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Vol. LVII, No. 20
October 7, 2005

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NINDS Grantees Share Opprecht Award

Dr. Stanley Fahn  
Two NINDS grantees — Dr. Stanley Fahn, H. Houston Merritt professor of neurology and director of the Center for Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders at Columbia University, and Dr. Zbigniew Wszolek, professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. — recently shared the 2005 Annemarie Opprecht Award for their research on Parkinson's disease.

Sponsored by the Annemarie Opprecht Foundation, the award recognizes scientific papers that present significant results or findings in all areas of research on Parkinson's disease — including basic sciences, epidemiology, treatment, social impact and economic aspects.

  Dr. Zbigniew Wszolek
Fahn was recognized for his article in the Dec. 9, 2004, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine titled "Levodopa and the progression of Parkinson's disease." Wszolek was cited for his publication in the Nov. 18, 2004, issue of the journal Neuron titled "Mutations in LRRK2 cause autosomal-dominant parkinsonism with pleomorphic pathology."

Established in 1998, the foundation was created by Opprecht — a Swiss philanthropist — to promote medical or medical-related research in the field of Parkinson's disease. The award will be presented at the joint meeting of the Swiss neurological and neurosurgical societies on Oct. 28 in St. Gallin, Switzerland.

Mann Foundation Honors NIBIB's Heetderks


Dr. William Heetderks, associate director for science programs at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, was recently honored by the Alfred Mann Foundation with the Award for Scientific Achievement. The annual award recognizes a leader in the field of biomedicine whose work is groundbreaking and relevant to work done by the Mann Foundation. Awardees must have made substantial contributions to the advancement of medicine or medical technology and have inspired others to advance the field. Heetderks was selected for his exceptional work in the field of functional neuromuscular systems. His work in radio frequency-powered control over neural prosthetic implants provided the motivation for development of a microstimulator/sensor system by the Mann Foundation. His continued research in closed loop control of functional neuromuscular stimulation, cortical control of neural prostheses, spinal cord stimulation and cochlear implants has inspired a community of scientists to reach for new and greater medical achievement.

Herrington Named To FIC Post

Dr. James Herrington is the new director of the Fogarty International Center's Division of International Relations. Since 2000, he has been on assignment with the United Nations Foundation, where he provided scientific expertise to senior staff in the areas of women's and children's health, population studies, HIV/AIDS and the environment. He has also been a CDC health scientist with 24 years of experience in international public health program design and evaluation. He has focused on Africa and the Caribbean with long-term assignments in Senegal (Peace Corps), Cote D'Ivoire, Nigeria and Haiti. Herrington earned his Ph.D. in environmental health and epidemiology at Colorado State University.

Two Join Fogarty Advisory Board

The two newest members of the FIC advisory board are (front, from l) Dr. Arthur Kleinman of Harvard University and Dr. William A. Vega of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, N.J. Kleinman is the Esther and Sidney Rabb professor and chairman of the department of anthropology, while Vega is a professor of psychiatry. They are shown attending their first FIC advisory board meeting. Looking on is Dr. Sharon L. Ramey of Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies.

NHLBI's Ram Retires After 40 Years

Capt. Helena Mishoe, NHLBI, presents Dr. J. Sri Ram the NHLBI 2005 Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award in recognition of his extraordinary commitment and outstanding contributions over several decades to ensure a future research workforce of the highest quality and reflective of the nation's diversity.

Dr. J. Sri Ram retired recently from NHLBI's Division of Lung Diseases (DLD). He was employed at the institute for 28 years and had been with NIH since 1965.

When he retired, Ram was group leader, Training and Special Programs, Airway Biology and Disease Program, a position he held since 1994.

A native of India, Ram earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. He came to the United States in 1953 to join Fordham University in New York and spent his first 20 years in the U.S. doing laboratory research at a variety of institutions. While at NIH, Ram returned to the Indian Institute of Science in 1972 for a year as a Fulbright visiting professor to teach immunology and to organize workshops on immunochemical techniques.

Dr. James Kiley, DLD director, said that Ram made significant contributions to advancing minority investigators' careers and to efforts to reduce health disparities in minority populations. Kiley highlighted Ram's development of an Academic Award grant program to enhance the ability of physicians and other health care professionals to address disparities in the incidence, management and outcomes of cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematological and sleep disorders among various population groups in the U.S. in a culturally sensitive manner.

An accomplishment of which Ram is particularly proud is his participation in an NHLBI/WHO initiative called GOLD (Global initiative on Obstructive Lung Disease). The initiative resulted in the first international guidelines for the diagnosis, management and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2001.

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