News Release

University of Wisconsin and Harvard scientists receive awards from ASNTR

Awards recognize impact in neural therapy and brain repair research

Grant and Award Announcement

University of South Florida (USF Health)

Tampa, Fla. (May 2, 2016) - At the 23rd Annual Conference of the American Society of Neural Therapy and Repair (ASNTR), held April 28-30, 2016 in Clearwater Beach, Florida, ASNTR awarded The 2016 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair to Marina E. Emborg, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medical physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ASNTR also presented The Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award to Eng H. Lo, PhD, professor of neurology and radiology at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital.

The 2016 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair

The 2016 award was presented to Dr. Emborg in recognition of her significant research contributions to research in neurodegenerative disorders, particularly in Parkinson's disease, in developing safe neuroprotective strategies to prevent, slow down or stop brain cell death using stem cells as model systems and cell-based strategies.

Dr. Emborg, who is the director of the Preclinical Parkinson's Research Program at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, uses advanced neuroimaging techniques to investigate non-invasive techniques in preclinical research such as real-time intra-cerebral targeting and infusion monitoring for gene therapy procedures. Her preclinical work includes creating animal models and experimental paradigms that better reflect clinical conditions and applying advance imaging techniques to for data collection and creating new clinical applications.

She received both her MD (1988) and her PhD (1993) in neurobiology from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has been at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 2004.

"Dr. Emborg has made outstanding contributions using non-human primate models that have advanced cell and drug therapy approaches forward for Parkinson's disease," said Dr. Clive Svendsen, professor of medicine and biomedicine and director the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute.

The award is named for Bernard Sanberg, father of Dr. Paul Sanberg (University of South Florida), a co-founder of the ASNTR. After Bernard Sanberg died of a stroke in 1999, the award bearing his name was established and is presented by the ASNTR annually to an individual who has made outstanding research contributions in the field of neural therapy and repair. The award, first presented in 2000, is presented every year at ASNTR's Annual Meeting.

Recent past winners of the Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair include: John D. Elsworth, PhD, Yale School of Medicine, Douglas Kondziolka, MD, NYU Langone Medical Center; Mike Modo, PhD, University of Pittsburgh; Timothy Collier, PhD, Michigan State University; Donald Eugene Redmond, MD, Yale University; Shinn-Zong Lin, MD, PhD, China Medical University; Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD, Georgetown University.

The Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award

The Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award is presented periodically by the ASNTR to an outstanding scientist who has made a significant contribution to the field of brain repair. In recognition of his significant contributions to the field of brain repair, the Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award was presented to Dr. Lo for his work using in vitro and in vivo models to investigate the molecular mechanisms of cell death following stroke. In his lab, Dr. Lo employs imaging, pharmacology and molecular cell biology to investigate neurovascular dysfunction in brain injury and neurodegeneration.

Dr. Lo received his BS in electrical engineering from Yale University and his PhD in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley. He moved to Massachusetts General Hospital in 1991, and is currently the Head of the Neuroprotection Research Lab, and Professor of Neuroscience in Harvard Medical School.

"The neurovascular unit is key to brain function and is principally altered in stroke and offers a novel treatment for stroke, this line of research is championed by Eng Lo," said Dr. Cesar Borlongan, Director, Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida.

Past recipients of The Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award include: Cesar V. Borlongan, PhD, University of South Florida; Sean Savitz, MD, University of Texas Medical School at Houston; Steven Dunnett, PhD, Cardiff University; Barry Hoffer, PhD, NIDA/NIH; and Patrik Brundin, MD, PhD, Lund University - Wallenburg Neuroscience Center.


ASNTR's 24th Annual Conference April 27-29, 2017 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. For more information, email Donna Morrison or visit the ASNTR website

ASNTR is a society for basic and clinical neuroscientists using a variety of technologies to better understand how the nervous system functions and establish new procedures for its repair in response to trauma or neurodegenerative disease. Member scientists employ stem/neural cell transplantation, gene therapy, trophic factor and neuroprotective compound administration and other approaches.

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