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Brain Mapping Foundation (BMF) and Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT) Present the 2014 Prestigious Pioneer in Healthcare Policy Award to Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott, the US Congressman Chaka Fattah and shed light on the importan

BEVERLEY HILLS, Calif., Feb. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Brain Mapping Foundation and the Society for Brain Mapping & Therapeutics announced the 2014 recipients of the prestigious Pioneer in Medicine Award, as well as their annual awards to recognize those who have made notable contributions to brain research in various ways, including the Healthcare Policy Award, Beacon of Courage and Dedication Award, and the Humanitarian Award.  The Society will honor each recipient at the Brain Mapping Foundation's Gala on March 17, 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney as part of their 11th Annual World Congress in Australia.

Each year, SBMT and the Brain Mapping Foundation recognize individuals who have made a profound impact on our understanding of brain function and related diseases. Nominations are made by members of the society and decisions are made by the awards committee.

The Pioneer in Healthcare Policy Award is presented to lawmakers who have demonstrated visionary policies laws that have contributed to the advancement of science, technology, education, and medicine. The past recipients of this prestigious award include California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2008), U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (2009), U.S. Senator Harry Reid (2010), U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (2011), Canadian Parliament Member Kirsty Duncan (2012), U.S. Congressman Jim Moran (2013), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (2013), and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (2013).

This year, Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott  and the US Congressman Chaka Fattah are the recipients of this prestigious award.  Prime Minister Abbott is recognized for his visionary support of brain research through his $200M dementia initiative in Australia.  Congressman Fattah is honored due to his impressive track record in promoting neuroscience legislation through the US Congress including his significant role in President Obama's BRAIN initiative. "These remarkable lawmakers now have joined the impressive list of past recipients of this prestigious award for their remarkable contribution to the field through supporting groundbreaking initiatives." Dr. Babak Kateb, Founding Chairman of the Board of SBMT and President of Brain Mapping Foundation, and Director of National Center for Nano-Bio-Electronics, Editor of the Textbook of Nanoneuroscience and Nanoneurosurgery, Research Scientist, Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, CA, USA.

The Pioneer in Medicine Award will be presented to Dr. Kuldip Sidhu for his landmark contributions to stem cell research, including spearheading the building of a unique global consortium for study of the patient-derived stem cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).  He co-authored the findings with 2012 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Shinya Yamanaka. "This is also the recognition of an important area of research that is destined to bring a paradigm change in human medicine" said Prof Sidhu.

"The awards committee has been impressed with pioneering work of Professor Sidhu. His ground breaking consortium approach is a great example of how Brain Mapping Foundation would like to plan and execute its global alliance for NanoBioElectronic." said Dr. Shouleh Nikzad, newly elected President of SBMT (2014-2015) and member of the board of Brain Mapping Foundation, Co-chair of the Award Committee, and Senior Research Scientist and Lead of the Advanced UV/Vis/NIR Detector Arrays, Imaging Systems, and Nanoscience Group, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, CA, USA.

The Society annually recognizes the remarkable humanitarian work done by one of its members.  This year, Professor Charlie Teo will receive the Humanitarian Award for his humanitarian work across the globe including establishing and funding a hospital in India and operating on patients who lack the financial means to get such care across the developing world. "I think you will never go wrong with the philosophy; it is better to give than to receive" stated by Dr. Charlie Teo.

"One of the most important goals of the SBMT is to get the best that medicine has to offer to those in dire need who cannot otherwise afford such therapies. Charlie is a clear example of how SBMT and its members bring the cutting edge science and medicine to the impoverished of the world", Said Ret. U.S. Army Colonel Michael Roy, Professor of Internal Medicine at USUHS and the past President of SBMT (2012-13).

Brain Mapping Foundation and Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics annually recognize the public awareness efforts of individuals outside of the medical profession.  Past recipients of this coveted award include two-time Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman for his role in the movie Rain Man, as well as other efforts of his to raise public awareness of Autism.

This year, BMF and SBMT award a remarkable nurse from Sydney Australia, Sharn McNeill, who has been diagnosed by Lou Gehrig Disease (also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS). Sharn ,who is also a nurse and triathlete, has raised awareness about this devastating neurological disorder in Australia and enabled the Brain Mapping Foundation to shed light on the importance of funding to treat neurological disorders in Australia.  "I am both deeply touched and very honored to receive this award. My illness has given me a platform to help raise awareness about neurological disorders and the amazing work of this association and foundation, while inspiring people everywhere to live their lives to the fullest. This award inspires me to contribute in every possible way to find cure for ALS," said, Sharn McNeill.

"Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Congressman Fattah have significantly contributed to the brain research through scientifically based policies and initiatives, Dr. Kuldip Sidhu has impacted the field through a unique collaborative and consortium approach, Dr. Charlie Teo, who is a fantastic neurosurgeon, has taken a lead to bring the best medicine to the poor and the most needy; he has also supported advancing research through his Cure-for-Life Foundation. Sharn McNeill is an inspiring individual who has raised awareness about ALS in Australia through her Shine4Sharn Foundation. These colleagues all have one characteristic in common; they have brought people together in order to address complex issues," states Dr. Babak Kateb and he continued, "We are celebrating and recognizing the inspiring work of these remarkable leaders which has been accomplished through revolutionary approach and unique initiative. These individuals truly have advanced the field in fundamental ways through collaboration. Such spirit of collaboration is at the heart of SBMT and BMF missions."

The 11th Annual World Congress is jointly sponsored by AusBiotech and accredited by International Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Medicine (ISMRM) and American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO).  "Australia had to bid and compete with 5 other countries in order to secure this event. We were honored to be chosen as 2014 destination for this world class scientific event" said, Glenn Cross, Chief Operating Officer of AusBiotech.

Media Contact in the US:
Dr. Vicky Yamamoto:
Member of the Board of SBMT &
SBMT Press Secretary
[email protected]
Tel: (310) 500-6196

Media Contact in Australia:
Dr. Kuldip Sidhu:
[email protected]
+612 9659 3783
+614 0176 6055

For more information about the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics visit:
www.WorldBrainMapping.org

For more information about the Brain Mapping Foundation visit:
http://www.brainmappingfoundation.org/

SOURCE Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics

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