APDA Names G. Frederick Wooten, MD Its 2006 Fred Springer Award Recipient

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The University of Virginia Medical School's director of neurology is honored with the 15th annual award for his contributions to scientific research and Parkinson's disease.

(UVH) Health Sciences Center’s Department of Neurology, Charlottesville, Va., will receive the American Parkinson Disease Association’s (APDA) 2006 Fred Springer Award. APDA president Vincent N. Gattullo announced the choice for the 15th annual award.

Established in memory of APDA treasurer and past president for more than 20 years, the award consists of a plaque and check for $10,000 to a physician or scientist who has made a major contribution toward easing the burden and finding the cure for Parkinson’s disease. The award will be made in November during the organization’s annual meeting in New York.

Dr. Wooten was the second recipient of APDA’s distinguished Dr. George C. Cotzias Fellowship In 1979. In 1987, he was named to APDA’s Scientific Advisory Board, which reviews all research grant and fellowship applications and recommends for funding those it finds promising, and has served for 10 years as chairman. He is also director of APDA’s advanced Center for Parkinson’s Research at UVA.

A native of Alabama and graduate of Rice University in Houston, Texas, Dr. Wooten earned his MD degree at Cornell University Medical College in New York City, where he also served a neurology residency and began his faculty career as an instructor at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. His other post-doctoral work included an internal medicine internship at H.C. Moffitt-University of California Hospital, San Francisco, and three years as a research associate at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. After five years on Washington University School of Medicine’s faculty in St. Louis, he joined the UVA staff where he rose from professor of neurology to department chairman in less that a decade, and has been named the Mary Anderson Harrison Professor of Neurology.

Dr. Wooten’s 25-page curriculum vitae includes more than 100 academic publications, two pages of honors and awards, more than 50 invited lectures and 22 years of service to PD research and academia.

“Dr. Wooten’s contributions and dedication to the medical profession, education, and the cause of Parkinson’s disease patients is unparalleled,” Mr. Gattullo said in making the announcement, “and, after an adult lifetime commitment to science, he continues to harbor an almost little-boy excitement at discovery. That’s what makes him one of today’s recognized leaders in PD research.”

Previous Springer Award winners have been Dr. Oleh Hornykiewicz, who discovered the relationship between dopamine depletion and PD; Dr. George Cotzias, who established the effectiveness of high doses of oral levodopa in treating PD; Dr. Roger Duvoisin, whose studies of the roles of heredity and environment in PD and patterns of inheritance are the foundation of present genetic theories; and Dr. Melvin Yahr, co-inventor of Hoehn and Yahr Scale still used today to evaluate the severity of PD. Dr. David Eidelberg, director of the Center for Neurosciences at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at New York University School of Medicine was last year’s recipient.

APDA is the country’s largest grassroots organization serving the 1.5 million Americans afflicted with the degenerative neurological disease, for which no cure is known. With the dual mission, “To Ease the Burden – Find the Cure,” APDA has contributed more than $30 million to PD research and an equal amount for patient and caregiver support, and has been a funding partner in every scientific breakthrough.

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