Healthcare and Life Sciences 50

Patricia Broderick/CUNY School of Medicine & NYU Langone

They call Patricia Broderick the “dynamite stick” because nothing stops her and she has a particular genius in making complex concepts simple.

Dr. Broderick is the first person to link bionanotechnology with the human and mammalian brain, and is a widely recognized expert in both education and science. She has invented, patented, and trademarked the Broderick Probe, the first biosensor to see brain signaling in the natural state and compare it with the diseased state. This biosensor sees each neurochemical interacting, with video tracking electrochemical signaling continuously, enabling patterning of neurochemicals for diagnostic and therapeutic solutions for neurodegenerative diseases and drug addiction.

The Broderick Probe has provided a novel sub-field for scientists and physicians called Neuromolecular Imaging (NMI), and the biosensor delves into our everyday lives to study the daily use of the neuroprotective effects of the stimulant caffeine. Dr. Edwin Kolodny, MD, formerly of NYU Langone Medical Center, said, “These are real-time measurements over long periods of time in a living brain; the implications are awesome.”

Broderick believes the brain is a living miracle. She has spent her career working on neurodegenerative diseases like epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, as well as biopsychiatric conditions like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders, and says that we’re getting closer to understanding the brain, biologically and chemically.

According to Dr. Steven V. Pacia, MD, NYU Langone and Director, Epilepsy, Lenox Hill Hospitals, neuromolecular imaging, Broderick’s unique biosensor represents a significant shift in the way that physicians and scientists study the chemistry of the brain.

Broderick’s genius lies in her ability to integrate across diverse disciplines. Through her inventions the electrochemist can talk with the neurochemist, the biologist can talk with the chemist, and the biophysicist can meet in the laboratory of biomedical engineering.

Broderick is also invested in supporting the next generation of innovators. The Broderick Brain Foundation is dedicated to funding training for medical, doctoral, masters, undergraduate, and high school students, as well as professors, doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers in the unending quest to discover “how the brain works.”

A medical professor in molecular cellular and biomedical science at CUNY School of Medicine at the City College of New York, and professor in Neurology at NYU Langone Medical Center, Broderick has been appointed to the most prestigious editorial boards in seven international journals, and she has a book series in progress. She has received many awards. She was inducted into St. Thomas Aquinas College’s Hall of Fame in 2019 (pictured), and she was the international keynote speaker at the Congress on Nanotechnology & Nanomaterials in Stockholm, Sweden in 2018.

Broderick’s mother, Margaret, was born in 1899, the second oldest of 14 children raised on a farm in Kilcrohane, County Cork, Her father Padraig “Patt” was born in 1902, one of the oldest of 11 children, in a thatched cottage in Flagmount, County Clare. They arrived separately at Ellis Island (Margaret in 1928 and Patt in 1930) and met at a dance. Margaret worked as a maid in the Algonquin and Pennsylvania Hotels, and Paddy was a licensed oxyacetylene torch welder and taxicab driver. ♦