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Stephen Rao, PhD

Stephen Rao, PhD
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Department Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health- Cleveland
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English
Surgeon No
Locations Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Functional Neuroimaging
View all 1 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Alzheimer's
  • Dementia
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
View all 5 Specialties +


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About Stephen Rao, PhD

Stephen M. Rao, PhD, ABPP-Cn, is the Ralph and Luci Schey Chair and Director of the Schey Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging at Cleveland Clinic. He obtained his PhD in clinical psychology from Wayne State University, Detroit, and completed a predoctoral internship at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. Prior to joining the Cleveland Clinic in 2007, he was Director of the Functional Imaging Research Center and Professor of Neurology (Neuropsychology) at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He has authored over 150 scientific papers/book chapters and edited three books.

Dr. Rao has two primary research areas: 1) the application of functional magnetic resonance imaging to study motor control; temporal information processing; working, episodic and semantic memory; and conceptual reasoning in healthy young and older participants, individuals in the preclinical stage of Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and patients with traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease; and 2) investigations of cognitive, personality and neuroimaging changes associated with multiple sclerosis. He has been a recipient of a National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award and has received funding from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Aging, US Department of Defense, CHDI Foundation, Charles A. Dana Foundation and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Dr. Rao is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (JINS), published by Cambridge University Press . He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Neuropsychology, published by the American Psychological Association.   He has served as Associate Editor of JINS and has been a member of the editorial boards of eight other journals. He has served as the President and a member of the Board of Governors of the International Neuropsychological Society, Board of Directors of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology, and Chairman of the Scientific Program Committee for the International Neuropsychological Society annual meeting.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Medical Education - Wayne State University
Detroit, MI USA

Internship - Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center
Chicago, IL USA

Undergraduate - University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI USA

Professional Highlights

    • Ralph and Luci Schey Chair, Cleveland Clinic
    • Director, Schey Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Cleveland Clinic
    • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
    • Former Editor-in-Chief Neuropsychology
    • Editorial Boards: Brain and Cognition, Brain Imaging and Behavior, Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Journal of Neurological Rehabilitation, Neuropsychology, Neuropsychology Review, NMR in Biomedicine
    • Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Aging, Department of Defense, CHDI Foundation, CHDI Foundation, Charles A. Dana Foundation, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society


    • Clinical Neuropsychology

    Specialty Interests

    Alzheimer's Disease, functional neuroimaging, Huntington Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson Disease

    Awards & Honors

    • Ralph and Luci Schey Chair, Cleveland Clinic
    • Past President, International Neuropsychological Society
    • Research Career Development Award, National Institutes of Health


    • International Neuropsychological Society
    • American Psychological Association
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science
    • Society for Neuroscience
    • Organization of Human Brain Mapping
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Stephen Rao, PhD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 6/13/2023, Dr. Rao has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Consulting and/or Speaking. Dr. Rao receives fees of $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) as a paid consultant, speaker or as a member of an advisory committee for the following companies:

  • Qr8 Health, Inc.

Royalty Payments. Dr. Rao receives or has the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Qr8 Health, Inc.

Right to Future Distribution of Cleveland Clinic Financial Interest. Dr. Rao may receive future financial benefits from the Cleveland Clinic for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Qr8 Health, Inc.

Equity Dr. Rao owns stock or stock options in the following companies for activities as a founder, inventor, discover, developer:

  • Qr8 Health, Inc.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

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