Department of Neurology Hosts 2016 Bugher Center of Excellence in Stroke Meeting

The Miller School of Medicine Department of Neurology’s American Stroke Association-Bugher Center of Excellence in Stroke Collaborative Research hosted the 2016 Annual Bugher Center of Excellence Meeting October 20 and 21. The event celebrated the center’s third year of funding from the Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation.

Participating in the meeting were collaborators from the University of California, Los Angeles and University of Colorado at Denver. Each presented updates on ongoing projects and center collaborative research toward regeneration, resilience and secondary prevention of stroke, the second leading cause of death worldwide.

The keynote address was given by Stephen J. Korn, Ph.D., National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Director of the Office of Training, Career Development and Workforce Diversity. Korn discussed the multiple grant mechanisms and diversity programs offered at NINDS, in particular those directed at trainees and junior faculty. Bugher Fellows also participated in a meet-and-greet session with Korn and Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., ASA-Bugher Center Fellowship Training Director, and professor of neurology and public health sciences. The session covered valuable mentorship/trainee topics.

The ASA-Bugher Center of Excellence is directed by internationally renowned stroke expert Ralph Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and Chairman of Neurology and Olemberg Family Chair of Neurological Disorders. Through work from two related collaborative translational projects, one clinical and the other basic science, the overarching goal is to improve cognition after stroke.

The clinical project, led by Clinton Wright, M.D., professor of neurology and Scientific Director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, and Sebastian Koch, M.D., professor of neurology, explores the effects of aerobic and resistance exercise on cognitive performance.

The second complementary basic science project, led by Miguel Perez-Pinzon, Ph.D., professor of neurology and neuroscience, Vice Chair for Basic Science and Director of the Cerebral Vascular Disease Research Center, utilizes animal stroke models to evaluate physical exercise, enriched environments and enhancements with pharmacological agents.

Other Miller School collaborators include Kunjan R. Dave, Ph.D., co-investigator, research associate professor of neurology; Chuanhui Dong, Ph.D., biostatistician, research assistant professor of neurology; David Loewenstein, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; Carolina Gutierrez, Ph.D., collaborative administrative director; Barbra Junco, MSc., clinical research coordinator; and ASA-Bugher Fellows Eddie Tiozzo, Ph.D., Mehdi Youbi, M.D., Charlie Cohan, Ph.D., and Marialaura Simonetto, M.D.

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