Professor Stephen Hawking, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Producer Tim Kring and Pioneering Scientists and humanitarians are among award recipientsThree-Day Event Featured Compelling Keynotes & Panels With Emphasis on Cross Disciplinary Dissemination of Latest Medical and Scientific Advances as well as standardization of brain technologies and protocols”Since its inception, SBMT has been the pioneer in research, advocacy and service to the medical community” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

LOS ANGELES, March 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — World leading scientists gathered at the LA Convention Center from March 6-8 for a marathon scientific presentation.  600 presentations in 110 scientific sessions covered recent advances in ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease,  brain cancers, spine disorders, psychiatric disorders, autism, depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, brain trauma, space medicine, epilepsy, vascular disorders, stroke, stem cell, neuro-mathematics, bio-material and tissue engineering, multi-modality imaging, epigenetic and genomic of brain disorders, brain bionics, minimally invasive therapy, focus ultrasound, microgravity, supercomputing and big-data, virtual reality medicine, NIH and DARPA funding, nanoneuroscience and nanoneurosurgery,  neurovascular disorders, biomarkers, pediatric neurosurgery, dementia, brain bank, brain ablation, Neuro-ophthalmology, neuro-oncology, radiation physics, neurophotonics, peripheral never therapy, deep brain stimulation, brain health and fitness, NASA technologies, Los Alamos National Lab and brain policy and ethics. Winthrop University Hospital designates this world class scientific program for a maximum of 13.5 AMA PRA category 1 CME credits.

The preparation for the program started 18 months ago including near 100 members of the scientific program committee from 50 universities and near 40 scientists from NASA and Los Alamos National Lab presenting their advanced technologies at the meeting. The Honorable Congressman Chaka Fattah delivered the opening keynote at the LA Convention Center stating that “…you would not find this type of diversity geographically and otherwise in any other great organizations that are gathering….”

The annual SBMT World Congress is a multidisciplinary forum designed to facilitate cross-disciplinary dissemination of technological and medical advances and scientific discovery. The SBMT World congress has brought together neurosurgeons, radiologists, neurologists, neuro-oncologists, psychiatrists, bioethicists, policy makers, government officials, engineers, physicists, computer scientists, neuroscientists, allied healthcare professionals, healthcare executives, students, post-docs, residents and fellows. SBMT’s annual meetings are world class scientific events designed to have a significant impact on cross-disciplinary flow of information and scientific advancements.

We had the largest numbers of keynote and presenters in this convention, which was truly started as an spinoff collaboration between me and Dr. Kateb 13 years ago with 10 speakers and few people in the audience; since then we have published numerous papers showing latest technology could indeed helpful in diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and now we have ongoing clinical trials,” said Dr. Shouleh Nikzad, immediate past President of SBMT, Senior Research Scientist, Principal Member of Staff,  Technical Supervisor and Lead, Advanced UV/Vis/NIR Detector Arrays and Imaging Systems, and Nanoscience Group, Lead, Strategic Initiative on Gigapixel Focal Plane Arrays, Deputy Lead, Advanced Imaging Systems, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

In recent years, astonishing advances have contributed to amazing discoveries and breakthroughs in fields of neurology, neuroscience, neurosurgery, radiology, engineering, computer science, nanotechnology, medical imaging, medical devices and cellular/stem cell therapy. These scientific advances also have contributed to the large gap of knowledge amongst the scientists in different disciplines. One of the major challenges of 21st century for the scientific community is how to close such gaps of knowledge amongst multiple disciplines. SBMT has designed and created G20 World Brain Mapping and Therapeutic Initiative and African Brain Mapping Initiative to address such challenges at the global level by bringing together world class experts across multiple disciplines.

“SBMT is now a global leader in brain mapping and therapeutics by introducing modern and game changing initiatives such as G20 and African Brain Mapping Initiative; The organization has been on the forefront of translational neuroscience,” Said Dr. John Ouma, the new President of SBMT (2015-2016), Chairman of Neurosurgery at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

This year’s program had 10 keynote speakers including:  Congressman Fattah, Dr./Rear Admiral Raquel Bono, Drs. Keith L. Black (Chairman of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center), Nancy Sauer (Deputy Director of Los Alamos National Lab), Jakob Van Zyl (Associate Director of Project Formulation-NASA/JPL), Michael W Weiner (Professor of Radiology, Medicine and Psychiatry at UCSF), Morteza Gharib (Vice Provost of Caltech), Jaimie Henderson (Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Stanford University), Skip Rizzo (Director of Medical Virtual Reality at USC) and Douglas Davis (Vice President of Intel) as well as Mitch Berger (Chairman of Department of Neurosurgery at UCSF) who was the first Ferenc A. Jolesz Memorial lecturer.

The Society and the Brain Mapping Foundation annually award leaders, philanthropists and pioneers in the field were honored this year.

Professor Stephen Hawking (Beacon of Courage and Dedication Award) for his clear beacon status, for publicly and courageously living with ALS and monumentally contributing to our understanding of the universe and thereby raising public awareness about the ALS.  

Professor Hawking said, “…SBMT‘s approach is bold and innovative as it takes advantage of talents and diversity of approach in various disciplines…”

Dr. Skip Rizzo ( USC-Pioneer in Medicine Award) for his role in the field of virtual reality medicine and his impact on treatment of patients with obesity, diabetes and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders; Dr. Babak Kateb (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center-Pioneer in Medicine Award) for founding and establishing SBMT, editing the inaugural textbook of Nanoneuroscience and NanoNeurosurgery, pioneering techniques using NASA nanotechnology for cancer detection and therapeutics, his pioneering work in using electronic nose to sniff brain cancer and his significant role in developing a new device to microwave cancers, including brain tumors.  Dr. Pantaleo Romanelli (AB Medica Inc-Pioneer in Medicine Award) for his role in developing a new generation of Brain Computer Interface Technology

Pioneer in Technology Development was given to Intel’s CEO Brian M. Krzanich for the development and continual support of Brain Computer Interface Technology enabling ALS patients like Professor Hawking to communicate with others. Golden Axon Award, which is presented to individuals who have taken SBMT’s multidisciplinary approach to educate public, was presented to writer and producer, Tim Kring for his TV series “Touch” which shed light on Autism. 

“This year, the award committee has selected a remarkable group of individuals who have impacted the field from science and technology to public policy and awareness; we congratulate them not only for their amazing work in the field but also for receiving such prestigious awards” said Dr. Vicky Yamamoto, member of the executive board of SBMT and BMF, a cancer scientist at Keck School of Medicine of USC and a co-chair of the award committee.

Recipient of the Pioneer in Healthcare Policy award was Congresswoman Maxine Waters who has pioneered legislations combating Alzheimer’s Disease. The Humanitarian award of SBMT was presented to two entrepreneurs and philanthropists who dedicated their time, wealth and effort to neurological disorder such as depression/suicide, PTSD, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease; Bill Wood and Lenore Stein-Wood (Parkinson’s Disease sufferer ) encouraged near 300 participants at the Gala of Brain Mapping Foundation in Millennium Biltmore Hotel on March 7th to support the efforts of SBMT and Brain Mapping Foundation and work together to rapidly introduce life saving therapies.    

This year National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) partnered with SBMT and introduced a new Young Investigator Award. The NSBRI/SBMT Young Investigator Award is designed to recognize and assist promising young scientists performing work in the brain sciences relevant to the SBMT, whose research is also aligned with the mission of the NSBRI. Following investigators are the recipients of the 2015 NSBRI-SBMT Young Investigator Award:

Benjamin Aribisala,  Professor of Computer Science, Computer Science Department, Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria; Michael E Wolf, Navy Flight Surgeon and President, NeuroCite, LLC, and Reza Tadayon-Nejad (with distinction), Psychiatry Resident, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago.

“The work of these early-career colleagues significantly impacted the field of translational neuroscience both from the technological standpoint and from the clinical aspects; they represent the future of the field and are great role models for the young members of the Society” said Dr. Evgeny I. Tsimerinov, Member of the Board of SBMT, Co-Chair of the award committee and Associate Director of the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Dr. Daniel Amen delivered the keynote speech at the 12 th Annual Black Tie Gala of SBMT-BMF.  The 12 th Annual meeting of SBMT was supported by: Brain Mapping Foundation, National Center for NanoBioElectronics, Amen Clinics, City of Hope Cancer Center, Neurologica, Medtronic, Stryker, Ornim, Accuray, Neurallynx, Insightec, BESA, PMT Corp., Alergan, AlphaOmega, Nexstim, CoreTech, SPIE, Compumedics, PLoSOne, Theime, AB Medica, CRC Press, DoD, DoE, NIH, Department of Commerce, State Department, DARPA, NASA, NSBRI.  The Brain Mapping Foundation Gala was produced by Drs. Kateb and scientist/writer/producer Harry Kloor, CEO of Jupiter 9 Productions.

Brain Mapping Foundation has launched a ” Brain Matters Campaign” in order to fundraise for the translational neuroscience research and technology, which was presented in this convention.  “We will provide funding support to those scientists who participate in these conventions once the funds are available; you will see more fundraising events in the near future.” said Kuldip Sidhu, the past president of SBMT, member of the executive board of SBMT and an associate professor of Stem Cell Research,  UNSW, Sydney Australia.  

Brain Mapping supporters attended the 12th annual gala included Robert Picardo ( Star Trek: Voyager) who also emceed the event, honoree writer/producer Tim Kring ( USA Network’s upcoming miniseries event DIG); actors Cathyrn de Prume ( Wild), Melina Kanakaredes ( CSI: NY) and Gary Graham (Alien Nation). Entertainment industry supporters included Jon Vein, President of the LA Convention Center,  Matthew Rhodes (Bold Films), Steve Asbel, Michael Rosenberg,  Shawn Piller ( Sexy, Evil Genius), Sarah Kinga Smith and event co-producer writer/producer/director Harry Kloor ( Star Trek: Voyager; Earth: Final Conflict). Entertainment was provided by DJ Matthew Goldman, the Epic Jazz group and magicians led by Christen Gerhart and Crow Garrett. 

2016 World Congress of SBMT is scheduled for March 17-19th at the Cape Town Convention Center in South Africa as part of the African Brain Mapping Initiative. 

About SBMT:

Media Contacts 
Harry Kloor, Ph.D. (Chemistry), Ph.D. (Physics)
Member of the Science Committee of SBMT
Cell: 818-679-4009

SOURCE Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics