2013 Award Winners
Congratulations to our 2013 award recipients
Each year Narcolepsy Network present awards recognizing achievement in public awareness, research, public education, clinical practice and lifetime achievement. The 2013 honorees received their awards at Narcolepsy Network’s annual conference, Oct. 18-20 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Researcher of the Year Award: Thomas E. Scammell, MD
Dr. Scammell is a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Hospital medical Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital. In 2013 his study “Increase of histaminergic tuberomammilary neurons in narcolepsy” was presented at the SLEEP Meeting. Dr. Scammell’s study provides surprising evidence that people with narcolepsy have an increased number of neurons that produce histamine, suggesting that histamine signaling may be a novel therapeutic target for this potentially disabling sleep disorder.
Researcher of the Year Award: Jerry Siegel, PhD
Dr. Siegel is a professor of psychiatry at UCLA. His laboratory has made discoveries concerning the loss of hypocretin cells in human narcolepsy. In 2013, his study “Greatly increased numbers of histamine cells in human narcolepsy with cataplexy” was published in the online edition of the journal “Annals of Neurology.” Dr. Siegel’s research shows that that people with the disorder have nearly 65 percent more brain cells containing the chemical histamine. Their research suggests that this excess of histamine cells causes the loss of hypocretin cells in human narcoleptics.
Both Dr. Scammell and Dr. Siegel received monetary grants in support of their narcolepsy research
Public Awareness Award: Kevin E. Gonzales
Kevin is a senior studying sociology and political science at Oklahoma State University. Inspired by his fiancée, Megan Phillips, Kevin organized the Dream Big Concert in February of 2013. Following her diagnosis of narcolepsy in 2012, Megan was worried that narcolepsy could cause a chasm in her relationship with Kevin. To show her his love and support, Kevin decided to start a benefit concert to raise awareness and funds for Narcolepsy Network. The concert was held on February 15 and was a huge success, with more than 250 people attending. Through ticket and T-shirt sales and donations the concert also raised more than $2,000 for Narcolepsy Network.
Ruth Justice Nebus Volunteer of the Year Award: Laura J. Evert
Laura is a long-time Narcolepsy Network volunteer and recipient of our 2013 Ruth Justice Nebus Volunteer of the Year Award. Laura has filled many roles including serving on the Board of Trustees, providing artwork for the Creative Corner section of The Network, our quarterly member newsletter, and presenting session at many conferences, including this year when she presented “Fear No Art: Dream Sleep and Creativity.” This year Laura also coordinated the art show at our conference in Atlanta, and raised money to support the show through an online fundraising campaign. Find N[Art] on Facebook.