Dr. Apfel received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and then received his MD degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. He completed his residency at Albert Einstein as well and for 10 years served as a full time faculty member before moving into the pharmaceutical industry. He maintains his faculty position and continues to teach residents on a weekly basis. His research interests focused on the development of neurotrophic factors for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and disorders of the peripheral nervous system. His bench work led to the clinical development of nerve growth factor for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, and he played a major role in the ensuing clinical trials conducted by Genentech, Inc.
After spending several years as Director of CNS Drug Development at Purdue Pharma, and Director of Clinical Research and Development at DOV Pharmaceutical, Dr. Apfel founded Parallax Clinical Research, a consulting firm that works closely with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry to accelerate the development of new drugs. He is also the founder of the Bristol Haven Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides counseling and assistance to patients with serious or terminal illnesses who have run out of therapeutic options.