Dennis Steindler honoured

Steindler, executive director of the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida, was honored for his contributions to neuroscience at a ceremony with officials from the Catholic University in Rome, the university's teaching hospital - the Gemelli University Polyclinic - and the Italian government.

Sharing the award were Doctor Gianfranco Rossi, a pioneering neurophysiologist who founded the neurosurgery programme at the Catholic University; and Professor Rita Levi-Montalcini, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1986 for her work involving brain growth factors.

"The secret of the enormous advances in treating brain diseases is the alliance of biologists and neurosurgeons," Steindler said while accepting the award. "Biologists are excited by discoveries regarding stem cells and the possibility to regenerate brain tissue, but there is always the vital need for clinicians to come to the aid of patients. These must be complementary efforts."

Steindler began studying brain development while in graduate school at the University of California San Francisco, investigating abnormal brain circuitry arrangements that arise spontaneously in neurological mutant mice. He went on to learn how to develop transplantation and functional brain repair approaches while at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, Germany, at Michigan State University and at the University of Tennessee.; Source: University of Florida