Kevin J. Tracey

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Kevin J. Tracey
Born (1957-12-10) December 10, 1957 (age 60)
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Nationality American
Alma mater Boston University
Known for Bioelectronics
Scientific career
Fields Neurosurgery, immunology
Institutions Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Kevin J. Tracey, a neurosurgeon and inventor, is the president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, professor of neurosurgery and molecular medicine at Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, and President of the Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine[1] in Manhasset, New York.

Early life[edit]

Tracey was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on 10 December 1957. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Boston College in 1979 and his M.D. from Boston University in 1983. From 1983 to 1992 he trained in neurosurgery at the New York Hospital/Cornell University[2] with Russel Patterson. During this time he was also a guest investigator at Rockefeller University.[citation needed]

Academic appointments[edit]

In 1992, Tracey moved to the Northwell Health,[3] in Manhasset, New York, where he practiced neurosurgery and established the Laboratory of Biomedical Science. In 2005 he was appointed president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and professor at and president of the Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine (Manhasset, New York).[1]


Tracey studies inflammation, and currently works on the mechanism by which neurons control the immune system.[4]

In the early 1980s, with Stephen Lowry and Anthony Cerami, he described the inflammatory activity of TNF-α.[5] This was followed by a report that specific anti-TNF monoclonal antibodies can be effectively used as a therapeutic agent.[6] Later research confirmed that TNF is a mediator of septic shock, but not sepsis. Tracey later identified a protein, now called HMGB1, as a mediator and drug target in sepsis.[7][8]

Tracey has proposed a mechanism for neural control of TNF and HMGB1 to maintain immunological homeostasis, which he called the "inflammatory reflex".[9][10]

In 2007 he co-founded a company called SetPoint Medical which aimed to develop vagus nerve stimulation devices to treat autoimmune diseases.[11][12][13] By 2011, the company was ready to move onto tests on humans.[14]

Awards and honors[edit]

Book and editorial activities[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Elmezzi Graduate School". 
  2. ^ "Cornell Neurological Surgery Alumni". 
  3. ^ "North Shore-LIJ Health System". 
  4. ^ Tracey, Kevin J. (2009). "Reflex control of immunity". Nature Reviews Immunology. 9 (6): 418–28. doi:10.1038/nri2566. PMC 4535331Freely accessible. PMID 19461672. 
  5. ^ Tracey, KJ; Beutler, B; Lowry, SF; Merryweather, J; Wolpe, S; Milsark, IW; Hariri, RJ; Fahey 3rd, TJ; Zentella, A (1986). "Shock and tissue injury induced by recombinant human cachectin". Science. 234 (4775): 470–4. doi:10.1126/science.3764421. PMID 3764421. 
  6. ^ Tracey, KJ; Fong, Y; Hesse, DG; Manogue, KR; Lee, AT; Kuo, GC; Lowry, SF; Cerami, A (1987). "Anti-cachectin/TNF monoclonal antibodies prevent septic shock during lethal bacteraemia". Nature. 330 (6149): 662–4. doi:10.1038/330662a0. PMID 3317066. 
  7. ^ Wang, H; Bloom, O; Zhang, M; Vishnubhakat, JM; Ombrellino, M; Che, J; Frazier, A; Yang, H; Ivanova, S (1999). "HMG-1 as a late mediator of endotoxin lethality in mice". Science. 285 (5425): 248–51. doi:10.1126/science.285.5425.248. PMID 10398600. 
  8. ^ Andersson, U; Tracey, KJ (2012). "Reflex principles of immunological homeostasis". Annual Review of Immunology. 30: 313–35. doi:10.1146/annurev-immunol-020711-075015. PMC 4533843Freely accessible. PMID 22224768. 
  9. ^ Tracey, KJ (2002). "The inflammatory reflex". Nature. 420 (6917): 853–9. doi:10.1038/nature01321. PMID 12490958. 
  10. ^ Tracey, KJ (2009). "Reflex control of immunity". Nature Reviews. Immunology. 9 (6): 418–28. doi:10.1038/nri2566. PMC 4535331Freely accessible. PMID 19461672. 
  11. ^ Garde, Damien (2013). "SetPoint Medical – 2013 Fierce 15". FierceBiotech. 
  12. ^ "The shock tactics set to shake up immunology". Nature. Retrieved 25 December 2017. 
  13. ^ "Can the Nervous System Be Hacked?". New York Times. May 23, 2014. 
  14. ^ Fox,Nature, Douglas. "Can Zapping the Vagus Nerve Jump-Start Immunity?". Scientific American. Retrieved 2018-08-03. 
  15. ^ Maria Sjögren. "Honorary doctors at Karolinska Institutet 2009 - Prizes and Awards - Karolinska Institutet". Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  16. ^ "ISI Highly Cited Researchers". 
  17. ^ "For Janice - Legacy of a Short Life". 
  18. ^ Tracey, K. J. (2005). Fatal Sequence: The Killer Within. New York: Dana Press. ISBN 978-1932594065. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]