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Austin-based stroke scientist one of 11 to receive American Stroke Association honors

PHOENIX, Feb. 6, 2024 – Eleven scientists leading the way in stroke research will be recognized during the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2024 for their exceptional professional achievements including Steven Warach, M.D., Ph.D from The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. Warach is also a member of the American Heart Association Central Texas Board of Directors. The meeting will be held in Phoenix, Feb. 7-9, and is a world premier meeting for researchers and clinicians dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health.

The illustrious group of awardees includes four groundbreaking scientists who have devoted their careers to stroke research and six scientists will be recognized for their notable new research. The awards include the Ralph L. Sacco Outstanding Stroke Research Mentor Award, which honors Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., FAHA, a past president of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, who passed away in January 2023.

The 2024 honorees are:

  • Bernadette Boden-Albala, M.P.H., Dr.P.H., University of California, Irvine, who will receive the Edgar J. Kenton III Lecture Award.
  • Steven Warach, M.D., Ph.D., Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, who will receive the David G. Sherman Lecture Award.
  • James F. Meschia, M.D., FAHA, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, who will be honored with the William M. Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke.
  • Marc I. Chimowitz, M.B., Ch.B., Medical University of South Carolina, who will receive the Ralph L. Sacco Outstanding Stroke Research Mentor Award.
  • Louise D. McCullough, M.D., P.H.D., McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, who will be awarded the Thomas Willis Lecture Award.
  • ·Takuma Maeda, M.D., Ph.D., Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, who will receive the Mordecai Y.T. Globus New Investigator Award, for a research abstract.
  • Raed Joundi, M.D., D.Phil., McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, who will receive the Vascular Cognitive Impairment Award for research being presented at the meeting.
  • Oriana Sanchez, M.D., University of Texas, Houston, who will receive this year’s Robert G. Siekert New Investigator Award in Stroke for a research abstract.
  • ·Mohammed Abdelsaid, R.P.H., Ph.D., Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah, Georgia, who will receive the Stroke Basic Science Award for a research abstract.
  • Shumei Man, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA, Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, who will receive the Stroke Care in Emergency Medicine Award for research being presented at the meeting.
  • Susan Linder, P.T., D.P.T., Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, who will be awarded the Stroke Rehabilitation Award for a research abstract.

Bernadette Boden-Albala, M.P.H., Dr.P.H., the winner of the Edgar J. Kenton III Lecture Award, is the director and founding dean of the University of California, Irvine’s Program in Public Health and future School of Population and Public Health. With more than two decades of research experience, Boden-Albala is an internationally recognized expert in the social epidemiology of chronic disease whose research has focused on eliminating health disparities through defining and intervening on social support, structural and institutional barriers to optimal health. Her areas of expertise include community-based participatory research, health equity, stroke and cardiometabolic health disparities. She has led numerous large, multi-site studies utilizing community-based participatory research methods in urban and rural communities across the United States and globally, as well as large community health assessment, evaluation, capacity building and workforce training projects. The Edgar J. Kenton III Lecture Award recognizes lifetime contributions to the investigation, management, mentorship and community service in the field of racial and ethnic stroke disparities or related disciplines. Boden-Abala will present her Edgar J. Kenton III lecture, “A Roadmap for Health Equity: Understanding the Importance of Community-Engaged Research,” at 10:18 a.m. MT, Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Steven Warach, M.D., Ph.D., the recipient of the David G. Sherman Lecture Award, is a professor of neurology at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is executive director of the Seton Dell Medical School Stroke Institute and also serves as the regional stroke director for Ascension Texas. Warach is known for his seminal contributions in magnetic resonance imaging of stroke. He earned his Ph.D. in psychology-neuroscience from Michigan State University and M.D. from Harvard Medical School, where he completed his neurology residency. The Sherman Award honors David G. Sherman, M.D., a prominent stroke physician and an internationally recognized leader and researcher in stroke prevention and treatment. The award recognizes lifetime contributions to the investigation, management, mentorship and community service in the stroke field. Warach will present his lecture, Improving Stroke Diagnosis and Treatment: A Journey Toward the End of Time, at 11:32 a.m. MT, Wednesday, Feb. 7.

James F. Meschia, M.D., FAHA, the awardee of the William M. Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke, is professor of neurology and chair emeritus of the department of neurology at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Meschia is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in neurology and vascular neurology. Meschia is a pioneer in the study of inherited risk factors for ischemic stroke and has had a longstanding commitment to providing the latest evidence for carotid revascularization as a means for stroke prevention. He was the inaugural medical director of the first Joint Commission-certified stroke center within the Mayo Clinic Foundation, and he has authored or co-authored over four hundred peer-reviewed publications. The William M. Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke is named for the prominent stroke clinician-researcher and American Heart Association volunteer who contributed to a more comprehensive understanding of the causes of stroke. The award recognizes significant contributions to the investigation and management of clinical research in stroke. Meschia’s lecture, “Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis: Current and Future Considerations,” will be presented at 11:03 a.m. MT, Thursday, Feb. 8.

Marc I. Chimowitz, M.B., Ch.B., the recipient of the Ralph L. Sacco Outstanding Stroke Research Mentor Award is professor emeritus of neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. His main career interests are in improving treatments for patients with intracranial arterial atherosclerosis and helping to mentor the next generation of clinical and translational scientists. The Ralph L. Sacco Outstanding Stroke Research Mentor Award recognizes outstanding achievements in mentoring future generations of stroke researchers in the field of cerebrovascular disease. Chimowitz will present his lecture, “Mentoring Clinical Stroke Researchers in Challenging Times,” at 11:34 a.m. MT, Thursday, Feb. 8.

Louise D. McCullough, M.D., P.H.D., FAHA, the winner of the Thomas Willis Lecture Award, is the Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington Distinguished Chair of Neurology at McGovern Medical School; chief of neurology at Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center and co-director of UTHealth Neurosciences, all in Houston. McCullough is a physician-scientist and a practicing vascular neurologist with clinical expertise in sex/gender disparities, the microbiome, stroke and aging, and acute stroke treatments. A renowned investigator, she is well recognized for her work in cerebral vascular disease and is known for her research identifying sex differences in cell death pathways during stroke, which have now been shown to be a major factor in the response to ischemic insult. The Thomas Willis Award recognizes contributions to the investigation and management of stroke basic science. McCullough’s lecture, Aging, Sex, and Stroke: The Three Amigos of Brain Misadventures,” will be presented at 11:03 a.m. MT, Friday, Feb. 9.

Takuma Maeda, M.D., Ph.D., the Mordecai Y.T. Globus New Investigator Award in Stroke awardee, is a postdoctoral fellow at Barrow Aneurysm & AVM Research Center (BARRC)  at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. This award recognizes Globus’ major contributions to research in cerebrovascular disease and his outstanding contributions to the elucidation of the role of neurotransmitters in ischemia and trauma; the interactions among multiple neurotransmitters; mechanisms of hypothermic neuroprotection; and the role of oxygen radical mechanisms and nitric oxide in brain injury. Maeda’s award-winning presentation, Abstract 15, “Pharmacological Activation of Efferocytosis Prevents Intracranial Aneurysm Rupture,” will be presented at 7:30 a.m. MT, Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Raed Joundi, M.D., D.Phil., is the Vascular Cognitive Impairment Award recipient. He is an assistant professor at McMaster University, an adjunct scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and an investigator at the Population Health Research Institute, a joint institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, all in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The Vascular Cognitive Impairment Award encourages investigators to undertake or continue research or clinical work in the field of vascular cognitive impairment and submit an abstract to the International Stroke Conference. Joundi’ s award-winning presentation, Abstract 67, “Risk and Time-Course of Post-Stroke Dementia: A Population-Wide Cohort Study, 2002-2022,” will be presented at 7:30 a.m. MT, Thursday, Feb. 8.

Oriana Sanchez, M.D, the winner of the Robert G. Siekert New Investigator Award in Stroke, is currently completing a vascular neurology fellowship in the department of neurology at the University of Texas in Houston. The Siekert New Investigator Award in Stroke recognizes Robert G. Siekert, M.D., who was the founding chairman of the American Heart Association’s International Conference on Stroke and Cerebral Circulation, now known as the International Stroke Conference. The award encourages new investigators to undertake or continue stroke-related research. Sanchez’s award-winning presentation, Abstract 1, Overcoming Clinical Trial Enrollment Challenges by Monitoring EMS Radio Transmissions: Pre-Hospital Screening of Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients,” will be presented at 7:30 a.m. MT, Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Mohammed Abdelsaid, R.P.H., Ph.D., the recipient of the Stroke Basic Science Award, is an assistant professor at Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah, Georgia. The Stroke Basic Science Award recognizes outstanding basic or translational science that is laboratory-based. Abdelsaid’s winning presentation, Abstract 17, “SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Exacerbates Thromboembolic Cerebrovascular Complications in Humanized ACE2 Mouse Model,” will be presented at 7:54 a.m. MT, Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Shumei Man M.D., Ph.D., FAHA, the Stroke Care in Emergency Medicine Award awardee, is a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic and stroke center director of Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital in Ohio. The Stroke Care in Emergency Medicine Award encourages investigators to undertake or continue research in the emergent phase of acute stroke treatment and submit an abstract to the International Stroke Conference. Man’s winning presentation, Abstract 43, “Race-Ethnic Specific Trends in Stroke Thrombolysis Care Metrics in Relation to U.S. Target: Stroke Nationwide Quality Improvement Program 2003-2021,” will be presented at 2:00 p.m. MT, Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Susan Linder P.T., D.P.T., Ph.D., the Stroke Rehabilitation Award recipient, is director of clinical research for the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The Stroke Rehabilitation Award encourages investigators to undertake or continue research and/or clinical work in the field of stroke rehabilitation. Linder’s winning presentation, Abstract TMP28, “Forced-Rate Aerobic Cycling Enhances Motor Recovery in Persons With Chronic Stroke: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” will be presented at 6:15 p.m. MT, Thursday, Feb. 8.

Statements and conclusions of studies that are presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the Association’s policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. Abstracts presented at the Association’s scientific meetings are not peer-reviewed, rather, they are curated by independent review panels and are considered based on the potential to add to the diversity of scientific issues and views discussed at the meeting. The findings are considered preliminary until published as a full manuscript in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

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About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit stroke.org. Follow us on FacebookX.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Expert Perspective:

AHA Communications & Media Relations in Dallas: 214-706-1173; [email protected]

Karen Astle: 204-706-1392; [email protected]

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org

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