Dr. David Drachman, Chair of UMass dies at age 84

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From the President of the AUPN

Dear AUPN Members,

We are very saddened to share that the field of neurology has lost one of its greats. Dr. David Drachman died on December 5th at age 84. He was Chair at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMass) for 26 years.

For 57 years, he was a beloved husband of Eleanor Derby Drachman. Loving father of Laura Drachman & her husband Sergio Troncoso, Jessica Blaustein & her husband Marc, and Douglas Drachman & his wife Erica Mayer. Cherished grandfather of Aaron and Isaac Troncoso, Anna and Benjamin Blaustein, and James

and Kate Drachman. Dear brother of identical twin Daniel Drachman & his wife Jephta and Richard Drachman & his wife Elizabeth. Fond uncle to his nieces and nephews.

Dr. Drachman was known for his contributions to the understanding of Alzheimer's disease and for his encyclopedic knowledge of neurology. He led pioneering work to define the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. In 1977, Dr. Drachman founded the Department of Neurology at the University of Massachusetts. He served as its Chair for 26 years, and during his tenure built an outstanding department. He was an enormously prolific academic physician, and his published work was the most frequently cited of any physician at University of Massachusetts. During his distinguished career, he served as president of the American Neurological Association, and won numerous awards, including an award personally bestowed by President Ronald Reagan for distinction in Alzheimer's Research, and the 2016 University of Massachusetts Chancellor's Medal for distinguished clinical excellence. Dr. Drachman and his twin brother, Dr. Daniel Drachman, have been prominent members of the Neuroscience community since its inception. During the last two years of his life, he developed a revolutionary strategy for treating Alzheimer's Disease, which is in the final phase of development.

Dr. Drachman graduated summa cum laude from Columbia College in 1952, and received his MD degree from New York University School of Medicine. He interned at Duke University Hospital, and completed a residency in neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, after which he spent three years at the National Institutes of Health.

In addition to his profession, Dr. Drachman was an accomplished and widely exhibited photographer, a skilled sculptor, a passionate fly fisherman, and an avid birder.

Services at Temple Isaiah, 55 Lincoln Street, Lexington on Wednesday, December 7 at 12:30pm. Burial at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord. Following burial, shiva will be at his residence until 8:00pm, Thursday 2-5pm & 7-9pm and Friday 2-5pm, and at Doug & Erica's home, Saturday evening, December 10, 6-9pm. 

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be sent to David A. Drachman Memorial Fund, J.N. "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge-Friends of the Refuge, One Wildlife Drive, PO Box 565, Sanibel Island, FL 33957,, please select "memorial donation" in honor of David A. Drachman.

Please join me in expressing condolences to Dr. Drachman's family and co-workers at UMass.


Karen C. Johnston, MD, MSc
President AUPN 

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2016 Association of University Professors of Neurology



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