The ISNV periodically recognizes individual achievement in the field of neurovirology through its Pioneer in NeuroVirology Award. This year's award was presented at the 4th International Symposium on NeuroVirology, Düsseldorf, Germany, on June 20, 2002.
This year's recipient of the Pioneer in NeuroVirology Award was Neal Nathanson, M.D., University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Nathanson has made an impressive contribution to the field of neurovirology and is a distinguished researcher in both viral pathogenesis and epidemiology. Dr. Nathanson is perhaps best known for his work on the epidemiology of polio, the role of immune responses in the neuropathology of experimental lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection, the molecular determinants of pathogenesis of the California serogroup bunyaviruses, determination of the neuropathogenesis of maedi-visna virus infection and studies on the neurotropism and neuropathology of HIV. His published work also includes studies on the pathogenesis of Langat virus, West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, rat parvovirus, dengue virus, Tamiami virus, Tacaribe virus, Semliki Forest virus and rabies virus. This is an impressive list of neurotropic viruses, the range of which few can equal in the future.
His early definitive studies on the epidemiology of polio were followed by studies on the mechanisms of neuropathology, including age-related pathology, the role of immune responses, mechanisms of demyelination and the viral genetic loci determining disease. Additionally, his early studies on LCMV paved the way for other researshers, making work on the pathogenesis of maedi-visna virus all the more significant and valuable with the onset of the AIDS epidemic. His studies resulted in many reviews on these infections. Futhermore, his research on emerging infections and accumulated knowledge on related topics culminated in his definitive textbook 'Viral Pathogenesis'.
Dr. Nathanson studied medicine at Harvard Medical School, completed his internship and residency at the University of Chicago and completed his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After a few years at Centers for Disease Control, he returned to Johns Hopkins as the Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Epidemiology at the School of Hygiene and Public Health. Following his tenure at Hopkins, he devoted many years as the Chair of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania with a period as Vice Dean for Research and Training. From 1998 to 2000 he was Director of the Office of AIDS Research at the NIH. Currently, he is Vice Provost for Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Nathanson served as Editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology, Epidemiological Reviews and Microbial Pathogenesis and sat on many editorial boards and committees. He has been actively involved in a number of scientific societies and is a Past-President of the American Epidemiological Society. Over his 40 years in research, Dr. Nathanson mentored many scientists and post-doctoral students, several of whom have contributed greatly to the study of neurovirology and viral pathogenesis.
Neal Nathanson is a learned, distinguished, and esteemed scholar. His contributions to the field of neurovirology are numerous and significant. As an intellectual and visionary, Dr. Nathanson is a well-deserving recipient of the "Pioneer Award in Neurovirology" award.
Return to the Pioneer in NeuroVirology Award page.