MINNEAPOLIS, MARCH 9, 2022 – The American Brain Foundation’s (ABF) annual Commitment to Cures gala will take place on April 6 in Seattle, WA to celebrate the researchers and advocates working toward life without brain disease. The event will honor brain disease advocates, including Seth Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen; Susannah Cahalan, bestselling author of Brain of Fire; Dr. Stephen L. Hauser, for scientific breakthroughs in multiple sclerosis; and more.
“We look forward to honoring our incredible awardees and celebrating the progress we’ve made in brain disease research at this year’s gala,” said American Brain Foundation Executive Director Jane Ransom. “We also know that it is only by continuing to fund such research that we will fully realize a future without brain disease.”
This year’s Commitment to Cures event will be held in person, and will also be available to watch virtually at no cost. The goal of the gala is to raise awareness and funds for brain disease research, because without research, there can be no cures. All donations made during the event will go toward finding breakthrough treatments and cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and ALS.
The American Brain Foundation takes a whole-brain approach to research based on the understanding that when we cure one brain disease, we will cure many. The Foundation funds research across a spectrum of brain diseases, knowing that findings in one area or disease will have implications for others.
“The award recipients being honored at this year’s event are making crucial strides in brain disease research that will lead to tomorrow’s innovations, advances in treatment, and cures,” said event host and American Brain Foundation Chair David Dodick, MD, FAAN. “Discoveries in one area of brain disease research can unlock insights and potential treatments in numerous others. Every dollar toward research counts, and only with the help of sponsors and supporters can we continue to fund the kind of research that will make life without brain disease a reality.”
Commitment to Cures provides an occasion to honor those who are making an impact in the field of brain disease research. This year, ABF recognizes the following 2022 awardees:
- Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen – Public Leadership in Neurology Award: Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen will be honored for their work supporting families experiencing dementia and inspiring the next generation of Alzheimer’s advocates and researchers. They have used comedy to raise more than $15 million through their organization, Hilarity for Charity.
Former honorees include Michael J. Fox, Dame Julie Andrews, Walter Mondale, Emilia Clarke, Sidney Crosby, Ann Romney, and more.
- Susannah Cahalan – Ambassador Award: Journalist and author Susannah Cahalan will be honored for her work elevating public awareness of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the brain, and the experiences of people living with rare brain diseases. Cahalan’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Brain on Fire, is a transparent account of her personal experience—from hospitalization to diagnosis and recovery. Through her continuing advocacy work, Cahalan has worked to shine a light on the need for research and the importance of support in the patient experience.
- Stephen L. Hauser, MD – Scientific Breakthrough Award: Dr. Hauser is being honored for his career-long commitment to advancing our understanding of the genetic basis, immune mechanisms, and treatment of multiple sclerosis. His research led to the development of B cell therapies for people with multiple sclerosis, changing the landscape of treatment and representing a powerful new approach for progressive forms of the disease.
- Barbara S. Giesser, MD, FAAN – Ted M. Burns Humanism in Neurology Award: This award celebrates a doctor or researcher whose work embodies humanism and inspires neurologists to improve health care delivery and the lives of their colleagues and patients. Dr. Giesser is being recognized for her innovative, patient-centered approach to treatment for people living with multiple sclerosis, as well as her career-long advocacy for MS education and awareness.
- Vladimir Hachinski, MD, DSC, FAAN – Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s, and Related Diseases: The Potamkin Prize is the highest honor in Alzheimer’s research. Dr. Hachinski is recognized with this year’s award for crucial early contributions that clarified the distinction between Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, opening the door to modern dementia research.
- Matthew C. Kiernan, AM, MBBS, PhD, DSc – The Sheila Essey Award: An Award for ALS Research: Dr. Kiernan will be honored for his work establishing new consensus guidelines and novel disease biomarkers for ALS. In addition to simplifying diagnosis, his research has helped develop important techniques for studying disruption of brain networking in ALS.
- Aneesh Singhal, MD, FAAN – Association of Indian Neurologists in America Lifetime Achievement Award – This award recognizes a leader in neurology for their career-long support of North American neurologists of Indian origin, as well as clinical and scientific contributions to the field. Dr. Singhal is honored this year for his dedication to advancing the training of many colleagues of Indian origin as well as promoting innovation and research in the field of stroke.
- Bindu Menon, MD, DM, DNB, PGDCN, FRCP, MNAMS, FICP, FIAN, FWSO and Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, MSc, MAS, MBA, FAAN – Mridha Spirit of Neurology Humanitarian Award – The Mridha Spirit of Neurology Award recognizes the humanitarian work and community impact of neurologists dedicated to serving impoverished and underserved populations.
- Dr. Bindu Menon is being honored for her work to bring neurological care to some of the most under-resourced communities in India. Her innovative “Neurology on Wheels” project works to increase access to neurological health education, screening, and treatment for rural Indian communities.
- Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele has dedicated his career to improving neurological research training for underrepresented groups and removing structural inequalities from training opportunities. This award recognizes his work to improve stroke care, research, and training in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Public Leadership in Neurology Award, Ambassador Award, Scientific Breakthrough Award, Potamkin Prize, and Sheila Essey Award will be presented at Commitment to Cures on April 6.
“I can’t find the words to express how honored I am to receive the American Brain Foundation’s Ambassador Award,” said Susannah Cahalan. “When I became the 217th person in the world to receive an autoimmune encephalitis diagnosis, it was unclear if I’d ever write again, let alone write a book that would help so many others. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude, as I also reflect on how lucky I am to be here accepting it.”
All proceeds from the Commitment to Cures event on April 6, 2022—both in person and virtually—will go toward funding crucial research that will advance the fight against brain disease.
To register, make a donation, or learn more about the American Brain Foundation, visit AmericanBrainFoundation.org/C2C2022.
About the American Brain Foundation:
The American Brain Foundation was founded to bring researchers and donors together in the fight against brain disease. We focus on the full spectrum of brain diseases and disorders because we believe that when we cure one disease, we will cure many. To learn more, visit our website and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.