Public Release: 

NYU neurosurgeon Douglas Kondziolka receives Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award

Award recognizes excellence in neural therapy, brain repair research, and advancements in neurosurgery and cell transplantation

University of South Florida (USF Health)

Tampa, Fla. (April 30, 2014) - At the 21st Annual Conference of the American Society of Neural Therapy and Repair (ASNTR), held April 24 - 26 in Clearwater Beach, Florida, Dr. Douglas Kondziolka, professor and vice chair for clinical research, Department of Neurosurgery, Langone Medical Center, New York University, was awarded The 2014 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair.

The 2014 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair was presented to Dr. Kondziolka in recognition of his extensive research and clinical work in stroke-related cell transplantation. Dr. Kondziolka was the principal investigator in the first two clinical trials that transplanted human neural cells to repair damage resulting from chronic ischemic stroke. He is currently principal investigator on a number of neurotransplantation clinical trials for stroke patients, including a trial evaluating bone marrow-derived neuroprogenitor cells for implantation.

Dr. Kondziolka has published more than 430 journal articles and authored 205 book chapters. Prior to joining the faculty at NYU, he directed the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Center for Brain Function and Repair.

He has served as president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (2006-2007) and as president of the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (2001-2003). Since 2005, Dr. Kondziolka has served on the board of directors for the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. From 2002-2012 he served as the neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League.

"Doug Kondziolka is a pioneer in the clinical application of cell therapy, and was the first to directly transplant neural cells into the brains of stroke patients," says Dr. Cesar V. Borlongan, professor and vice chair, Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, and director of USF's Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair. "Over the last decade and a half, he has been a much sought-after neurosurgeon for authoritative consults on cell therapy for stroke and other neurological disorders. Accordingly, it is a fitting tribute to Mr. Sanberg's celebration of life that Dr. Kondziolka's admirable pioneering cell-based stroke research and his clinical work should be recognized by this award."

In addition to Dr. Kondziolka's work in neural repair, his laboratory was the first to document the benefits and effects of a radioprotectant drug to modify the normal brain's response to radiosurgery and investigated the pharmacologic mediation of cytokine release related to radiation injury. His research in radiosurgery spans many fields of research, including arteriovenous and cavernous malformations, benign and malignant brain tumor pathologies, trigeminal neuralgia, movement disorders, and facial pain syndromes. In addition to his stroke studies, his current research includes studies on larger-volume tumors, measures of surgical quality, volumetric response profiles, survival prediction for cancer patients, development of comprehensive registries for prospective data collection, development of new methods for hearing preservation in neurofibromatosis type 2, and methods to improve scholarly publication through novel analytical tools.

"Doug is one of these rare individuals who combines academic excellence in clinical care and clinically relevant research," says Dr. John Sladek, professor of neurology, pediatrics and neuroscience, Department of Neurology, University of Colorado School of Medicine. "His interests span so many areas, from clinical neuroscience research to improving the field of sterotactic neurosurgery and oncology. He also performs research on the outcomes of the surgical management of Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia. Of course, his leading work has been in the potential repair of the brain following stroke. He's quite extraordinary. A renaissance man. He is a very appropriate choice for receiving the reward."

The award Dr. Kondziolka received 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 it is now presented annually by the ASNTR to an individual who has made outstanding research contributions in the field of neural therapy and repair

Recent past winners of the award include Michael Modo, PhD, University of Pittsburgh (2013); Timothy J. Collier, PhD, Michigan State University (2012); Roy A.E. Bakay, MD, Rush University (2011); D. Eugene Redmond, MD, PhD, Yale University (2010); Shinn-Zong Linn, MD, PhD, China Medical University (2009); Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD, Georgetown University Medical Center (2008); Paul Carvey, PhD, Rush University Medical Center (2007) and John Sladek, PhD, University of Colorado (2006).


ASNTR's 22nd Annual Conference will be held April 30th to May 2nd , 2015 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. For more information, email Donna Morrison or visit the ASNTR website.

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

Media release by Florida Science Communications, Inc.

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