Dr. Amjad Shehadah, a vascular neurology fellow in the Stroke Branch of the NINDS Division of Intramural Research, has received the Mordecai Y. T. Globus New Investigator Award in Stroke from the American Stroke Association (ASA). Named for the late renowned cerebrovascular researcher, the award is given by ASA each year to a researcher-in-training.
Shehadah was honored for his research project, “Class IIa histone deacetylases are essential for neuronal remodeling and functional recovery after stroke,” which he completed during his neurology residency at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit. “In this study we identified a group of enzymes important for brain recovery after stroke. This discovery provides a novel target for stroke therapy,” said Shehadah. He received the award at the International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles.
Shehadah earned his medical degree in 2005 from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. In 2008, he came to the United States to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in basic stroke research in Dr. Michael Chopp’s lab at Henry Ford Hospital. Shehadah became a neurology resident at the department of neurology there in 2011, and served as a chief resident during his fourth year of residency. He joined NINDS in 2015.
His research includes in vivo and in vitro studies on brain plasticity—the brain’s ability to adapt and change—and functional recovery after stroke. He used experimental stroke models to test different types of stem cells and pharmacological agents to induce brain regeneration and remodeling after ischemia (restricted blood flow to the brain). Shehadah’s current research focuses on stroke recovery and post-stroke cognitive impairments in humans.
Dr. Regina Smith James has joined NIMHD as a medical officer. She will serve as director of clinical and health services research in the Division of Scientific Programs. Her appointment will strengthen this direction of NIMHD’s funding research, which will emphasize projects on minority health and health disparities in clinical settings, health services research and patient-clinician communication. James has also been the lead NIMHD representative in planning meetings for the Precision Medicine Initiative.
She has previously served as director of the Office of Health Equity at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a program director at the National Institute of Mental Health and a clinical fellow in the Division of Intramural Research Programs at NIMH, where she conducted clinical trials on safety and efficacy of stimulant medications in children and adolescents. Her research interests include understanding and addressing how individual and population-level determinants affect health status, access and quality of health care across the lifespan.