HHS News
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2002
Contact: Marian Emr or Paul Girolami
(301) 496-5751


Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson today announced the appointment of six new members to the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council, the major advisory panel of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The NINDS, one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) located in Bethesda, Maryland, is the nation's primary supporter of research on the brain and nervous system.

The new Council members are: Ronald J. Bartek, president of the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance; Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neuroscience, neurology, and psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School; Ellyn C. Phillips, president of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association, Greater Philadelphia Chapter; Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D., professor of pediatrics and child study, Yale University School of Medicine; Ira Shoulson, M.D., professor of neurology, pharmacology and physiology, and medicine, University of Rochester (NY) School of Medicine; and Robert H. Waterman, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of The Waterman Group, Inc.

The NANDS Council meets three times each year to review applications from scientists seeking financial support for biomedical research and research training on disorders of the brain and nervous system. Members also advise the Institute on research program planning and priorities. The 18-member Council is composed of physicians, scientists, and representatives of the public.

Ron Bartek is co-founder and president of the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), which supports research on Friedreich's ataxia and the related sporadic ataxias. He is also partner and vice president of Mehl, Griffin and Bartek, Ltd., an international business development, consulting, and government affairs firm. Mr. Bartek arranged and helped conduct the 3-day international scientific workshop on Friedreich's ataxia co-sponsored by the NIH and FARA in 1999 and has testified before Congress in support of medical research. Earlier in his career he served 20 years in defense, foreign policy, arms control, and intelligence positions in the executive and legislative branch agencies and taught in Virginia secondary schools for five years. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, served four years as an Army officer, and earned a master's degree from Georgetown University.

Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos is director of the Brain Sciences Center, Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and professor of neuroscience, neurology, and psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He holds the American Legion Brain Sciences Chair at that university and directs the Domenici Research Center for Mental Illness. His research interests include the study of neural mechanisms that support cognitive processes in motor behavior and mechanisms of the cerebral cortex. A member of several prestigious neuroscience organizations, he also sits on the editorial boards of Brain and Mind, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Cerebral Cortex, and the Journal of Neurophysiology. He received his medical and doctorate degrees from the University of Athens (Greece) School of Medicine.

Ellyn Phillips is president of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the ALS Association and a member of the national ALS Association Board of Trustees. Ms. Phillips helped develop two ALS clinical services centers at Pennsylvania hospitals and established the Josephine Muller Residence for ALS Care, a six-bed unit in-nursing facility (the first of its kind in the country). Her fundraising efforts with the Philadelphia Phillies has raised more than $5 million for the Chapter over the past 16 years. Among her honors are the inaugural ALS Association Rasmussen Advocacy Award; inaugural Lawrence A. Rand Prize from the ALS Association; Philadelphia Magazine Women of the Year, 1999; and nomination, Point of Light, 1992. Ms. Phillips served four years on the Food and Drug Administration's Peripheral and Central Nervous System Advisory Committee. She earned her M.S. degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Sally Shaywitz is professor of pediatrics and child study at the Yale University School of Medicine, where she co-directs the Yale Center for the Study of Learning and Attention. Her research interests include both the development of skilled reading and the study of disorders of reading and math in children, adolescents, and young adults. She uses functional imaging to understand brain mechanisms involved in reading and in dyslexia and to examine hormonal influences on cognition. She is also principal investigator of the Connecticut Longitudinal Study, an epidemiologic, longitudinal study of the development and outcome of 445 schoolchildren who have been monitored from kindergarten through young adulthood. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. She received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Dr. Ira Shoulson is the Louis C. Lasagna Professor of Experimental Therapeutics and professor of neurology, medicine, and pharmacology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He also chairs the Parkinson Study Group and the Huntington Study Group, organizations of physicians and other health care professionals dedicated to improving treatments for Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. His professional interests include movement and inherited neurological disorders, with special interest in experimental therapeutics, neuropharmacology, public policy, and clinical trials. He was principal investigator of the 8-year, multi-center NINDS-sponsored study that showed that the drug deprenyl can slow the progression of disability in early Parkinson's disease. Dr. Shoulson received his medical degree from the University of Rochester and completed fellowship training in experimental therapeutics at the NIH.

Robert Waterman is an internationally known business executive, speaker, and author. His best-selling books on business management and motivation include In Search of Excellence, The Renewal Factor, Adhocracy: The Power to Change, and What America Does Right. He directs his own company, The Waterman Group, Inc., after 21 years at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Mr. Waterman chairs the RLS Foundation, the national non-profit organization that sponsors research, raises awareness of, and looks for better treatments of Restless Leg Syndrome. He also serves on the boards of the AES Corporation (the independent power producing company he helped found) and the World Wildlife Fund. He earned his MBA from Stanford University and his degree in geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines.

The mission of the NINDS 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. More information about the NINDS and its Advisory Council is available at www.ninds.nih.gov.


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