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ASNTR awards go to Parkinson's Disease research and patient advocate at May meeting

Tampa, Fla. (May 8, 2008) The American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair (ASNTR) has awarded The 2008 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair to neuroscientist Paul M. Carvey, PhD, dean of the Graduate College at Rush University, Chicago, Ill. The award, made at ASNTRs 15th Annual Meeting held May 1-3, 2008 in Clearwater, Fla., recognizes outstanding research contributions in the field of neural therapy and repair.

The annual award is based on the quality of a researchers contribution and its impact in advancing neural repair, said John Sladek, PhD, professor of pediatrics and neuroscience at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and ASNTR founding president. Dr. Carveys research interests focus on the role of the dopamine (DA) neuron and its relationship to Parkinsons disease (PD). As professor of pharmacology and neurological sciences at Rush University, Dr. Carvey has studied the full range of drugs currently used to treat patients with PD.

In recent years, Dr. Carvey has studied factors responsible for converting stem cells into DA neurons and the role played by pro-inflammatory cytokines within the central nervous system. Much of his work is now examining the relationship between DA cell loss with aging, environmental exposure to toxins and disease.

Dr. Carveys research consistently has been at the forefront of novel approaches to understanding Parkinsons disease and its potential therapies, said Gene Redmond, MD, professor of psychiatry and neurosurgery of the Yale School of Medicine and past president of ASNTR.

Joan Samuelson, JD recognized with Sanberg Lifetime Achievement Award

ASNTR awarded the Sanberg Lifetime Achievement Award to nationally recognized patient advocate, Joan Samuelson, JD, for her unrelenting work to better educate the Congress and the American public about of the great need for more research on Parkinsons disease (PD). Diagnosed with PD 21 years ago at the age of 37, this successful trial lawyer decided to make a difference with her advocacy about the need for more research support and options for therapy. She founded the Parkinsons Action Network and is credited with having convinced legislators to create the Morris Udall Centers and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for critical research into the cause and cure for this disease.

Ms. Samuelson, a resident of Healdsburg, California, also played a major role in convincing the citizens of California to create a fund of $3 billion for stem cell research and the creation of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). She was elected to membership on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee of CIRM and serves as vice chair of that important group.

During her acceptance comments, Samuelson credited several members of the ASNTR with their early support of her efforts and for their effective work with legislators and celebrities, including film and TV star Michael J Fox who, through her work, testified before Congress on the need for more PD research.

The award was presented by the founding president of ASNTR, Dr. John Sladek of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The lifetime achievement award is named in honor of Molly and Bernard Sanberg, parents of Dr. Paul Sanberg, ASNTR co-founder, Distinguished University Professor, director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair and associate vice president for innovation at the University of South Florida.


Contact: Dr. John Sladek
Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair

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