September 18, 2001

UCSD Neuroscientist Mark Tuszynski
Honored for Alzheimer’s & Spinal Cord Research

Mark H. Tuszynski, M.D., Ph.D., UCSD associate professor of neurosciences and a neurologist with the VA San Diego Healthcare System, is the 2001 recipient of the prestigious C.U. Ariens Kappers Award from the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research.

Mark H. Tuszynski, M.D., Ph.D. 

Director of the UCSD Center for Neural Repair in the UCSD School of Medicine, Tuszynski was cited for research accomplishments in Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury, and nervous system growth factors. In addition, Tuszynski was recognized for conducting the first human clinical trial of gene therapy in an Alzheimer’s patient. Performed April 5, 2001 at UCSD’s John M. and Sally B. Thornton Hospital in La Jolla, the procedure involved the surgical implantation of tissue genetically modified to include a brain-survival molecule called nerve growth factor. Physicians hope the implanted tissue will protect and restore certain brain cells, and alleviate some symptoms, such as short-term memory loss.

The C.U. Ariens Kappers Award was presented Aug. 23 during the 22nd International Summer School for Brain Research in Amsterdam.

Past recipients of the award have included Nobel Prize recipient Gerald Edelman, currently the director of the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla; Pasko Rakic, a Yale University developmental neurobiologist who studies neuronal migration; and University of Stockholm researcher Anders Bjorklund.

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Sue Pondrom
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