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American Stroke Association honors 11 scientists for outstanding stroke research

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Eleven leading scientists who’ve devoted their careers to stroke research, as well as authors of notable new research, will be honored for their work by the American Stroke Association. The awards will be given during the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2020 – Feb. 18-21 in Los Angeles, a world premier meeting for researchers and clinicians dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health.

In addition to the 10 existing American Stroke Association Awards, the new Edgar J. Kenton III Lecture Award will debut this year. The Edgar J. Kenton III Lecture Award will be given to recognize lifetime contributions to the investigation, management, mentorship and community service in the field of race-ethnic stroke disparities or related disciplines.

The honorees are:

  • Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., FAHA, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, who will receive the inaugural Edgar J. Kenton III Lecture Award.
  • Maiken Nedegaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., FAHA, Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, who will be awarded the Thomas Willis Lecture Award for significant contributions to the basic science of stroke research.
  • Devin L. Brown, M.D., FAHA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, who will receive the Stroke Research Mentoring Award.
  • Pamela W. Duncan, Ph.D., P.T., FAHA, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston Salem, North Carolina, who will receive the David G. Sherman Lecture Award for lifetime contributions to investigation, management, mentorship and community service in the stroke field.
  • J. David Spence, M.D., FAHA, Robarts Research Institute, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada, who will be honored with the William M. Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke.
  • Dheeraj Khurana, M.D., D.M., Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India, who will be awarded the Stroke Rehabilitation Award.
  • Amrou Sarraj, M.D., FAHA, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Texas, who will receive the Stroke Care in Emergency Medicine Award.
  • Guido J. Falcone, M.D., Sc.D., M.P.H., Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, who is the Robert G. Siekert New Investigator Award in Stroke recipient.
  • Adeola Olowu, M.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas, who will receive the Vascular Cognitive Impairment Award.
  • Hongxia Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. Candidate, University of North Texas HSC, Fort Worth, Texas, who will receive the Mordecai Y.T. Globus New Investigator Award.
  • Zhaojin Li, M.S., Ph.D. Candidate, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, who will receive the Stroke Basic Science Award.

Sacco, the 2020 winner of the new Edgar J. Kenton III Lecture Award, is the Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Diseases; Miller Professor of Neurology, Public Health Sciences, Human Genetics and Neurosurgery; chairman, department of neurology; senior associate dean for clinical and translational science, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami; chief of neurology service, Jackson Memorial Hospital; and executive director, Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute in Miami, Florida. Sacco also served as American Heart Association President from 2010-2011.

The inaugural Edgar J. Kenton III Lecture Award will be presented Tuesday, Feb. 18, 11:05 a.m. PT, during Dr. Sacco’s ISC Pre-Conference Symposium III: “HEADS-UP: Health Equity and Actionable Disparities in Stroke: Understanding and Problem-solving” in Petree Hall D.

Nedegaard, the 2020 winner of the Thomas Willis Lecture Award, is professor and co-director of the department of neurosurgery, professor of neurology, and professor of neuroscience at the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York.

The Thomas Willis Award honors the prominent British physician credited with providing the first detailed description of the brain stem, the cerebellum and the ventricles, with extensive hypothesis about the functions of these brain parts. The award recognizes contributions to the investigation and management of stroke basic science. Nedegaard’s lecture titled, “Ischemic Edema: Does the Glymphatic System Play a Role?” will be delivered during the Thursday Main Event at 10:30 a.m. PT, Thursday, Feb. 20 in Hall K.

Brown, the recipient of the 2020 Stroke Research Mentoring Award, is professor of neurology and director of the vascular neurology fellowship program at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Stroke Research Mentoring Award recognizes outstanding achievements in mentoring future generations of stroke researchers and will be presented at 10:53 a.m. PT, during the Main Event session on Thursday, Feb. 20 in Hall K.

Duncan, the 2020 winner of the David G. Sherman Lecture Award, is professor of neurology and professor in gerontology and geriatric Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

The Sherman Award honors David G. Sherman, M.D., a prominent stroke physician and an internationally recognized leader and researcher in stroke prevention and treatment. The award recognizes lifetime contributions to the investigation, management, mentorship and community service in the stroke field.

Duncan’s lecture, “Comprehensive Stroke Care and Outcomes: Is it Time for a Paradigm Shift?” is scheduled for 10:33 a.m. PT, during the Closing Main Event session on Friday, Feb. 21, in Hall K.

Spence, the 2020 winner of the Feinberg Award, is professor of neurology and clinical pharmacology and director of the Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre at Robarts Research Institute in London, Ontario, Canada.

The William M. Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke is named for the prominent stroke clinician-researcher and American Heart Association volunteer who contributed to a fuller understanding of the causes of stroke. The award recognizes significant contributions to the investigation and management of clinical research in stroke.

Spence’s lecture, titled “Stroke Prevention: A Lifetime of Lessons,” is 10:56 a.m. PT, Friday, Feb. 21, at the Closing Main Event session in Hall K.

Khurana, the 2020 Stroke Rehabilitation Award winner, is a professor of neurology and director of the stroke program at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research in Chandigarh, India.

The award encourages investigators to undertake or continue research and/or clinical work in the field of stroke rehabilitation. Khurana’s abstract is titled “Medical Application Based Post Stroke Care Strategy (MAPSS) for Survivors and their Caregivers: A Pilot Study,” and will be presented at 8 a.m. PT, Wednesday, Feb. 19, the Clinical Rehabilitation and Recovery Oral Abstract I session in Room 153.

Sarraj, the 2020 winner of the Stroke Care in Emergency Medicine Award, is associate professor of neurology at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) in Houston, Texas.

The Emergency Medicine Award encourages investigators to undertake or continue research in the emergent phase of acute stroke treatment and submit an abstract to the International Stroke Conference.

Sarraj’s winning abstract is titled “Optimization Methodologies to Enhance Endovascular Thrombectomy Access in the United States, Abstract 29, to be presented during the  Emergency Care/Systems Oral Abstracts I session at 8:45 a.m. PT, Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Room 152.

Falcone is this year’s Robert G. Siekert New Investigator Award in Stroke winner. Falcone is assistant professor of neurology at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

The Siekert New Investigator Award in Stroke recognizes Robert G. Siekert – the founding chairman of the American Heart Association’s International Conference on Stroke and Cerebral Circulation. The award encourages new investigators to undertake or continue stroke-related research. Falcone’s abstract is titled Sex and Genetic Predisposition Synergistically Influence Risk of Stroke and Myocardial Infarction in Middle-aged Persons without Risk Factors,” Presentation 71, to be presented at 4:15 p.m. PT, Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the Community/Risk Factors Oral Abstracts I session in Room 515B.

Adeola Olowu, M.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Dallas, Texas

Olowu, 2020’s Vascular Cognitive Impairment Award recipient, is a neurologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas.

The Vascular Cognitive Impairment Award promotes understanding and prevention of cognitive impairment due to cerebrovascular disease, one of the highest priorities for patients and a key step to improving brain health. Olowu’s abstract, titled “New Mutations Linked to Cerebral Autosomal Recessive Arteriopathy With Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy in Africa and North America,” Presentation 38, is at 9:09 a.m. PT, Wednesday, Feb.19, during the Vascular Cognitive Impairment Oral Abstracts session in Room 515B.

Zhang, the 2020 Mordecai Y.T. Globus New Investigator Award in Stroke winner is an M.D. and Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Texas HSC in Fort Worth, Texas.

Hongxia Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. Candidate
University of North Texas HSC
Fort Worth, Texas

This award recognizes Dr. Mordecai Y.T. Globus’ major contributions to research in cerebrovascular disease and his outstanding contributions to the elucidation of the role of neurotransmitters in ischemia and trauma; the interactions among multiple neurotransmitters; mechanisms of hypothermic neuroprotection; and the role of oxygen radical mechanisms and nitric oxide in brain injury.

Zhang’s abstract, titled “Blood Exosomes Impact Stroke Outcomes via Complement Microglia Signaling,” is Presentation 107 at 8:45 a.m. PT, Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Basic and Preclinical Neuroscience of Stroke Recovery Oral Abstracts I session in Room 153.

Li, currently a Ph.D. candidate in the department of neurological sciences at the University of Vermont in Burlington, is honored with the Stroke Basic Science Award, which recognizes basic or translational science that is laboratory-based. Her abstract is titled, “Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibition Reverses Vasoconstriction and Impaired Dilation of Pial Collaterals During Chronic Hypertension,” Presentation 138, and will be presented at 3:12 p.m. PT, Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Vascular Biology in Health and Disease Oral Abstracts session in Room 153.


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