13th European Headache Congress

Migraine does not take lives but days from your life. Take them back!

Prof. Michael A. Moskowitz
Honorary Faculty Member

M.D., M.Sc. (Hon), FAAN, FAHS, FANA (Hon)

Day of Lecture

May 30th 17.00 - 18.30

Opening Ceremony



Michael A. Moskowitz, M.D., M.Sc. (Hon), FAAN, FAHS, FANA (Hon) is Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and formerly Associate Professor in the Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Division of Health Science & Technology as well as Senior Neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).  He is an international authority on migraine and stroke.  He served as President of the International Headache Society and President of the International Society for the Study of Blood Flow &Metabolism. After graduating medical school, he trained in internal medicine at Yale Medical School, then at the Harvard-Longwood Neurology Program, followed by 40 years on the M.I.T. faculty (including affiliate) and more than 35 years at the MGH in the Departments of Radiology and Neurology in Boston.  His research focuses on translational mechanisms of importance in both migraine and stroke.  He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and in Neurology and his bibliography includes more than 530 scientific publications. 

 At MGH, Dr Moskowitz served as director of the National Institutes of Health sponsored Migraine Program Project (1995-2010) and Stroke Program Projects (1988-2008).  His latest publication in Nature Neuroscience describes for the first time numerous microvascular channels that connect the skull bone marrow providing white cells to the meninges in animals and man during inflammation (2018). According to Information Sciences Institute, he ranked 30th worldwide in total literature citations from more than 260,000 publishing clinical and basic scientists in Neuroscience and Behavior between the years 1994-2005.  He now has more than 75,000 Google Scholar citations and holds more than a dozen patents.  At Harvard Medical School, he served on the Admissions Committee and Promotions Committee and was course director for Pathophysiology of the Nervous System.

In the field of migraine, his laboratory is credited with a number of firsts: (1) discovering the sensory innervation to the circle of Willis (1981) and coining the term trigeminovascular system (1983), a term cited more than 30,000 times in the scientific literature, (2) emphasizing neuropeptides as neuromediators and targets for therapy (1979),  (3) demonstrating the first biomarker and neuromediator, the tachykinins (1983) in the trigeminal meningeal innervation plus (4) showed its release into the meninges with nerve discharge (1983), hence, a useful biomarker for meningeal sensory innervation.  His group was first to (5) propose a new mechanism for ergot alkaloids and anti-migraine “triptans” based on blocking neuropeptide release by engaging serotonin receptors expressed on meningeal nerve fibers (1988-1994) and not based on vasoconstriction.

Dr Moskowitz is also recognized for suggesting the importance of neurogenic inflammation (neurogenic vasodilation and protein leakage) to migraine (1988), and showing that the triptans blocked endothelial cell activation, mast cell degranulation and plasma protein extravasation, again by blocking neuropeptide release.  He and his colleagues  (Sanchez, Cutrer, Hadjikhani) provided the most technically advanced demonstration of cortical spreading depression in human brain using fMRI techniques, cited more htan 1000 times (1991).  His group was the first to suggest cortical spreading depression as a trigger for headache (1984) and to provide the first experimental evidence linking cortical spreading depression to trigeminal activation and to reflex parasympathetic stimulation (1993, 2002).  His lab also identified suppression of cortical spreading depression as a target for the chronic administration of migraine prophylactic drugs  (2006), and (as recently shown by his former students) after vagal nerve stimulation.

Among his many honors are the KJ Zulch Prize from the Max Planck Society (Germany), Decade of the Brain Lecture AAN (USA), and Arnold Friedman and John Graham Awards from AASH, Bristol-Myers Research Award in Pain and Neuroscience, C. Miller Fisher Award Massachusetts ASA, Soriano Lecturer American Neurological Association. He received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Society for the Study of Blood Flow &Metabolism and Headache Society of New England.  He was the 2006 Thomas Willis award lecturer for the American Heart Association.


Dr Moskowitz served as Chair of Scientific Advisory Board for the Max Planck Institute, as a member of the SAB for Leducq Fondation, Ottawa Neuroscience Institute, Pain Research Initiative from the National Institutes of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, U of Hawaii Queens Medical Center for Neuroscience Research. He served on numerous boards for the American Headache Society and formerly was the basic science editor for the journal Stroke.  He is the recipient of 2 Honorary Degrees. He is most proud of the accomplishments of his former students and the fact that more than half among 110, in addition to a strong clinical commitment, are still actively involved in teaching or research including more than 25 full professors, department chair persons or institute directors.