Mind, Body & Spirit

Brain mapping society to honor Giffords

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is one of two recipients this year of the Beacon Award for Courage and Dedication, which will be presented by the International Brain Mapping and Intraoperative Surgical Planning Society at its 8th annual congress next month.

The society will honor Giffords and Dr. Minoru Freund, director of research for the NASA Ames Research Center, and a brain cancer survivor, at the Brain Mapping Foundation’s gala on June 10 in San Francisco, Calif.

The theme of this year’s congress, to be held June 8-10, is nano-bio-electronics, focusing on the integration of nanotechnology, stem cell research, medical imaging and devices.

The Beacon Award is presented annually to individuals demonstrating extraordinary courage and dedication for increasing awareness about neurological diseases, and for patients and their families who have exceeded expectations in fighting neurological disorders with unprecedented courage.

“Dr. Geoffrey Ling, a member of our Society, was one of the neurologists who treated the congresswoman,” says Babak Kateb, founding chairman of the IBMISPS board of directors. “Patients are our best teachers. They help us unlock mysteries of diseases, advance the field and amaze us with their resilience, courage and dedication in fighting neurological disorders and injuries.”

Giffords and Freund join past recipients including The Honorable Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; retired Army Sgt. Maj. Colin R. Rich; ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff; and Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman.

“On behalf of Congresswoman Giffords, we’re honored that she’s being recognized with this special award that acknowledges both her strength and will to fight her traumatic brain injury,” says Pia Carusone, chief of staff for Giffords. “Her extraordinary recovery is a testament to the multidisciplinary work of physicians and scientists who have been dedicating their life toward finding effective treatments for neurological disorders that gives hope to other patients.”