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Yale and Rush University scientists receive Sanberg Awards from ASNTR

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 10:36am
EurekAlert

Tampa, Fla. (May 9, 2011) At the 18th Annual Conference of the American Society of Neural Therapy and Repair (ASNTR), held in conjunction with the 11th International Conference on Neuronal Transplantation and Repair (INTR) May 4 May 8, 2011 in Clearwater Beach, Florida, the ASNTR awarded The 2011 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair to Donald Eugene Redmond, MD, professor of neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine. ASNTR also presented The Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award to Roy E.A. Bakay, MD, professor and vice chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery, Rush University Medical Center.

The 2011 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair

The 2011 award was presented in recognition of Dr. Redmond's significant and lifelong research and clinical contributions in neurosurgery.

The award is named for Bernard Sanberg, father of Dr. Paul Sanberg (University of South Florida), who is a co-founder of the ASNTR. After Bernard Sanberg died of a stroke in 1999, the award bearing his name was established and is presented by the ASNTR annually to an individual who has made outstanding research contributions in the field of neural therapy and repair. The award, first presented in 2000, is presented every year at ASNTR's Annual Meeting.

Research interests for Dr. Redmond, who has a joint appointment in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosurgery, include dopamine, fetal neural tissue, stem cells, gene therapy, neural grafts and Parkinson's disease. He also serves as the director of Yale University Medical School's Neural Transplant and Neurobehavior Program where Yale scientists investigate cellular and viral repair strategies for central nervous system diseases.

"Gene is an outstanding scientist who had the insight to recognize the need for establishing a state-of-the-art primate research facility," said Dr. Robert Roth, professor of pharmacology and psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine. "The St. Kitts Biomedical Foundation, which Gene founded and directs, is an AAALAC accredited facility and recognized as one the premier primate research facilities in the world. It is utilized by numerous outstanding scientists who are recognized nationally and internationally for their translational research on neurodegenerative disorders. I and the members of ASNTR owe Gene a debt of gratitude for establishing and directing a world class site for translational research. He is most deserving of the this award."

According to Dr. John Sladek, professor of neurology, pediatrics and neuroscience at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Dr. Redmond has led the field of cellular repair in the nervous system for Parkinson's disease for over 25 years and pioneered the use of a non-human primate model of the disease. "Excellence in academia is, perhaps, not surprising for this former high school Class Valedictorian (Thomas Jefferson San Antonio) and member of Phi Bet Kappa (Southern Methodist University)," said Dr. Sladek. "He is one of the founding members the ASNTR and has provided thoughtful guidance for the Society's position on clinical trials."

Recent past winners of the award include Shinn-Zong Lin, MD, PhD (2010) Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD, Georgetown University (2009); Paul Carvey, PhD, Rush University Medical Center (2008); Barry Hoffer, MD, PhD, NIDA/NIH (2007); and John Sladek, PhD, University of Colorado (2006).

The Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award

In recognition of his significant contributions to the field of brain repair, this year's Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award was presented to Roy A.E. Bakay, MD, professor and vice chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery, Rush University Medical Center.

The Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award is presented periodically by the ASNTR to an outstanding scientist who has made a significant contribution to the field of brain repair.

Dr. Bakay's clinical interests include stereotaxy, epilepsy, movement disorders and brain tumors while his research interests range from neuroanatomical to electrophysical. His early efforts were directed at evaluating neuroanatomical changes in the development of epilepsy. Currently, he focuses on neural transplantation and neurotrophic gene therapy.

"Dr. Roy Bakay has been a leading clinician and scientist for decades," said Dr. Jeffery H. Kordower, director of the Research Center for Brain Repair and section head for neurosurgery at the Rush University Medical Center. "He was first to demonstrate survival of dopamine grafted neurons in nonhuman primates and has been a leader in clinical work with fetal transplants, DBS, gene therapy and other neurosurgical approaches."

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