Corporate Advisory Board
The CNF Scientific Award is two-year research grant for work in the field of child neurology. This award recognizes the work of a young researcher, who is a child neurologist early in his/her career. The selected investigator will receive a two-year grant of $50,000 per-year. The award is supported in part by the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation (PERF).
Carolyn Pizoli MD/PhD
The honor of receiving the Child Neurology Foundation Scientific Award has had a profound impact on me professionally by providing the essential means to continue my research of network changes in pediatric traumatic brain injury during this critical transition between fellowship training and an independently- funded research career. The impact on me personally is equally great, providing an inspiring vote of confidence that strengthens my resolve to improve the quality of life of the patients we serve through research and advocacy
Keith Van Haren
Keith Van Haren MD graduated with a BA in Chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross, where he was recognized for his human rights work as well as his academic performance. He subsequently completed a year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps before enrolling in medical school at the University of Rochester. During a one-year pre-doctoral fellowship at Rochester, he developed an interest in myelin-based disorders under the mentorship of neuropathologist Jim Powers MD and neurologist Marjo van der Knaap MD PhD, with whom he coauthored two scientific papers on vanishing white matter disease. Dr. Van Haren gave the student commencement address at his medical school graduation in 2005. Dr Van Haren completed his Pediatrics training at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University, where neurologist Florian Eichler MD continued to foster an interest in white matter disorders. Together, they co-authored a review on the variable role of inflammation in leukodystrophies. Dr. Van Haren then completed his Child Neurology residency at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital/Stanford University, where he served as Chief Resident in the Department of Neurology during his final year. With the support of an NIH R25 award during his residency, he began working in the labs of neuroimmunologist Larry Steinman MD and rheumatologist Bill Robinson MD PhD, and applied antigen microarrays and other microassays to the study of anti-myelin antibodies and inflammatory cytokines in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (XALD). Since completing his residency in 2010, Dr Van Haren has joined the Stanford faculty as an Instructor and post-doctoral scholar.
Dr Van Haren is interested in congenital and inflammatory disorders of myelin. His current laboratory research is focused on the role of myelin lipids in inflammatory demyelination, with the long-term goal of defining the mechanism by which the abnormal lipid composition within XALD myelin leads to neuroinflammation. He is also developing a multidisciplinary White Matter Clinic at Stanford to address the diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of caring for these children and their families. The Child Neurology Foundation Scientific Award will allow Dr Van Haren to screen a large number of myelin lipids for antigenic properties using plasma and CSF samples from XALD patients. Promising lipid candidates from this screen will be applied to cellular assays to measure their inflammatory potential. The results of this work will have important implications for our mechanistic understanding of how myelin lipids can lead to neuroinflammation in XALD as well other inflammatory demyelinating disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, where the predominant view has been that lipids are little more than bystanders in disease pathogenesis.
I am tremendously honored to receive the prestigious Child Neurology Foundation Scientific Award. This Award confers the resources and time necessary for me to make meaningful progress toward expanding our understanding of inflammatory demyelination in children, a critical step in developing successful therapies. I also want to offer my sincerest thanks to the Child Neurology Foundation for the Awards’ most important offering: hope to the children and families affected by these disorders.”
Child Neurology Foundation
201 Chicago Ave, #200
Minneapolis, MN 55415