American Stroke Association honors nine outstanding contributors to stroke, research

American Stroke Association Award News

February 17, 2016 Categories: Scientific Conferences & Meetings, Stroke News

Embargoed until 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17, 2016 — Scientists who have devoted their careers to stroke research and contributed to groundbreaking studies, as well as young stroke researchers making notable contributions to today’s understanding of stroke, will be honored for their work by the American Stroke Association during the International Stroke Conference 2016 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

  • Philip Bath, F.R.C.P., D.Sc., of the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, will receive the William Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke. 
  • Bo Norrving, M.D., Ph.D., of Lund University in Sweden, will receive the David G. Sherman Lecture Award for his lifetime contributions to the stroke field.
  • Ulrich Dirnagl, M.D., of Charité UniversitätsMedizin Berlin, will receive the 2016 Thomas Willis Lecture Award for basic science contributions to the investigation and management of stroke.
  • Solène Moulin, M.D., Ph.D. student, at University Hospital of Lille, France, will receive the Vascular Cognitive Impairment Award.
  • Julie Bernhardt, Ph.D., of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia, will receive the Stroke Rehabilitation Award.
  • Amjad Shehadah, M.D., of the National Institutes of Health, will receive the Mordecai Y. T. Globus New Investigator Award in Stroke.
  • Peter D. Panagos, M.D., of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, will receive the Stroke Care in Emergency Medicine Award.
  • Hooman Kamel, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, will receive the Robert G. Siekert New Investigator in Stroke Award.
  • Yejie Shi, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will receive the Stroke Basic Science Award.

Bath will give the William M. Feinberg Award: “High explosive treatment for ultra-acute stroke: hype or hope” during the Plenary I session at 11:03 a.m. CT, Wednesday, Feb.17, 2016 (Hall K).

The Feinberg Award is named for Dr. William Feinberg (1952-1997), a prominent stroke clinician-researcher and American Heart Association volunteer who contributed to a fuller understanding of the causes of stroke. The award recognizes a Stroke Council Fellow actively involved in patient-based research who has made significant contributions to clinical stroke research.

Bath is Stroke Association professor of stroke and head of clinical neuroscience at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. A consultant physician in inpatient and outpatient stroke and hypertension at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Bath is a National Institutes of Health Research (NIHR) senior investigator. He was associate director (industry and prevention) for the NIHR Stroke Research Network, and chaired the Industry Roundtable of the European Stroke Organization.

Bath’s research interests involve the pathophysiology and management of acute blood pressure and haemostasis (which is the process that causes bleeding to cease) in stroke, stroke prevention, stem cell therapy and treatment of post-stroke dysphagia, or swallowing difficulty. He has authored more than 300 publications.

Among the highlights in his career as a researcher: He is or was chief investigator of the TAIST (Lancet 2001), ENOS (Lancet 2015), STEPS, PODCAST, TARDIS and RIGHT-2 multicentre randomized controlled trials. He coordinates international collaborations on acute stroke blood pressure management, and on optimizing the design and analysis of trials in acute stroke, stroke prevention and cognition. He also facilitates preclinical studies of stroke interventions.

Norrving will give the David G. Sherman Lecture: “Visions of stroke” at 10:33 a.m. PT, during the Plenary II session Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 (Hall K).

The Sherman Award honors a Stroke Council Fellow and senior investigator who has made outstanding lifetime contributions in basic or clinical stroke science, has been a mentor to students, residents, fellows and junior faculty, and is or has been active in the Stroke Council's programs. The Sherman Award’s intention is to support the history and continuity between the first generation of stroke neuroscientists who attended the early years of the International Joint Conference on Stroke and Cerebral Circulation and the future of the ever increasing new generation of stroke neurologists who attend the International Stroke Conference.

Norrving is professor of neurology at Lund University, Lund, Sweden. He has done extensive research on stroke epidemiology, stroke syndromes, small vessel disease, ultrasound, neuroimaging, clinical genetics, clinical trials and stroke service organization. A contributor to more than 300 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals and a co-author of several books, including The Oxford Textbook on Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, Norrving has been involved in ground-breaking research. For example, he was corresponding author of the Swedish Aspirin Low-Dose Trial (SALT) published in The Lancet in 1991. It was the first trial to show the benefit of low-dose aspirin therapy for stroke prevention. Researchers referred to the SALT study nearly 20 years later to demonstrate that aspirin had a protective effect on colorectal cancers.

Dirnagl will deliver the Thomas Willis Lecture: “Why translational stroke research cannot succeed without failure” during the Plenary III session at 11:33 a.m. PT, Friday, Feb. 19, 2015 (Hall K).

The Willis Award recognizes an American Heart Association Stroke Council Fellow who has “actively engaged in and has made significant contributions to basic science research (animal/cell models) in stroke.” It honors Thomas Willis (1621-1675), a pioneer physician who provided the first detailed descriptions of the brain stem, cerebellum and ventricles along with hypotheses on their function.

At the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Professor Dirnagl is director of experimental neurology, chief executive director of the Center for Stroke Research Berlin, clinical program coordinator of the Excellence Cluster NeuroCure and the Berlin partner site of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, as well as program director of the International Graduate Program Medical Neuroscience.

Dirnagl’s research is focused on stroke, cerebral blood flow regulation and brain imaging. He and colleagues have explored ways by which restricted blood flow to the brain leads to cell death, and have developed novel methods to intercept mechanisms of damage in acute brain damage and foster lesion regeneration and repair.

Dirnagl is particularly interested in how the brain protects itself, in a process called endogenous neuroprotection, and how it interacts with other systems of the body after it has been injured, as well as the mechanisms underlying functional brain imaging. He and his team are using techniques that allow the non-invasive imaging of brain biochemistry and molecular signaling, with the help of optical, MR and nuclear medicine approaches.

The Vascular Cognitive Impairment Award encourages investigators to undertake or continue research or clinical work in the field of vascular cognitive impairment. Moulin, a neurologist, stroke fellow and Ph.D. student at the University Hospital of Lille, France, will present abstract 43: “Dementia after spontaneous intra-cerebral hemorrhage,” at 8:45 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17 (Room 152). Her primary interest is in researching long-term outcomes of patients with intracerebral hemorrhage, with a special focus on cognition.

The Stroke Rehabilitation Award encourages investigators to initiate or continue research in the basic and preclinical neuroscience of stroke recovery or clinical rehabilitation and recovery. Professor Bernhardt, head of the stroke division at Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia, will present abstract 76: “Exploring efficacy and safety of very early mobilization within 24 hours of stroke onset versus usual stroke unit care (A Very Early Rehabilitation Trial, AVERT): Pre-specified Subgroup Analysis,” at 2:30 p.m. PT, Wednesday, Feb. 17 (502B). Bernhardt is Australia’s leading stroke rehabilitation researcher, recently completing the largest international trial of rehabilitation conducted, called AVERT, which included more than 2,000 patients from eight countries.

The Globus Award is named for the late renowned cerebrovascular researcher and is given to a researcher in training. Shehadah, a vascular neurology fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, will present abstract 127: “Class IIa histone deacetylases are essential for neuronal remodeling and functional recovery after stroke” at 8:45 a.m. PT, Thursday, Feb. 18 (Room 515B).

Shehadah’s research includes in vivo and in vitro studies focusing on brain plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change and adapt, and functional recovery after stroke. Using experimental stroke models, he tested different types of stem cells and pharmacological agents to induce brain regeneration and remodeling after ischemia, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is reduced. Today, Shehadah’s research focuses on post-stroke cognitive impairments in humans.

The Emergency Medicine Award, for the highest scoring emergency medicine abstract, encourages investigators to undertake or continue research in the emergent phase of acute stroke treatment. Panagos, associate professor of emergency medicine and neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, will present abstract 152, “Sustained improvement of door-to-needle times using Toyota's LEAN manufacturing principles: The Washington University Experience 2003-15,” at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18 (Room 151). 

Dr. Panagos is the director of Neurovascular Emergencies at Washington University and co-director of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University Stroke Network. His primary research and clinical interest is in acute stroke management. This abstract will report on his institutions’ five year experience utilizing incremental LEAN process improvement events to increasingly expedite acute stroke treatment times in the emergency department to some of the fastest in the U.S.

The Siekert Award is named for the founding chair of the International Stroke Conference and is presented to an outstanding young scientist. Kamel, assistant professor of neurology and director of the Clinical and Translational Neuroscience Unit in the Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine, is recognized for abstract 210: “Association between paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia and ischemic stroke in patients without atrial fibrillation,” which he will present at 9:57 a.m. PT, Friday, Feb. 19 (Room 151). Kamel’s study looks at paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), which many believe is a benign heart-rhythm disorder, and examines its association with stroke risk. He and colleagues found PSVT is associated with increased stroke risk in Medicare beneficiaries with implantable pacemakers or defibrillators. The finding helps to uncover what could be a previously unrecognized stroke risk factor and could substantially affect PSVT treatment in the long term.

The Stroke Basic Science Award encourages investigators to undertake or continue basic or translational science research in the field of cerebrovascular disease. Shi, a postdoctoral associate of neurology at the University of Pittsburgh, will present abstract 147: “Aberrant activation of ASK1 mediates proinflammatory and neurotoxic microglial responses after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion,” at 9:57 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 (Room 502B). Shi’s research interests include understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal cell death in stroke and other central nervous system injuries. Her recent research focuses on neuron-glia interactions, neurovascular protection and improvement of long-term neurological functions after stroke.

Follow news from ASA’s International Stroke Conference 2016 via Twitter @HeartNews #ISC16.

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