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Four new members appointed to National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council


For release: Monday, September 12, 2011

Four new members appointed to National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) announced that four new members have joined its National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council. The council serves as the principal advisory body to NINDS regarding the institute’s research program planning and priorities.

“I am pleased to introduce four distinguished new advisory council members whose expertise reflects our institute’s research priorities,” said NINDS Director Story Landis, Ph.D. “They include a foremost clinician and researcher whose work has shaped our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease; a developmental biologist recognized for his innovative approaches in neurology; and two leaders from national nonprofit organizations who share our goal of advancing research to relieve the burden of neurological disorders.” 

The 18-member council, which comprises physicians, scientists and public representatives, meets three times each year.  In addition to reviewing applications from investigators seeking financial support from the NINDS for biomedical research and training, the members also advise the institute on research program planning and priorities. A component of the National Institutes of Health, NINDS is the nation's primary supporter of basic, translational and clinical research on the brain and nervous system. The new members of the council are:

David M. Holtzman, M.D., is the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor and chairman of the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  He is also the associate director of the university’s Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and co-director of the program on protein aggregation and neurodegeneration for the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders.  Dr. Holtzman has conducted groundbreaking studies on Alzheimer's disease and hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. His discoveries concerning the production of amyloid-beta at neuronal synapses and the identification of new ways to measure how amyloid-beta is produced and cleared from the human brain were named two of the top 50 scientific innovations in 2006 by Scientific American.  His many honors include the American Academy of Neurology’s 2003 Potamkin Prize for Research on Alzheimer’s, Pick’s and Related Diseases, and a 2004 MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging.  In 2008, Dr. Holtzman was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.  In addition to serving on numerous advisory committees, editorial boards and professional societies, Dr. Holtzman maintains an active role as a teacher and mentor of neurology residents as well as postdoctoral, graduate and medical students.

David D. Ginty, Ph.D., is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md.  As an innovative leader in the use of molecular-genetic approaches, Dr. Ginty has made important contributions to understanding the assembly and function of the nerves and circuits underlying the sense of touch.  His laboratory focuses on identifying the key molecular events and factors involved in the growth and survival of neurons and on investigating the principles governing peripheral nervous system development.  Dr. Ginty has received numerous honors, including the 2004 NINDS Jacob Javits Investigator Award for Neuroscience.  In addition to serving as an editor for several neuroscience journals, Dr. Ginty is also director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  In 2009, he was appointed chair of the NINDS Board of Scientific Counselors.

Paul H. Gross is chairman of the board and acting director of technology for the Hydrocephalus Association, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that seeks to stimulate innovative research on hydrocephalus and to support people affected by the condition.  In 2006 Mr. Gross and his wife Lori Poliski, who have two children, one with hydrocephalus, co-founded the Hydrocephalus Support Group and the Hydrocephalus Research Guild in their home state of Washington. The organizations support children and raise funds for hydrocephalus studies at the Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Institute.  Mr. Gross is also an advisory board member for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network, which he co-founded with John Kestle, M.D., at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.  Currently, Mr. Gross directs PH144 Ventures, a management and technology consulting firm that he launched to enhance existing shunt technology.  Previously, he was senior vice president of the Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, Wash., and was later CEO of the Sampa Corporation, a web technology startup company.

Kevin St. P. McNaught, Ph.D., is vice president for medical and scientific programs at the Tourette Syndrome Association, the only national voluntary nonprofit membership organization supporting scientific and clinical research for this childhood onset disorder.  Dr. McNaught guides the development, implementation and management of the association’s medical, scientific and therapeutics research and forges collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry.  In addition, he oversees the association’s external advisory boards and serves as liaison with government agencies addressing childhood brain disorders.  Dr. McNaught’s prior position was as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology in New York City’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he conducted research on Parkinson’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders and examined novel therapeutic approaches.  He previously worked at the Center for Neuroregeneration Research at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., and in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, U.K.  Dr. McNaught earned his Ph.D. in pharmacology from King’s College London (University of London). 

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NINDS (www.ninds.nih.gov) is the nation’s leading funder of research on the brain and nervous system.  The NINDS mission is to reduce the burden of neurological disease – a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

Reporters:  For more information, call 301-496-5924 or go to www.ninds.nih.gov/PressRequest/.

Last Modified June 22, 2012