March 09, 2010
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The American Stroke Association's highest honor — the Thomas Willis Award — was presented to Dr. Donna M. Ferriero, chief of child neurology at UCSF Children's Hospital and a leader in neonatal brain injury, at the International Stroke Conference 2010. Ferriero delivered the Willis Lecture on "Little Brains, Big Consequences," on Feb. 24, 2010.
The association praised Ferriero for her "groundbreaking work" detailing the molecular and cellular mechanisms of hypoxic-ischemic injury in the developing brain. Her accomplishments in the laboratory are matched by an "equally inspiring body of work translating those advances to the clinical realm," the association said.
In addition to her research, she was recognized for her mentoring leadership and clinical work. Ferriero has devoted many hours to professional organizations, including the American Heart Association, American Stroke Association and the National Institutes of Health. A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, she has authored more than 180 research papers and served as a reviewer for more than two dozen scientific journals.
The Willis Award, which recognizes "major contributions to the understanding of stroke over a sustained period," honors pioneer Dr. Thomas Willis (1621-1675), who is credited with providing the first detailed descriptions of the brain stem, cerebellum and ventricles along with hypotheses on their function.
In addition to Ferriero, five other doctors were recognized by the association. For more information, see the American Stroke Association's news release.