Department of Health and Human Services

News Release

Tuesday, September 3, 2004

Contact: Marian Emr or Margo Warren
(301) 496-5751


HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced four new appointments 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, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s primary supporter of basic, translational, and clinical research on the brain and nervous system. NINDS Director Story Landis, Ph.D., will introduce the new members, who will serve through July 2008, at the Council’s September 9, 2004 meeting.

The National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke 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. The new members are:

Francisco González-Scarano, M.D., is professor and chair of the Department of Neurology and professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania. He also co-directs the Penn Center for AIDS Research. His expertise is in HIV neuropathogenesis, other aspects of neurovirology, and inflammatory diseases of the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis. He received his undergraduate degree in economics (cum laude) from Yale University and his medical degree from Northwestern University. Dr. González-Scarano is on the editorial board for the journals Glia, Virus Research, Journal of Neurovirology, Virology, and Journal of Virology. He has served on advisory groups for the NIH and for various professional societies. He was a Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, from 1982 to 1987 and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society and several professional societies.

John D. Loeser, M.D., is professor of Neurological Surgery and Anesthesiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. A faculty member there since 1969, he directed the University’s Multidisciplinary Pain Center from 1983 to 1997 and served 5 years as assistant dean for curriculum. He is author of more than 100 original papers, contributor to nearly 100 book chapters, and author and/or editor of five books on pain and the human nervous system. Dr. Loeser is a past president of the American Pain Society and the International Association for the Study of Pain. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Australia (1989 to 1990), and received the University of Washington Medical School Award for Teaching Excellence and the Distinguished Service Award from the American Pain Society. He received his undergraduate degree (magna cum laude) from Harvard University and his medical degree from the New York University Medical School.

Prisca Chen Marvin, J.D., is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), a nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to funding and accelerating biomedical research focusing on autism spectrum disorders. She also chairs its Government Relations Committee. She is a 1988 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and received her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A registered patent attorney with specialization in chemical patents, Ms. Marvin was an associate with firms in Wilmington, Delaware, and Washington, DC. She is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Intellectual Property Law Association. She is a member of the autism parent community.

David C. Van Essen, Ph.D., is head of the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology at Washington University School of Medicine as well as the Edison Professor of Neurobiology. His research interests include information processing in the primate visual system and computerized mapping of the mammalian cerebral cortex. He received his undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology and his doctorate from Harvard Medical School. He has been a leader in two major professional societies and is a member of several advisory boards. Dr. Van Essen is a Fellow of the AAAS and has received teaching excellence awards from the California Institute of Technology and Washington University School of Medicine. He has written more than 140 peer-reviewed articles and invited publications. He has held editorial responsibilities for several scientific publications and is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

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


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