2014 Award Winners
Narcolepsy Network’s annual awards recognize those who have made significant contributions to the narcolepsy community. The recipients received their awards at our annual conference, held October 17-19, 2014, in Denver.
The 2014 award recipients are:
Robert Clark, MD, Clinician of the Year: Todd J. Swick, MD
Dr. Swick is a board-certified neurology and sleep medicine physician, sleep researcher and a member of Narcolepsy Network’s Medical Advisory Board. He has been practicing medicine in Houston, TX, for the past 34 years and has practiced sleep medicine exclusively for the last 12 years. Dr. Swick was nominated for his contributions to the greater understanding of narcolepsy and his dedication to his patients.
Employer of the Year: Two Sigma Investments
The Employer of the Year award is new this year, and the inaugural award goes to Two Sigma Investments, an investment firm based in New York City. The company’s culture of teaching and mentorship has allowed an employee with narcolepsy to share information about narcolepsy with co-workers through Brown Bag lunch talks. Two Sigma has also sponsored NN’s two New York City fundraising walks and Two Sigma employees have been active participants in those events.
Public Awareness: Nicole Jeray
LPGA golfer Nicole Jeray is a dedicated narcolepsy advocate and fundraiser. Her Swinging for Sleep campaign raises narcolepsy awareness as well as money for narcolepsy organizations, including NN. Nicole talks openly about narcolepsy on the LPGA tour, handing out information and promotional materials to spectators on the course. She regularly attends the NN conference and is often seen on our Facebook group sharing her experiences with other PWNs.
Researcher of the Year: Olivier Andlauer, MD
Dr. Andlauer is a psychiatrist at Greater Manchester West National Health Service Foundation Trust, UK. He previously worked as a researcher in the Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine at Stanford University. His current research focuses on sleep disorders, mostly narcolepsy, and how to optimize its diagnostic criteria. His paper Nocturnal rapid eye movement sleep latency for identifying patients with narcolepsy/hypocretin deficiency was published in “JAMA Neurology” in July 2013.
Researcher of the Year: Masaki Nakamura, MD
Dr. Nakamura is the research member of the Japan Somnology Center at Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Tokyo, Japan, the director of Yoyogi Sleep Disorder Center and a lecturer in the department of somnology at Tokyo Medical University. His primary research topic is neuroimaging studies of sleep disorders. His study “Differences in Brain Morphological Findings between Narcolepsy with and without Cataplexy” used MRIs to discover several microstructural changes in the brains of people with narcolepsy with cataplexy. It was published in the journal “PLoS One” in November 2013.
Both Dr. Andlauer and Dr. Nakamura received monetary grants in support of their narcolepsy research.
Ruth Justus Nebus Volunteer of the Year: Brianna Espana and Chelsea Cataldi
Brianna and Chelsea are the co-creators of NN’s new Resource Support Program (RSP), which will launch in January 2015. RSP will connect NN members with resources that can help them with education and career issues, family support and more. Both women have experience as military ombudsmen and are using that experience to expand NN’s network of support resources.