New members appointed to National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council

New members appointed to National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council

Friday, September 16, 2016

Four distinguished individuals from the neuroscience community have been chosen to serve on the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council, the principal advisory body to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The Council is comprised of scientists, physicians, and public representatives and meets three times a year to review research grant applications and to advise NINDS leadership on activities and policies affecting scientific programs.

“I am pleased to welcome these new members to the Council, and I look forward to working with them as they bring their diverse backgrounds and experience to help advance the institute’s scientific goals,” said Walter Koroshetz, M.D., director of NINDS.

Brief biographies of the new Council members are below.

Laurence F. Abbott, Ph.D., is the William Bloor Professor of Theoretical Neuroscience in the Department of Neuroscience and Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Dr. Abbott uses computer simulation and mathematics to model individual neurons, their interactions within neural circuits, and to learn how those circuits combine to process and store information. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and he has received several awards, including the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience in 2010, and the Mathematical Neuroscience Prize in 2013; and he has served on several editorial boards including Neuron, Journal of Neuroscience, and Current Opinion in Neurobiology. Dr. Abbott received his Ph.D. in physics from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. 

Issam A. Awad, M.D., is the John Harper Seeley Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and is the director of neurovascular surgery at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Dr. Awad is an internationally recognized leader in neurosurgery, with an interest in the surgical management of neurovascular conditions that affect the brain and spinal cord. His research focuses on identifying molecular mechanisms that predispose patients to developing strokes or epilepsy and on ways to study malformations in cerebral blood vessels. Dr. Awad earned his M.D. from Loma Linda University in California, and he completed his residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Indira M. Raman, Ph.D., is the Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Biological Sciences in the Department of Neurobiology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Currently, Dr. Raman studies the electrical properties of neurons in the cerebellum, a brain region important for the control of movements. Specifically, her lab is studying ways in which different neurons signal to each other as well as how their signaling changes during movement and while learning motor skills. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the NINDS Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, and she has served on several editorial boards including the Journal of Neuroscience, the Biophysical Journal, and eLife. Dr. Raman received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and did her postdoctoral training at the Vollum Institute in Portland, Oregon and at Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Steven L. Roberds, Ph.D., is the Chief Scientific Officer of the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance in Silver Spring, Maryland, a national voluntary health organization dedicated to finding a cure for and improving the lives of those affected by tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a genetic disorder that causes non-malignant tumors in the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, skin, and other organs. Since joining the TS Alliance in 2011, he has worked with scientists, clinicians, and members of industry, academia, and government agencies to advance research and treatments for TSC. Previously, Dr. Roberds served as an associate research fellow at Pfizer Global Research & Development and as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. He received his Ph.D. in pharmacology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee.


The NINDS ( is the nation’s leading funder of research on the brain and nervous system. The mission of NINDS is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease.

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

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