American Neurological Association Announces Recipients of 2017 Awards for Outstanding Work in Academic Neurology


The American Neurological Association (ANA), the professional organization representing the nation’s top academic neurologists and neuroscientists, has announced the winners of its 2017 scientific awards, to be presented at the ANA’s Annual Meeting in San Diego October 15-17, 2017. The awards recognize leaders in academic neurology and neuroscience who have exemplified excellence in a number of areas, including stroke, dementia and neurodegenerative disease.

“We are thrilled to honor exceptional scientists confronting some of the most pressing challenges in neurology as well as the promising up-and-coming talent in our field,” said Barbara G. Vickrey, MD, MPH, president of the ANA and professor and neurology system chair at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The innovative research recognized at the Annual Meeting is among the most cutting-edge in neurology.”

Each year, the ANA Annual Meeting convenes more than 700 of the nation's top academic neurologists and neuroscientists to share updates and late-breaking research on the diseases that affect more than 100 million Americans each year including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and more. Out of this distinguished group, the following will receive a 2017 ANA Award:


The Raymond D. Adams Lectureship honors Dr. Raymond D. Adams, emeritus Bullard Professor of Neuropathy at Harvard Medical School and emeritus Chief of Neurology Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Awarded to: Reisa Sperling, M.D, MMSc, Harvard Medical School
Presentation title: Imaging in Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease

The F.E. Bennett Memorial Lectureship began in 1979 to recognize outstanding neuroscientists.

Awarded to: Adrian Krainer, PhD, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Presentation title: ASO Therapy for SMA: Harnessing the Power of a Backup Gene

The Soriano Lectureship was established in 1987 by ANA member Dr. Victor Soriano and his wife to provide a “brilliant lecture delivered by an outstanding scientist” who is a member of the Association.

Awarded to: Gretchen Birbeck, MD, MPH, DTMH, FAAN, University of Rochester
Presentation title: Neuroprotective Studies in Cerebral Malaria: Can Africa’s Efforts Inform U.S. Neurology?

The George W. Jacoby Lectureship (2016) is given triennially to a member of the ANA who, in the judgment of a Committee, has conducted some especially meritorious experimental work upon any neurologic or psychiatric subject.

Award to: Huda Zoghbi, MD, Baylor College of Medicine
Presentation title: Using Genetics to Identify Pathways that Regulate Proteins Driving Neurodegeneration

Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Scholars
The Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Awards are clinical awards given each year during the Annual Meeting to new members of the association who have achieved significant stature in neurological research, and who show promise and will continue making major contributions to the field of neurology.

The Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Scholar Award in Basic Science

Awarded to: Conrad Chris Weihl, MD, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis
Presentation title: Connecting Protein Quality Control Pathways in Skeletal Muscle and Muscle Disease

The Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Scholar Award in Clinical Science

Awarded to: Kevin N. Sheth, MD, FAHA, FCCM, FNCS, FAAN, FANA, Yale University School of Medicine
Presentation Title: Instructive, Pragmatic, and Successful Trials in Acute Brain Injury: Making Intracerebral Hemorrhage the LEAST Devastating Form of Stroke

The Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Scholar Award in Clinical Science

Awarded to: Lesli Skolarus, MD, MS, University of Michigan
Presentation title: Reducing the Burden of Stroke in a Disadvantaged Community

Research & Teaching Awards

The Distinguished Neurology Teacher Award recognizes and rewards contributions by gifted and talented teachers of neurology. Nominees come from the entire field of clinical neurology or neuroscience.

Awarded to: Zachary Nathaniel London, MD, FAAN, University of Michigan

The Grass Foundation-ANA Award in Neuroscience established in 2007, honors outstanding young investigators conducting research in basic or clinical neuroscience.

Awarded to: Clotilde Lagier-Tourenne, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Presentation title: Modeling C9ORF72 Disease: A Crucial Step for Therapeutic Development in ALS and Frontotemporal Dementia

The Wolfe Neuropathy Research Prize was established in 2009 by Mr. Winston Wolfe and the ANA to honor outstanding investigators who identify a new cause or novel treatment of axonal peripheral neuropathy.

Awarded to: Stefanie Geisler, MD, Washington University in Saint Louis
Poster number: S297
Category: Neuromuscular Disease
Abstract title: Targeting a Core Axonal Degeneration Program to Treat Vincristine and Bortezomib-Induced Axonal Degeneration

International Outreach Scholarship
In 2017, the ANA launched the International Outreach Scholarship program to enable young neurologists to pursue their interests in global neurology. This program funds two scholarships to facilitate scientists in training in neurology to work in low to lower-middle income countries (as defined by the World Bank) for a minimum of six weeks in the upcoming academic year.

Awarded to: Jori Fleisher, MD, MSCE, Rush University Medical Center
Location: The joint Global Neurology Program of Beth Israel Medical Center and Rush University Medical Center in Lusaka, Zambia

Awarded to: Rajarshi Mazumder, MD, UCLA
Location: Gulu University, Gulu, Uganda


About the American Neurological Association (ANA)

Founded in 1875, the American Neurological Association is the premier professional society of academic neurologists and neuroscientists devoted to the understanding of diseases of the nervous system and the profession’s ability to treat them. Its monthly Annals of Neurology, first published in 1977, is one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, the ANA’s newest publication, is a peer-reviewed online journal for rapid dissemination of high-quality research focused on topics of interest to the clinical neuroscience community. For more information, visit