Current Opinion in Neurology was launched in 1988. It is one of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The field of neurology is divided into 14 sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Journal's Editors-in-Chief and Section Editors for this issue.
Richard Frackowiak is Professor of Neurology and head of the new Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the Université de Lausanne in the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Switzerland. His scientific interest is in human brain imaging with a focus is on plasticity and structure-function relationships, especially in relation to neurodegenerative disease and genetic associations of cognition.
He was previously Foundation Professor of Cognitive Neurology at University College London (UCL), UK, where he set up the Functional Imaging Laboratory (FIL), as a Wellcome Trust Principal Clinical Research Fellow. He has also directed the Institute of Neurology in Queen Square and the Department of Cognitive Studies at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. A Fellow of the Academies of Medical Sciences of the UK, France and Belgium, he is also a member of the Academia Europaea and of the Institute of Medicine of the American Academies. He advises the Director-General of INSERM and as honorary professor, the Provost & President of UCL. He is past president of the British Neuroscience Association and currently presides over the European Brain and Behaviour Society.
John Mazziotta has had a distinguished career of leadership, scientific achievement and service to the neuroscientific community. Scientifically, he has helped transform our understanding of diseases of the nervous system through the use of neuroimaging. These strategies and insights have greatly advanced our basic understanding of disease mechanisms, diagnostic criteria and the manner by which one can track conventional and experimental therapies.
His basic science understanding of neuroimaging methods resulted in his having a leadership role in the development of methods that are now used on a global basis for acquiring and analyzing imaging data of the brain. These accomplishments include the development of both probabilistic and statistical mapping methods to analyze functional brain images. He, and others, then used these strategies to advance our understanding of normal brain function and its alteration in disease states.
His contributions to the study of normal brain function include some of the first descriptions of the normal unstimulated brain's glucose metabolism in adults as well as the first, and currently only, study of glucose metabolism in the developing brain of children in the first decade of life. He and his UCLA colleagues described the functional systems associated with normal vision (primary visual cortices, human visual motion center and shape analysis sites), auditory function, motor systems as well as brain networks that are critical to human learning and imitative behaviors. These studies of the normal human brain have now culminated in his establishment, as principal investigator, of the International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) involving eight laboratories, in seven countries, on four continents. The goal is to develop the first probabilistic atlas of the human brain including behavioral, demographic, imaging and genetic data from 7,000 subjects. This global effort will define the structural and functional variance of the human brain and will serve as a massive resource for exploring structure-function-genetic relationships in the normal human brain across all ages. When combined with probabilistic atlases of disease states, this system will provide a previously unavailable means for comparing investigations of normal and abnormal brain function, automated diagnoses and a quantitative, objective means of developing imaging biomarkers that will improve the efficacy of experimental clinical trials.
Dr Mazziotta has had a leadership role in describing what has now become our understanding of the disruption of normal functional brain networks in a wide range of neurological disorders. These include the first papers describing the sites of altered metabolism or blood flow in the nervous system that occur even when brain structure remains intact. Publications by Dr Mazziotta and his UCLA colleagues describing these new observations have stood the test of time and include such disorders as epilepsy, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, aphasias, movement disorders (tardive dyskinesia, Wilson's and Huntington's disease), migraine and Alzheimer's disease. Of note is the fact that Dr Mazziotta was the first to develop strategies for using both genetic risk profiles (Huntington's disease) and later specific genotypes to demonstrate the pattern of abnormal brain function that preceded clinical disease onset. This has now set the stage and provided the means by which to track and monitor presymptomatic individuals with disorders such as Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease, both to describe the natural history of the disorders, as well as to provide objective, noninvasive and quantifiable estimates of the efficacy of experimental therapies.
Having had a strong leadership role in national societies and organizations as well as university governance, Dr Mazziotta established the first Brain Mapping Center at UCLA that included all of the methods available to study human brain structure and function. He is now the Chair of one of the largest neurology departments in the United States which last year achieved the distinguished position of being first in NIH research funding. As the chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the American Academy of Neurology, Dr Mazziotta transformed the program, invigorated its presentations and integrated basic and clinical neuroscience. This format and his innovations remain in place years after his influence began. As Editor-In-Chief of the journal NeuroImage, he and his co-editors took this fledgling publication to a position that dominates the field, with an impact factor that has been as high as nine in recent years. Adept at organizing and managing large national and international groups, he has been instrumental in organizing large symposia, consortia and task forces that have advanced both clinical and basic neuroscience.
Since beginning this work, Dr Mazziotta has published more than 243 research papers and eight texts. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Oldendorf Award from the American Society of Neuroimaging, the S. Weir Mitchell Award, the Wartenberg Prize of the American Academy of Neurology, the Von Hevesy Prize from the International Society of Nuclear Medicine, and the 1996 Medical Science Award from the UCLA Medical Alumni Association. Dr Mazziotta has been president and a founding member of the Institute for Clinical PET (positron emission tomography), the past chair of the Scientific Issues and Program Committee of the American Academy of Neurology, the past president of the American Neuroimaging Society and the President of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping. Dr Mazziotta was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal College of Physicians.
Dr Tatjana Rundek is a Professor of Neurology, Vice Chair of Clinical Research, and a Director of Clinical Translational Research Division in the Department of Neurology of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, USA. Dr Rundek is a stroke neurologist, clinical researcher and principal investigator of several large longitudinal NIH funded projects on genetic determinants of carotid atherosclerosis and stroke epidemiology. Dr Rundek was the Fulbright Scholar and the recipient of the research awards from the Hazel K. Goddess and the Dr Gilbert Baum Fund and the American Institute in Ultrasound in Medicine for best clinical application of ultrasound. Her current research work is directed toward the genetic and environmental determinants of atherosclerosis, stroke, and use of ultrasound for early detection, intervention and prevention of functional and structural changes of arterial wall in inflammation. Dr Rundek serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals including Stroke, Neurology and Cerebrovascular Diseases. She is a member of the American Heart Association, American Academy of Neurology, and American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. She is currently President of the Neurosonology Community Practice of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the largest professional medical ultrasound institution in the US.
Ralph L. Sacco
Ralph L. Sacco has several positions at the McKnight Brain Institute at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, USA. This includes the Chairman of Neurology, Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders, Miller Professor of Neurology, Public Health & Epidemiology, Neurosurgery and Human Genetics; and Executive Director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the Miller School of Medicine. Finally, Dr Sacco is the Chief of the Neurology Service at the Jackson Memorial Hospital, USA.
A graduate of Cornell University, USA and a cum laude graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, USA he also holds a master's in epidemiology from Columbia University, USA School of Public Health. Dr Sacco completed his neurology residency training and postdoctoral training in stroke and Epidemiology at Columbia Presbyterian in New York, USA. He was previously Professor of Neurology, Chief of the Stroke and Critical Care Division, and Associate Chairman at Columbia University before taking his current position as chairman of Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, USA.
Principal Investigator of the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), as well as co-investigator of multiple other NIH grants, Dr Sacco has published extensively with over 300 peer-reviewed articles in the areas of stroke prevention, treatment, epidemiology, risk factors, human genetics, and stroke recurrence. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including, the Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke, the Chairman's Award from the American Heart Association, and the NINDS Javits Award in Neuroscience.
Dr Sacco is a fellow of both the Stroke and Epidemiology Councils of the American Heart Association and a former Board of Directors member of the American Academy of Neurology. He is a member of the American Association of Physicians and the American Neurological Association. He was the first neurologist to serve as President of the American Heart Association, 2010–11.
Dr José-Alain Sahel is currently the Director of the Vision Institute and the Laboratory of Excellence “LIFESENSES: senses for a lifetime”. He is Professor of Ophthalmology at Pierre and Marie Curie University Medical School, Paris, France and Cumberlege Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, UK. He oversees the research centre that functions in synergy with the Quinze-Vingts National Ophthalmology Hospital and whose primary focus is understanding the mechanisms associated with eye diseases, and conception and evaluation of innovative treatments. The Vision Institute comprises more than 15 principal investigators and more than 220 researchers focused on developing novel therapeutic strategies for ocular diseases. Dr Sahel graduated from Paris University Medical School and performed his residency in Ophthalmology in Paris and Strasbourg. He was a research fellow at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, USA and a visiting lecturer at the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin. Dr Sahel served as Director of the Eye Pathology Laboratory at the Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France and moved to the Pierre and Marie Curie University in 2002 as Professor of Ophthalmology, Chair of a Department of Ophthalmology at the Quinze-Vingts National Ophthalmology Hospital and at the Rothschild Ophthalmology Foundation, and coordinator of the Ophthalmology Clinical Investigation Centre and the National Reference Centre for Retinal Dystrophies. His laboratory conducts translational research on treatments for currently untreatable retinal diseases. Dr Sahel published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in specialty and general audience peer-reviewed journals. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Foundation Fighting Blindness Trustee Award, Alcon Research Institute Award for Excellence in Vision Research, Grand Prix NRJ-Neurosciences-Institut de France. Dr Sahel is a Member of the Academy of Sciences, Institut de France. He sits on ten editorial boards, including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Science Translational Medicine, and Archives of Ophthalmology.
Christine Petit graduated with highest honors in biochemistry and genetics from Paris XI University, France and earned her MD from Paris VI University in 1974. Whilst working at the Institut Pasteur, France, she was awarded her PhD in Biochemistry from Paris VII University in 1982. Christine Petit conducted postdoctoral research at the Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland and at the Gif/Yvette CNRS Center for Molecular Genetics, France.
In 2002, Christine Petit was appointed Professor to the Chair of Genetics and Cellular Physiology at the College de France. She is also Professor (top-ranking class) at Institut Pasteur. Christine Petit is head of the Genetics and Physiology of Hearing laboratory at Institut Pasteur. She is also head of an INSERM UMRS research unit, in partnership with Paris VI University, that includes teams based at Institut Pasteur, Trousseau Hospital, Vision Institute, and at Bordeaux-2 University, France.
Christine Petit has been honored with numerous awards, the Charles-Leopold Mayer from the French Academy of Sciences (1999), Ernst-Jung für Wissenschaft und Forschung Preis (2001), L’Oréal-UNESCO “For Women in Science” (2004), “Recherche et Médecine” from the Institut des Sciences de la Santé (2004), “Freedom to Discover in Neuroscience” from Institut Bristol-Myers Squibb (2005), Louis-Jeantet de Médecine (2006), Grand Prix INSERM de la Recherche Médicale (2007), Pasarow Medical Research Award “Neuropsychiatry” USA (2011). Christine Petit was elected as member of EMBO in 1996, Academia Europae in 1998, French Academy of Sciences in 2002, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM) USA in 2011.
Christine Petit has pioneered the field of hereditary olfactory and hearing disorders. She has initiated the deciphering of the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the various genetic forms of deafness and launched the genetic approach of hearing physiology.