According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is ranked as the chief cause of death in the United States, killing over 130,00 Americans every year. 1 out of 19 deaths is from a stroke, and it is estimated that every 4 minutes one American dies from it. While a stroke is not entirely fatal, it is considered one of the major causes of severe long-term disablement, and has been and continues to be the subject of much scientific and medical investigation. A nurse and researcher from Austin, Texas along with many others who have contributed to the study of stroke, will be recognized in February by the American Stroke Association for their work.
Patricia Hurn, Ph.D., vice chancellor for research and innovation at the University of Texas System and a research professor in neurobiology at the University of Texas, Austin, will be awarded the Willis Award by the ASA. Hurn will be recognized as an American Heart Association Stroke Council Fellow who has “actively engaged in and has made significant contributions to basic science research (animal/cell models) in stroke.” This award is in honor of Thomas Willis, who was the first to plot in detail the brain stem, cerebellum and ventricles along with their functions.
For 11 years prior to earning her Ph.D. in physiology, Dr. Hurn was an ICU and trauma nurse. Her work on stroke involved studying gender-related factors and how sex steroids affect the brain and incidences of stroke, and she conducted these investigations on animal subjects.
This is also not the first time that Dr. Hurn has made Texas biotech headlines. Back in October of 2013, she was a key participant at the Inaugural University of Texas System “FreshAIR” Event.
The 2014 International Stroke Conference, the largest forum devoted to the study and treatment of cerebrovascular disease or stroke nationwide, officially began at the San Diego Convention Center today, February 12 and will carry on until February 14, Friday. The American Stroke Association (ASA) will be honoring 6 health professionals in total for their work on cerebrovascular disease.
This Thursday, February 13 at 11:40 AM PT, Hurn will be presenting the Willis Lecture entitled, “Sex, Stroke and Innovation.”