charles Poser'51". Columbia Medical School. 2011-02-07. Archived from the original on 2016-03-20. Retrieved 2016-03-15. The author of hundreds of scientific articles and several influential books, Dr. Poser published the first definitive system for measuring and describing MS. The Poser Criteria were quickly adopted worldwide, withstood the test of time for many decades, and only now are being superseded by newer criteria based on improved imaging technology.
  4. ^ Poser CM, Paty DW, Scheinberg L, et al. (March 1983). "New diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis: Guidelines for research protocols" (PDF). Annals of Neurology. 13 (3): 227–31. doi:10.1002/ana.410130302. PMID 6847134. S2CID 42781540. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2009-11-05.