Live Virtual Event to Recognize Breakthroughs in Brain Disease Research, Celebrate Advocates, April 29
In alignment with the global response to COVID-19, the American Brain Foundation (ABF) has transitioned the Commitment to Cures 2020 annual fundraising and awards gala to an online, live-streaming format on April 29, 8-9 PM ET. Originally scheduled to take place at the Hilton Toronto, the live digital experience will acknowledge and celebrate game-changing advances in brain disease research. The event will be free and open to the public.
“For the past 10 years, Commitment to Cures has raised awareness about brain diseases and disorders and critical funding to support and advance research. In these times of global uncertainty due to COVID-19, it is more important than ever to support and celebrate science, research, and researchers,” said David W. Dodick, MD, ABF board chair and Professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic’s College of Medicine (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Director of the Headache Program and Sport Neurology and Concussion Program at Mayo.
ABF promotes and invests in research across the whole spectrum of brain disease and believes that when a cure is found for one brain disease, we will cure many. Its annual Commitment to Cures event raises critical dollars to fund brain disease research. This year’s event will feature a dedicated landing page for updates and where the live event can be accessed here.
Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money is Master of Ceremonies for the April 29th live-streamed event. Special guest appearances will be made by honorees Emilia Clarke, actor, and hockey legend Sidney Crosby—both of whom have personal brain disease stories.
“On April 29, we invite everyone to log on and join us as we recognize milestone achievements of researchers in the field and celebrate ambassadors for brain disease research. Their leadership has brought advances in treatments and hopes for a cure to millions of people around the world,” said Jane Ransom, ABF executive director.
Throughout the week of April 27th, the American Brain Foundation will celebrate the following award recipients:
- Ambassador Award: Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money, for advocacy for migraine research and awareness. Cramer will also serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.“As one of an estimated 39 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide who live with migraine, I understand its debilitating effects, despair, stigma, and utter disruption of every aspect of life,” said Cramer. “By sharing my story, I hope to connect those living with migraine to quicker diagnosis and treatment, and to help migraine be recognized and treated like the public health crisis it is. I am honored to receive this recognition from the American Brain Foundation.”
- Public Leadership in Neurology Award: Emilia Clarke, actor, best known for her award-winning work on HBO’s Game of Thrones, for advocacy for stroke rehabilitation.
- Commitment to Cures Award: Sidney Crosby, hockey player, Pittsburgh Penguins, for advocacy for concussion awareness.
- Scientific Breakthrough Award: University of Calgary’s Michael D. Hill, MD,
Andrew M. Demchuk, MD, and Mayank Goyal, MD, for advances in stroke neurology.
- American Brain Foundation Board Chair Award: Catherine M. Rydell, CAE, for her leadership and impact for the American Brain Foundation and as CEO of the American Academy of Neurology.
- Potamkin Prize: J. Paul Taylor, MD, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, for his groundbreaking studies that link the molecular mechanisms of several neurodegenerative diseases.
- Ted Burns Humanism in Neurology Award: Dr. Jon Stone, Professor of Neurology, University of Edinburgh, UK for his advocacy and humanism toward patients with Functional Neurological Disorder.
- 2020 Research Awards: American Academy of Neurology Awards funded by the American Brain Foundation
|Recipient Name||Institution||Award||Funders||Year Awarded||Last Year of Funding||Award Length (Years)|
|Alonso Zea Vera, MD||Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center||Clinical Research Training Scholarship in Tourette Syndrome||Funded by the Tourette Association of America and American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.||2020||2021||2|
|Bryan Baxter, PhD||Massachusetts General Hospital||McKnight Clinical Translational Research Scholarship in Cognitive Aging and Age-Related Memory Loss||Funded by the McKnight Brain Research Foundation through the American Brain Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology.||2020||2021||2|
|Colin Ellis, MD||University of Pennsylvania||Susan S. Spencer, MD Clinical Research Training Scholarship in Epilepsy||Funded by the American Epilepsy Society, the Epilepsy Foundation, and American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.||2020||2021||2|
|Collin Kreple, MD, PhD||Washington University in St. Louis||Richard Olney Clinician Scientist Development Award in ALS||Funded by The ALS Association and American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.||2020||2022||3|
|Farinaz Safavi, MD, PhD||National Institutes of Health||Clinician Scientist Development Award in Multiple Sclerosis||Funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Brain Foundation.||2020||2022||3|
|James Curtis||Columbia University Teachers College||Clinical Research Training Scholarship in Parkinson’s Disease||Funded by the Parkinson’s Foundation and American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.||2020||2021||2|
|Lawren VandeVrede, MD, PhD||University of California, San Francisco||Robert Katzman, MD Clinical Research Training Scholarship in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research||Funded by the Alzheimer’s Association and the American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.||2020||2021||2|
|Lenora Higginbotham, MD||Emory University||Clinical Research Training Scholarship in Lewy Body Diseases||Funded by The Mary E. Groff Charitable Trust, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.||2020||2021||2|
|Paloma Gonzalez-Perez, MD, PhD||Massachusetts General Hospital||Clinical Research Training Scholarship in Neuromuscular Disease||Funded by the Muscle Study Group and American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.||2020||2021||2|
|Sarah Berth, MD, PhD||Johns Hopkins University||Clinical Research Training Scholarship in ALS||Funded by The ALS Association and American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.||2020||2021||2|
|Sarah Getz, PhD||University of Miami||McKnight Clinical Translational Research Scholarship in Cognitive Aging and Age-Related Memory Loss||Funded by the McKnight Brain Research Foundation through the American Brain Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology.||2020||2021||2|
“We are standing in solidarity with those on the front lines of this global health crisis, and specifically the neurologists who’ve been called to action. We invite the community to stand with us by attending the virtual event, making a donation, and sharing these opportunities with colleagues, friends, and family,” said Dr. Dodick.
Typically, Commitment to Cures is convened in conjunction with the American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) Annual Meeting, which attracts 15,000 professionals in the neurology and neuroscience fields from across North America and Canada. Due to COVID-19, AAN cancelled their event for 2020.
For more information on the Commitment to Cures virtual event, to make a donation, and more, click here.
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