News Release

Friday, October 12, 2007

NIH National Neurology Advisory Council Gains Five New Members

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) welcomes five new members to its National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council. The Council serves as the principal advisory body to the NINDS, a component of the National Institutes of Health and the nation's primary supporter of basic, translational, and clinical research on the brain and nervous system.

The 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. Its members, who are appointed to four-year terms, also advise the NINDS on research program planning and priorities. The 18-member council is composed of physicians, scientists, and representatives of the public.

NINDS Director Story Landis, Ph.D., introduced the new members at the Council's September 20, 2007 meeting. The new members are:

Luis F. Parada, Ph.D.., is chair of the Department of Developmental Biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He also directs the University's Kent Waldrep Center for Basic Research on Nerve Growth and Regeneration. Dr. Parada's research interests include charting regulatory pathways involved in nervous system development, studying nerve cell signaling disorders that lead to the development of tumors in the brain and peripheral nervous system, and identifying molecules in myelin that inhibit nerve cell regeneration following injury. He is currently on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Pew Scholars Foundation and is a past member of the Retts Syndrome Research Foundation Board. His many honors include receiving the prestigious Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the NIH. Dr. Parada is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Institute of Medicine.

Timothy A. Pedley, M.D., is the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Neurology and chair of the Department of Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is also neurologist-in-chief at The New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center. His research interests include clinical neurophysiology and electroencephalography, pathophysiology of epilepsy, and family studies of epilepsy. Dr. Pedley is president of the American Neurological Association, former president of the American Epilepsy Society and the Epilepsy Foundation of America, and past chair of the American Board of Clinical Physiology. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Neurology, the New York Academy of Medicine, and a Fellow of the AAAS. He sits on the editorial boards of several scientific and professional journals.

John T. Povlishock, Ph.D., is chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and director of the Commonwealth Center for the Study of Brain Injury. He is also a professor of neurosurgery at VCU. His research interests focus on traumatic brain injury in terms of its neuronal and vascular consequences and their potential therapeutic modifications. Dr. Povlishock's many honors include serving as president of the Neurotrauma Society, several awards for teaching excellence, and two Javits Neuroscience Investigator Awards. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neurotrauma.

Cindy Parseghian, M.B.A., is founder and president of the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation in Tucson, Ariz. — a volunteer, nonprofit organization that funds research on the fatal genetic disorder known as Niemann-Pick Disease Type C and related neurodegenerative metabolic disorders. She has helped raise more than $30 million dollars in research support and has directed the research program that has expanded the number of labs researching Niemann-Pick Type C from fewer than five to more than 55 worldwide since the foundation's inception in 1994. Previously she was president, chief financial officer, and controller of MCS Telecommunications in Tucson, and has also worked as a certified public accountant. Mrs. Parseghian earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and her master's in business management from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

Vicky Holets Whittemore, Ph.D., is vice president and director of science at the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance in Silver Spring, Md. Dr. Whittemore has served as a member and chair of the National Tuberous Sclerosis Association board of directors, as well as vice president and medical director. She has also served on the board of directors of the Genetic Alliance and is currently vice-chair of the National Coalition for Health professional Education in Genetics. She is a member of the CETT Review Panel for the Office of Rare Disorders, NIH. She received her undergraduate degree in zoology from Iowa State University and a doctorate in anatomy from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Whittemore did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Irvine, and a Fogarty Fellowship at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. She was an associate professor at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the Department of Neurological Surgery, at the University of Miami, Fla., before leaving to join the staff of the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance in 1994.

More information about the NINDS and its Advisory Council can be found at the NINDS web site,

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