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2020 Friends of BrainHealth Award Recipients

Center for BrainHealth

DALLAS (November 17, 2020) – The Center for BrainHealth, part of The University of Texas at Dallas, recently hosted the first-ever virtual iteration of the annual Friends of BrainHealth Scientist Selection Luncheon, during which the following scientists were awarded funds for their independently designed research studies: Dema Abdelkarim, MS, received the Jennifer and Peter Roberts Distinguished New Scientist Award for her project, Capturing the Role of Mental Fatigue in Age-Related Cognitive Decline. Mark Zuppichini, MA, received the Lyda Hill Philanthropies Distinguished New Scientist Award for his project, Little Brain, Big Potential: Understanding the Cerebellum for a Complete Picture of Cognitive Decline in Multiple Sclerosis. Sarah Laane, MS, received the Linda and Joel Robuck Distinguished New Scientist Award for her project, Back on Track: Adapting SMART for Juvenile Offenders. Julie Fratantoni, PhD, received the Friends of BrainHealth Distinguished New Scientist Award for her project, Does Cognitive Training Boost Compassion? Other finalists included: Gayathri Maruthy, MS - Developing Novel Intervention to Protect Against Neuropsychological Stress Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic Evan Smith, MS - How Can Expert Memory Benefit the Rest of Us? Assessing Changes in the Brain Related to Chess “During the uncertainty of this year, the commitment of the Friends of BrainHealth has been especially meaningful for our impressive young scientists, and their promising research is only possible thanks to your support,” said Dr. Daniel Krawczyk, deputy director of the Center for BrainHealth and event moderator. Coley Clark and Heather Gilker served as event co-chairs. The scientist selection committee included Andrew Fox, Kristi Francis, Brill Garrett, Roger Gault, Carolyn Guillot, Nikki Kapioltas, Keana Meyer, William Schoellkopf, Brandi Sinclair and Robert Wienke. Launched in 2008, the Friends of BrainHealth donor circle has raised a total of $3.1 million for the Center for BrainHealth and granted 43 Distinguished New Scientist awards to emerging BrainHealth researchers. In 2020 alone, this dedicated group raised $273,500. The 2020 event was held virtually for the first time in its history. Attendees were invited to pick up a gourmet lunch provided by Eating Royally, led by former chef to the British royal family, Darren McGrady.

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