Columbia University Medical Center

American Academy Of Neurology Honors Dr. Serge Przedborski For Breakthroughs In Als

New York, NY – April 15, 2002 – Serge Przedborski, M.D., Ph.D., has been selected by the American Academy of Neurology to receive the 2002 Sheila Essey Award for his research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Dr. Przedborski has been a pioneer in the investigation of the molecular mechanisms leading to the death of neurons that occurs in ALS and Parkinson’s disease.

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) will present the $25,000 award to Dr. Przedborski on April 16th in Denver at the academy’s 54th annual meeting. He also will deliver a lecture on his work. The AAN presents the award to researchers who have made significant strides in the search for the cause, treatment, prevention and cure for ALS.

“The Sheila Essey Award has been given to the most distinguished clinical and laboratory investigators in ALS, and Dr. Przedborski surely belongs among them,” said Dr. Timothy A. Pedley, the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor and Chairman of Neurology. “Dr. Przedborski’s research is truly translational in nature. Its importance lies in defining ‘suicide programs’ that seem to be activated in neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS and result in the death of neurons. Thus, Dr. Przedborski’s work offers hope that we may soon find interventions that stop the degeneration of motor neurons in ALS and prevent the consequences of this terrible disease.”

“I am particularly ecstatic because I am being honored by my peers, and I am humbled by the list of previous honorees, whom I regard as the great minds in ALS research,” Dr. Przedborski said.

Dr. Przedborski is an associate professor of neurology at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. In addition to having published more than 100 original articles in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, Dr. Przedborski has served as an ad hoc reviewer for publications including the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Genetics. He also is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Neurochemistry and Movement Disorders and is a member of several professional organizations including the American Academy of Neurology; the Huntington’s Disease Society of America; and the Muscular Disease Association.

Dr. Przedborski also is a member of the NINDS NSD-B study section and an ad hoc reviewer of the NIH BDCN-3 study section. Dr. Przedborski is the second Columbia University faculty member to receive this award. The AAN presented the 1998 award to Dr. Lewis P. Rowland, professor of neurology and chairman emeritus, along with Theodore L. Munsat, director of the Neuromuscular Research Unit at the New England Medical Center, and professor of neurology and pharmacology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

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