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UF McKnight Brain Institute director honored by Italian scientists
Date:7/8/2008

GAINESVILLE, Fla. Dennis Steindler, executive director of the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida, was honored for his contributions to neuroscience at a ceremony with officials from the Catholic University in Rome, the university's teaching hospital the Gemelli University Polyclinic and the Italian government.

Steindler received the Atena Onlus Foundation Award in Rome in June for his research in adult stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.

Sharing the award were Dr. Gianfranco Rossi, a pioneering neurophysiologist who founded the neurosurgery program at the Catholic University; and professor Rita Levi-Montalcini, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1986 for her work involving brain growth factors.

"The secret of the enormous advances in treating brain diseases is the alliance of biologists and neurosurgeons," Steindler said while accepting the award. "Biologists are excited by discoveries regarding stem cells and the possibility to regenerate brain tissue, but there is always the vital need for clinicians to come to the aid of patients. These must be complementary efforts."

Steindler was nominated for the award by professor Julius Maira, M.D., the director and chairman of the neurosurgery institute at the Catholic University and Gemelli University Polyclinic. The hospital is widely known for treating Pope John Paul II's medical conditions from 1981 to 2005.

"I expect that all the strands that we are following will lead to results soon in the fields of malignant brain tumors, intracranial aneurysms, neural stem cells and reconstructive surgery," Maira said.

Former Italian ministers of health Livia Turkish and Girolamo Sirchia attended the ceremony, as did Monsignor Achille Silvestrini and Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, both bishops in Italian dioceses.

"It is humbling to receive the award and an honor to share it with such gift
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Contact: John Pastor
jdpastor@ufl.edu
352-273-5815
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert  

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