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UH Neurological Institute Announces Spitz Scholars

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The UH Neurological Institute and the Case Brain Health Collaborative Executive Committee named 12 Spitz Scholars recently who will each receive 12-month pilot grant awards based on innovative initiatives and studies related to brain health and disorders. 

The pilot grant awards – which aren’t to exceed $50,000 annually -- are made through the Spitz Brain Health Innovation Fund, which supports initiatives and research to help advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders related to memory, executive function and cognition. This fund is generously supported by the Spitz family, whose vision it is to ensure that future generations will benefit from the funding provided by the Spitz Brain Health Innovation Fund and the work done by the Spitz Scholars.

The following were named Spitz Scholars:

Jiri Safar MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Co-Director National Prion Diseases Pathology Surveillance Center
Case Western Reserve University
“Deciphering Phenotypic Diversity of Alzheimer Disease Toward Presymptomatic Testing”

Xinglong Wang PhD
Instructor
Departments of Pathology and Neurology\
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
“Mitocondrial Fragmentation as a Therapeutic Target in Alzheimer’s Disease”

Daniel Wesson PhD
Assistant Professor
Alzheimer Research Laboratory
Department of Neurosciences
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
“Clearance and real-time measures of Alzheimer’s amyloidosis to restore neural circuit function and cognition”

Hyoung-gon Lee PhD
Assistant Professor Division of General Medical Sciences
National Center for Regenerative Medicine
Case Western Reserve University
“Regulation of Kruppel- factor 4 (KLF4) as a Novel Therapeutic Tool in Alzheimer Disease”

Peter Whitehouse MD PhD
Tenured Professor
Department of Neurology
Case Western Reserve University
And
Anitha Rao-Frisch MD
Department of Neurology
Case Western Reserve University
“The Intergenerational Connection: Social Engagement, Fitness, and Cognitive Outcomes— A Pilot Study”

Xin Qi PhD
Tenure Track Assistant Professor
Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
“Enhancing Neuronal survival in Parkinson’s Disease by inhibition of excessive mitochondrial fission”

Yu Luo PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Neurological Surgery
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
“Role Of The Regulator Gene P53 In Transplant Associated Cell Death In An Animal Model Of Parkinson Disease”

Benjamin Walter MD
Tenure Track Assistant Professor
Department of Neurology
Case Western Reserve University
And
Martha Sajatovic MD
Professor Department of Psychiatry
Director Neurological Outcomes Center
Case Western Reserve University
“Pilot Study of EXCEED (Enhanced  EXerCisE  ThErapy  for Patients with PD)”

Mohamad Koubeissi MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Neurology
Case Western Reserve University
“PILOT STUDY OF SOFIE (Stimulation Of the Fornix In Epilepsy)”

Wei Xiong MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Neurology
Case Western Reserve University
“Restoration of Brain Function after Cardiac Arrest: Study of Thalamocortical Interactions in Coma Recovery”

Curtis Tatsuoka PhD
Asssistant Professor
Director of Biostatistics
Department of Neurology
Neurological Outcomes Center
Case Western Reserve University
“Dynamic adjustment of stimuli in real-time fMRI”

Anthony Jack PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Cognitive Science
Case Western Reserve University
“Use Of fMRI to Optimize Brain Health Interventions”

Scholars are chosen by the Executive Committee of the Case Brain Health Collaborative, which is chaired by Anthony J. Furlan, MD, Co-Director, Neurological Institute, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Gilbert W. Humphrey Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

The submitted projects were assessed based on their relevance to human health, especially memory function, executive function and cognition in health or disease. Projects related to neurodegenerative disorders affecting memory and cognition including but not limited to minimal cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer Disease and Parkinson Disease were prioritized. Both clinical and translational pilot projects were considered.

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