2009 Presidential Plenary Session Features Clinically Relevant Research

February 24, 2009


Clinically relevant research will be presented by leading lecturers at the 2009 Presidential Plenary Session at the 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle. The session will take place on Tuesday, April 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Washington State Convention and Trade Center and is open to all meeting participants. The session, moderated by Stefan M. Pulst, MD, FAAN, Science Committee and Scientific Program Subcommittee Chair, concludes with the annual AAN business meeting.

Lectures include:

Presidential Lecture
"Doctoring, 2009: Embracing the Challenges to the Ethos of the Physician"
Stephen M. Sergay, MB BCh, FAAN
AAN President, Tampa, FL

,p.Stephen M. Sergay was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and educated at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, graduating from medical school in 1970. Following post-graduate medical training in hospitals in Johannesburg, he moved to the United States and obtained his neurologic training at the Peter Bent Brigham, Beth Israel and Children's Hospitals Program in Boston. Sergay worked as a neurologist at the Lahey Clinic Foundation in Boston before moving to Tampa, where he is the managing partner of a five-person neurology group.

Sergay has chaired the AAN Membership Committee and the Public and Professional Information Committee (now known as the Public Relations Committee), and served on the Foundation Board of Trustees, where he ran its strategic planning. He led the 1997 AAN Strategic Planning and chaired the AAN Commission on Subspecialization. This commission resulted in the creation of the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties, which he chaired from 2003 to 2006. He has served on the AAN Board of Directors and has been president since April 2007. He also serves on the boards of AAN Enterprises, Inc., and the AAN Foundation. Sergay is the AAN representative to the World Federation of Neurology, and has been appointed to its education executive committee and Africa task force.

As AAN President, Sergay's focus has been on creating a more strategic, nimble, and proactive Academy, with more data-driven decision-making. On taking office, he initiated the Future of the Profession and AAN Task Force to set in place a method of accomplishing his goals. His core values as a neurologist and Academy member are embodied in the AAN's present mission statement. Sergay strongly believes that the AAN's primary focus is the neurologist, and will work to center Academy priority-setting with this in mind during the remainder of his term.

Robert Wartenberg Lecture
"Cognitive Motor Disorders: The Apraxias"
Kenneth M. Heilman, MD, FAAN
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Kenneth M. Heilman received his medical degree from the University of Virginia in 1963 and trained in medicine at Cornell-Bellevue. He was chief of medicine at USAF-NATO Hospital, Izmir, Turkey (1965 to 1967). After discharge, he took a neurology residency-fellowship at the Harvard Neurological Unit (Boston City) with Drs. Denny-Brown and Geschwind.

He joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 1970 as an assistant professor, and was later promoted to associate professor (1973), professor (1975), the James E. Rooks, Jr., Professor (1990), and Distinguished Professor (1998). He is also a professor of psychology and chief of the VAMC Neurology Service. As director of the behavioral neurology/neuropsychology post-doctoral program, he has trained more than 60 fellows, many of whom are now leaders. His research has focused on four domains: attention-neglect, cognitive-motor systems-apraxia, emotional communication, and creativity. He is the author, co-author, and/or editor of 14 books and more than 500 publications. Heilman and his coworkers have described several new diseases/ syndromes, including orthostatic tremor.

His membership in honorary organizations and honors include Alpha Omega Alpha, Sigma Xi, the Dana Foundation, and the University of Florida Clinical Research Award and Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a past president of the International Neuropsychology Society and the Society for Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, which gave him the Outstanding Achievement Award. The American Speech and Hearing Association gave him its Distinguished Service Award. He is an Honorary Member of the American Neurological Association and a Fellow of the AAN, where he has served on numerous committees and subcommittees, including the Science Committee and the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral Neurology Subcommittee.

Read more about the 2009 Presidential Plenary Session.