Dr. George is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology and Neurosciences. He is also the director of both the MUSC Center for Advanced Imaging Research (CAIR) and the Brain Stimulation Laboratory (BSL). As an undergraduate student in philosophy at Davidson College in Davidson, NC, Dr. George first began studying the relationship between mind and brain, or brain/behavior relationships. He has continued this interest throughout his career. He received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston in 1985, where he continued with dual residencies in both neurology and psychiatry. He is board certified in both areas. Following his residency training he worked for one year (1990-91) as a Visiting Research Fellow in the Raymond Way Neuropsychiatry Research Group at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, England. He and Professor Michael Trimble used pharmacology and imaging to study the overlaps between Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome. During this year he also worked on new functional imaging techniques (SPECT and PET) at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine, University College of London and Middlesex School of Medicine, London. He wrote one of the first textbooks in the new area of brain activation and imaging.
He then moved to Washington, DC, working with Dr. Robert Post in the Biological Psychiatry Branch of the Intramural National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). During his 4 years at NIMH he was one of the first to use functional imaging (particularly oxygen PET) to assess brain changes associated with normal emotions, as well as using imaging to understand brain changes which occur in depression and mania. This imaging work directly led to his pioneering use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as a probe of neuronal circuits regulating mood, and to clinical trials using TMS as an antidepressant. In 1995 he moved back to Charleston and built the functional neuroimaging division and brain stimulation laboratories. This imaging group has grown into the MUSC Center for Advanced Imaging Research, which is now part of the SC Brain Imaging Center of Excellence. He continues to use imaging (particularly functional MRI) and non-invasive stimulation (TMS, or VNS), either separately or more recently in combination, to understand the brain regions involved in emotion regulation in health and disease. In June 1998 at MUSC, he also pioneered another new treatment for resistant depression, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). This was recently FDA approved. He and his group have used MRI imaging to understand VNS brain effects. He is on several editorial review boards, and has published over 200 scientific articles, or 40 book chapters, and has written or edited 4 books.
depression, treatment resistant depression, tourettes syndrome, OCD, pain, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), deep brain stimulation (DBS), MRI, PET, brain imaging