President's Message

Summer 2014

It is a pleasure to extend our mid-summer greetings from the ANA and to provide an update on our on-going activities.  Planning is moving ahead well for the 2014 ANA annual meeting, which will be held October 12 – 14 in Baltimore, MD.  Registration is now open.  Our conference this year will feature a keynote address on synaptic physiology by Thomas Südhof, M.D., Avram Goldstein Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.  Attendees will also hear important results from clinical and basic investigations in C9ORF72 ALS/FTD and clinical trials in migraine therapy with calcitonin gene-related peptide, as well as other groundbreaking research reports in many areas.  In addition to the regular platform and poster formats, we will again offer rapid-fire, bulleted updates through our extensive specialty interest group presentations.

As part of the initiative to increase access to the exciting arena of academic neurology, the ANA will award upwards of 100 travel grants this year.  Through the auspices of the Scientific Programming Committee, led by Sam Pleasure, M.D., Ph.D., of University of California, San Francisco, these will will go to medical students, residents, and fellows in North America who submitted abstracts.

Led by Dr. Craig Blackstone and his committee on Technology and Communication, the ANA is well into the process of revamping our website.  Our intention is to develop a comprehensive tool that will facilitate all of our activities, with a particular focus on this site as an active forum for a wide range of member interactions (e.g. mentoring, collaboration).  Like most contemporary websites, our new site will incorporate several active, searchable databases and data collections.

One collection that I am particularly excited to develop is a digitized collection of our ANA archives.  As you know, the ANA is the oldest continuously active organization of neurologists and neuroscientists.  Our archives contain a remarkable trove of materials documenting the evolution not only of our organization but also of the fields of neurology and neurobiology.   The archives have been stored for more than 30 years in the Wake Forest University library, where archivist Ralph M. Hicks, Jr. has provided excellent service in maintaining the collection.  However, for many reasons, it is now time to find a new home for the physical collection.  This is an appropriate time to consider options to upload this remarkable archives onto our new website where it will be widely available to the public.

In other news, I note that Dr. Story Landis has announced that she will step down as the Director of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke.   The ANA offers Dr. Landis our thanks and gratitude for her service, not only as Director of the NINDS (since 2003) but also her prior contributions as the Scientific Director (1995-2003).

While you are catching up on your reading this summer, I encourage you to review Gretchen Birbeck’s article in the June issue of the Annals of Neurology on Careers in Global Neurology. Her piece touches on the expansion of neurology from a domestic view to a broader global view. If you are interested in additional resources in the global health, I encourage you to investigate the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.

Be sure register for our annual meeting, which is scheduled for October 12-14, 2014 in Baltimore, MD. I hope to see you there. If you are interested in learning more about how to get involved in the Association or have questions regarding membership, please contact Kathy Custis at or (856) 380-6892.

Robert H. Brown, Jr., D.Phil., M.D.
University of Massachusetts
President, American Neurological Association

Earlier President's Letters

May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013