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FIELD NOTES

INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH

A number of AAN members are participating in a two-year grants program – supported by the NIH Fogarty International Center – to promote international collaborations on the study of brain disorders in developing countries. Among the recipients:

Christopher Clark, MD, Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic and the Associate Director of the University of Pennsylvania's Alzheimer's Disease Center of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, will collaborate with colleagues at the Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas in Mexico City on Alzheimer disease-related research, training, and infrastructure building in Mexico;

Karen L. Furie, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, will work with scientists at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, on assessing stroke risk and outcome in Chagas disease;

Kenneth S. Kosik, MD, Professor of Neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, will collaborate with colleagues at the University of Antioquia, Columbia, on a study of the genetic mechanisms of Alzheimer disease and Huntington disease;

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Dr. Christopher Clark

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Dr. Karen L. Furie

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Dr. Joseph R. Zunt

Joseph R. Zunt, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle, is working with colleagues at the Instituto de Ciencias Neurologicas, Universidad de Cayetano Heredia, Lima Peru on a study of CNS infections affecting Peruvians, focusing on HIV/AIDS, related co-infections, and acute viral meningoencephalitis.

YOUNG INVESTIGATOR AWARDS: SMA

The AAN Foundation received its largest grant yet — $1.125 million – from the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Foundation to provide grants of $85,000 per year for three years each to young investigators doing research on SMA. The 2004 Young Investigator Awards — also the largest gifts made by the SMA Foundation — were granted this year to:

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Dr. Kenneth S. Kosik

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Dr. Charlotte Sumner

Christine DiDonato, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University in Chicago, for her work on pharmacological treatment strategies using neuroprotective agents in cellular and animal models of SMA;

Umrao Monani, PhD, of San Diego, CA, for research on the role of survival motor neuron (SMN) in motor neuron development;

Charlotte Sumner, MD, Clinical Fellow in the NINDS Neurogenetics Branch in Bethesda, MD, for work on epigenetic regulation of the SMN gene, identifying molecular targets for SMA therapeutics – Dr. Sumner declined a monetary award in lieu of accepting a similar award from the NIH;

Kathryn Swoboda, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Medical Genetics) at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, for work on refinement of outcome measures for clinical trials in infants and children with SMA.

IN THE NEWS

Orly Avitzur, MD, Neurology Today's “In Practice” columnist, was interviewed by WOR-Radio talk show host Beatrice Engstrand, MD, a neurologist, in late January about the topic of her January column, “Is Declining Reimbursement Forcing Neurology into Extinction” (page 54). The radio show is broadcast throughout the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region.

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Neurology Today's new column Field Notes, reports good news from the field – professional awards, promotions, or honors; new programs; appointments to national programs or committees; and recipients of large research grants; to name a few.

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