Miller School Neurology Chair Honored by National Academy for Stroke Research
Building on an already nationally recognized body of work, Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders and Leonard M. Miller Professor of Neurology, Epidemiology and Human Genetics, is the recipient of the 2012 Robert Wartenberg Lecture Award presented by the American Academy of Neurology. Sacco received the award on April 24 for his research in stroke prevention during the Academy’s 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, where he also presented a lecture. The meeting is the world’s largest annual gathering of neurologists.
The Robert Wartenberg Lecture Award is presented to a neurologist for excellence in clinically relevant research, which Sacco has long pursued to prevent strokes, the No. 4 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. In 1990, he founded and has been the principal investigator of the Northern Manhattan Study, the first study of its kind to focus on stroke risk factors in whites, blacks, and Hispanics living in the same community. The study is investigating environmental and genetic markers for stroke, sub-clinical disease measures of the carotid arteries and brain, and predictors of vascular cognitive impairment and decline. Understanding these factors is important in predicting stroke, myocardial infarction, and vascular disease, and determining cognitive decline among the aged and multiethnic populations.
The first neurologist to serve as president of the American Heart Association, Sacco is now the immediate past president and on the Board of Directors. He has published extensively in the areas of stroke prevention, treatment, risk factors, stroke recurrence, and genetics, and has more than 330 original articles and 100 invited publications to his credit. He received a number of other awards, including the Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke and the Chairman’s Award from the American Heart Association, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s Javits Award in Neuroscience.
“I am humbled to be chosen to give the Wartenberg Lecture at the annual Academy of Neurology meeting,” said Sacco, whose lecture, “Stroke Prevention: An Unfinished Story with New Perspectives,” addressed the “many great strides made in stroke prevention, and the challenges ahead.”
“Although genetic discoveries may provide new opportunities to prevent stroke, we still have a long way to go in implementing simple behavioral and lifestyle changes that could be best practices for reducing stroke risk.”