Professor Recognized as Leader in Neurorehabilitation Research

SEPTEMBER 11, 2014—A Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) professor has been selected to receive the Outstanding Neurorehabilitation Clinician-Scientist Award from the American Society of Neurorehabilitation (ASNR). 

Alexander Dromerick, MD, is chair of the department of rehabilitation medicine, vice president for research at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (MedStar NRH) and co-director of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery (CBR), a GUMC and MedStar NRH collaboration.

“This is an international group of my peers and to be recognized by them, you can’t ask for more than that,” says Dromerick of the ASNR.

The award honors scholarly achievements and contributions to knowledge about mechanisms of neural repair, translational research from mechanisms of repair to clinical practice, or clinical neurorehabilitation. It will be conferred at the ASNR’s annual meeting on Nov. 13, held in conjunction with the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting in Washington.

Leader in Stroke Recovery

A.M. Barrett, MD, past president of ASNR, notes that the body’s Education Foundation Board chose Dromerick because he is viewed as a “national leader in clinical research, advancing knowledge about recovery after stroke and traumatic injury, especially relevant to skilled arm and hand function.”

“Dr. Dromerick has helped to catalyze a new level of interest in scientific neurorehabilitation for stroke and traumatic brain injury through his excellent teaching and professional service activities,” Barrett says.

Dromerick says he and the ASNR are aligned in seeking to move the field of rehabilitation into a biomedical model of research and improvement of treatment, similar to what is seen in the cancer and cardiovascular fields.

Bench to Bedside

Georgetown’s relationship with MedStar NRH provides for a complete continuum of research spanning from the bench to the bedside, he says.

“Georgetown is a hotbed of research for brain and spinal cord injury recovery,” says Dromerick. “It has a long tradition of doing this kind of work in the laboratory. And now … the relationship with the MedStar National Research Hospital has moved it full-spectrum from the lab to the patient’s bedside.”

Among his other roles, Dromerick also serves as co-leader of the Stroke National Capital Area Network for Research (SCANR), a multi-site, multimillion-dollar research initiative made possible by a grant awarded last fall by the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health. It is the only NINDS network in the region, and one of only 25 in the country.

Established in 1990, the ASNR strives to advance training and research in the basic and clinical sciences that can lead to functional recovery of neurologically impaired persons, and to disseminate the knowledge of this research among professionals and the general public.

By Sarah Reik
GUMC Communications