Adjust Font Sizing:

2012 Award Winners

Narcolepsy Network has selected the recipients of its annual awards recognizing achievement in public awareness, research, public education, clinical practice and lifetime achievement.  Honorees received their awards at Narcolepsy Network’s annual conferece, Oct. 19-21 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lifetime Achievement: Sharon  D. Smith

Sharon Smith and nominator Audrey Kindred

Sharon Smith has been a volunteer with Narcolepsy Network for more than 15 years.  She served as the President of the Board of Directors from 2003-2008, and has held many other roles including outreach, fundraising and writing for the newsletter.  Currently she is coordinating the 2012 Patient Conference.  Sharon is from Long Island, NY.  She is an accountant and the mother of two.





Julie Ann Fain and her mother, Barbara

Public Awareness: Julie Ann Fain,
Katy Scruton and Robby Roden

These three young Narcolepsy Network members appeared on MTV’s True Life – I Have Narcolepsy.  Julie Ann, Katy and Robby opened their doors to camera crews who document their daily lives as they cope with symptoms, make decisions about medication and struggle with the ways in which narcolepsy affects their lives and relationships.

Julie Ann Fain is from Toledo, OH, and is now a freshman at Baldwin Wallace University.

Katy Scruton and Robby Roden are the owners of 3Z Realty in San Marcos, TX.

Watch the show here


Dr. Robert Clark Clinician of the Year:   Siobhan Kuhar, MD  

Dr. Kuhar is an Otolaryngologist and Sleep Specialist with Albany ENT and Allergy Services in Albany, NY.  For many years Dr. Kuhar has sponsored a patient’s trip to the annual Narcolepsy Network patient conference.  When her patient returns from the conference, she and Dr. Kuhar meet to discuss the conference and review new information gathered there. 



Researcher of the Year:  Florian T. Merkle, Ph.D.  

Dr. Merkle and NN Executive Director Eveline Honig

Dr. Merkle is a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University.  He studies the development and function of hypothalamic neurons, which play a key role in narcolepsy. Through his research, Dr. Merkle furthers the understanding of underlying causes of narcolepsy.  He is a graduate of the University of California, San Francisco and the California Institute of Technology.






Julie Law and nominator Sarah DiDavide

Public Education: Julie Law

Julie Law is the administrator of the Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Resarch at the University of Illinois at Chicago.   Julie is the organizer of The Life of the Sleepy Person VIII Conference in Chicago, a free educational event for people with narcolepsy and their families.