Meet John M. Ringman, MD, MS, Professor of Clinical Neurology

Dr. Ringman is a professor of clinical neurology in the Department of Neurology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He regularly sees patients with cognitive or behavioral problems due to neurological and neurodegenerative disease.

Here’s what you won’t find on his resume:

He had a humble start to his career.

“Most people would be surprised to learn that during college, I worked as a taxi driver.”

College solidified his career choice.

“At various times while I was growing up, I wanted to be a geologist, marine biologist, an intelligence agent and a science fiction writer. However, I started finding a career in behavioral neuroscience intriguing as early as high school, but my career was solidified during college.

He never wanted to be a scientist.

“I have always been interested in neuroscience and psychology but don’t have the patience or focus to pursue a single scientific question as true scientists must do. Going into medicine and engaging in clinical research allows me to do science while at the same time meeting new people everyday with interesting backgrounds and stories. It is a bonus that sometimes I can have a real beneficial impact on people’s lives!”

There are many things he wants to check off his bucket list.

“I like to visit and work in various places in Mexico, but I still long to circumnavigate the Earth, visit Indonesia for surfing and scuba diving and see my kids graduate from college. I also enjoy reading books like my most recent read, The Science Fiction of Jack London.”

Technology has reshaped both the research and diagnoses of Alzheimer’s.

“Since I started specializing in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, nuclear positron emission tomography (PET) has revolutionized our ability to accurately make this diagnosis during life. In the past, we could only see the amyloid pathology that accumulates in the brain after patient’s have passed away. Clearly, this is too late!”

Knowing the root cause of memory loss brings him gratification.

“I find great satisfaction in the accurate identification of the cause of patients’ memory and cognitive problems and contributing to the body of scientific knowledge regarding neurological illness.”

He wants to see advancement of medical treatments of Alzheimer’s disease during his lifetime.

“I would like to see medications be proven to prevent or substantively slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Many medications with great promise to achieve this goal are under development, but none have yet been proven to be this ‘holy grail.’”

He values the level of teamwork at Keck Medicine of USC.

“The rich network of physicians and researchers with diverse areas of expertise at USC provides many opportunities for collaboration. In the clinical realm, this makes it easy to refer or discuss challenging cases with colleagues, optimizing medical care.”

Dr. Ringman is a neurologist at the USC Memory and Aging Center. He studies familial Alzheimer’s disease due to known genetic mutations and performs clinical research in late-onset Alzheimer’s disease in association with the USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Click here to view Dr. Ringman’s full biography.

Learn more about the USC Memory and Aging Center.