Dr. Bennet Omalu, PhD
Dr. Bennet Omalu, PhD
Concussion: Don’t Break The Rules: Change The Game
Dr. Bennet Omalu’s story is one of great triumph in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. In 2002, Dr. Omalu made a career breakthrough when he identified chronic brain damage as a major factor in the deaths of some professional athletes. He called the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which he first discovered as the result of an autopsy he performed on legendary Pittsburgh Steeler, Mike Webster.
Within five years, Dr. Omalu went on to identify CTE in eight more deceased NFL players. He was also the first to discover CTE in military veterans diagnosed with PTSD, as well as professional wrestlers. His findings were summarily dismissed—and even ridiculed—by his professional peers, the NFL, and the sports industry. The NFL even made a concerted effort to retract Dr. Omalu’s published papers. But he stood his ground in search of the truth.
Today, CTE has become generally accepted and Dr. Omalu’s findings have revolutionized neuroscience, sports medicine and safety, the study of all types of brain trauma, and the entire sports industry. In 2015, Omalu’s life and work were chronicled in a book and film, both titled Concussion.
Dr. Omalu was awarded a WebMD Health Heroes 2015 award for his discovery of CTE and raising awareness to the disease. Health Heroes awards are given to those who do great things to help others live healthier, better lives. In 2016, Dr. Omalu was awarded the American Medical Association’s Distinguished Service Award – the organization’s highest honor.
Dr. Omalu’s memoir “Truth Doesn’t Have a Side” will be published in August 2017. In his memoir, Dr. Omalu introduces the concept of “Conformational Intelligence” [CI] and how it impeded his work and life, and continues to impede decision and policy making in corporate America, research institutions and universities, and the American society at large.
Watch the Concussion Trailer starring Will Smith as Omalu!
Will Smith stars in Concussion as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and fought for the truth to be known.
Dr. Bennet Omalu brings to the stage a rare combination of humility and fervor, as he shares his story of going from humble beginnings in war-torn Nigeria to becoming one of the biggest disrupters in the history of sports and medicine. He details the challenges he faced taking on the NFL and other top US franchises to ensure that the truth—and risk—of chronic brain damage was known, understood, accepted, and at all costs, prevented. He also discusses the biases and obstacles he overcame as an African immigrant staunchly committed to studying medicine in the U.S. and rising to the top of his field, despite all odds.