small medium large |  
print   |   Bookmark & Share share

NINDS Intramural Researchers Honored by National Scientific Organizations

Four scientists in the Division of Intramural Research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) have been recognized nationally for their exceptional research in the fields of basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience.

Zu-Hang Sheng, Ph.D., senior investigator in the Synaptic Function Section, NINDS, was named a 2017 American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB) Fellow. The honor of being named an ASCB Fellow is bestowed to ASCB members by their peers. Fellow are recognized for their meritorious efforts to advance cell biology and it's applications and for their service to the ASCB. Being elected is an incredible honor.

In 2016, Dr. Sheng was also named a 2016 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his contributions to innovation, education, and scientific leadership. AAAS Fellows are elected based on the merits of their work and its impact on the scientific field and society.

Dr. Sheng was specifically  recognized for his contributions to the field of axonal transport of mitochondria and other intracellular structures. This process is critical for maintaining axonal homeostasis and proper synaptic function and has implications in neural health and neurodegenerative diseases.

Antonina Roll-Mecak, Ph.D., principal investigator and unit chief, Cell Biology & Biophysics Section, NINDS, was named a 2016 National Award Finalist in the Life Sciences category by the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists. The award, which is presented by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, honors the country’s most innovative young faculty-rank scientists and engineers. 

Dr. Roll-Mecak also received 2016 ASCB-Gibco Emerging Leader Prize from the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) in collaboration with Gibco. The prize is given to honor emerging leaders in science, particularly early career, non-tenured faculty who hold independent positions research positions.

Dr. Roll-Mecak’s lab uses a combination of classical and cutting-edge techniques to study how the microtubule cytoskeleton is created and encoded within the genome. Neurons, more so than other cells, are dependent on the cytoskeleton to transport cargo across long distances, extend axons and dendrites, and migrate to their final locations; the dysfunction of those processes can lead to multiple disorders in the nervous system.  

Daniel S. Reich, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Translational Neuroradiology Section, NINDS, was named the recipient of the 2016 Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research from the National MS Society, which is given annually in recognition of exceptional innovation and originality in scientific research relevant to multiple sclerosis (MS).

Dr. Reich’s research uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to study how MS produces its debilitating effects in patients. Recently, his lab developed a method for detecting inflammation within the meninges, the protective tissues surrounding the brain. This technique has led to a better understanding of how MS lesions progress and could be applied to future clinical trials.

Prashant Chittiboina, M.D., an Assistant Clinical Investigator and head of the Neurosurgery Unit for Pituitary and Inheritable Diseases in the Surgical Neurology Branch, was awarded The Integra Foundation Award at the 2016 annual Congress of Neurological Surgeons meeting in San Diego, CA.

Dr. Chittiboina was honored for his research demonstrating HDAC inhibition as a novel strategy to manage Cushing's disease. Currently, surgery is the treatment of choice for pituitary adenomas leading to Cushing's disease. HDAC inhibitors would be used for recurrent or refractory disease. The award is given for the best research or clinical paper submitted investigating benign brain, spinal or peripheral nerve tumors.