Ira Shoulson Honored for His “Tireless” Advocacy on Behalf of Patients with Neurological Disorders

Posted in GUMC Stories

APRIL 21, 2015 — The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) honored Ira Shoulson, MD (new window), with its 2015 patient advocacy of the year award citing his “passion, dedication and enthusiasm.”

The Kenneth M. Viste Jr., MD, Patient Advocacy of the Year award was presented to Shoulson April 20 at the AAN 2015 Annual Meeting in Washington. The award is named for a neurologist whose dedication to improving the lives of others was lauded by his peers and inspired his community.

In announcing Shoulson as this year’s recipient, the AAN president wrote, “You went above and beyond to advocate for others. Your work to better the lives of those with neurological diseases, especially Huntington disease, is appreciated and recognized on a national level. Your tireless efforts have made, and continue to make, a significant difference both for neurologists and patients,” said Timothy A. Pedley, MD.

“This award has great meaning for me in affirming the importance and value for clinicians to advocate for our patients, not only in their care, but also with legislators, regulators, researchers, insurers and health care decision makers,” said Shoulson, a professor of neurology, pharmacology and human science at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Shoulson is internationally recognized for his contributions to neurodegenerative and neurogenetic disorders. In 1985, he founded the Parkinson Study Group (new window) and in 1994 established the Huntington Study Group (new window)—both international academic consortia devoted to research and development of treatments for Parkinson disease, Huntington disease and related disorders. He was a key investigator in the US-Venezuela Collaborative Huntington Disease Project, which identified the gene responsible for this fatal hereditary disorder.

Shoulson’s collaborative research in Huntington disease and Parkinson’s disease resulted in several new drugs for the diseases—many ushered by him through all aspects of research and development.

“Clinicians entering the neurology field should be mindful of the multitude of disorders affecting the nervous system—common ones such as stroke and the hundreds of rare diseases that require our clinical attention, care, research and advocacy,” Shoulson said.

Shoulson is director of Georgetown’s Program for Regulatory Science and Medicine and is principal investigator of the Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation, a collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Shoulson, a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine, joined GUMC in 2011 from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania and earned his MD at the University of Rochester. Shoulson completed fellowship training at the National Institutes of Health and served as a public policy fellow in the United States Senate. He is board certified in internal medicine and neurology.

By Karen Teber
GUMC Communications