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Hallett Honored for Dystonia Work

Dr. Richard Lewis (l), medical education leader of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, presents Dr. Mark Hallett, chief of the Medical Neurology Branch and human motor control section, NINDS, with a special recognition award at the foundation's recent 25th anniversary celebration dinner. Hallett was one of several NINDS'ers recognized for their exceptional work on behalf of persons with dystonia. Other NINDS honorees included former director Dr. Gerald Fischbach, associate director for extramural research Dr. Constance Atwell, and program director Dr. Giovanna Spinella. At the dinner, which was held at the Bethesda Marriott, the foundation applauded NINDS for its "leadership in shaping the future of brain research" and for its "commitment to encouraging collaboration." Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures that are sometimes painful. The foundation — established in 1976 — has awarded more than 350 grants totaling $16 million for dystonia research.

Wassermann Awarded Visiting Professorship

Dr. Eric Wassermann, chief of the brain stimulation unit in the Office of the Clinical Director, NINDS, and a neurological consultant at the Clinical Center, was recently awarded a visiting professorship in psychiatry in the department of neurology at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center. The purpose of the professorship — which is sponsored by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and provides $7,500 to the medical center — is to enhance the clinical and educational activities of medical schools and teaching hospitals in the United States. Wassermann, who joined NINDS as a neurological consultant and a postdoctoral fellow in the human motor control section in 1989, earned his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and his medical degree from New York Medical College. His laboratory studies include investigations of human brain physiology, primarily with the technique of transcranial magnetic stimulation. Under the professorship, Wassermann will spend 3 days at the medical center teaching and collaborating on studies of motor cortex function in children with movement and behavioral disorders.

Landis Honored by Wellesley

Dr. Story Landis, NINDS scientific director, recently received the Wellesley Alumnae Achievement Award from her alma mater Wellesley College. The award is given annually to "alumnae who have brought honor to themselves and to Wellesley College through their outstanding achievements." The award was established in 1969, and is the highest honor given to alumnae for excellence and distinction in their fields of endeavor. Landis graduated from Wellesley in 1967 with an undergraduate degree in biology. She earned her master's degree and her Ph.D. — both from Harvard University — in 1970 and 1973, respectively. Landis was recognized for the significant contributions she has made to the field of neuroscience including her extensive research on the development of the nervous system and her exceptional leadership both at Case Western Reserve University and, more recently, at the Intramural Research Program at NINDS. Currently, her laboratory is studying the developmental interactions required for the formation of functional synapses.

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