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Release: Dec. 15, 1999

University of Iowa neurology pioneer is honored with memorial lectureship

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A $50,000 gift in memory of Dr. Adolph L. Sahs, former head of the University of Iowa department of neurology in the College of Medicine, will bring a renowned lecturer in the field of neurology to the UI campus each year. The Sahs family's gift to the UI Foundation will establish the Adolph L. Sahs Memorial Visiting Lectureship.

The distinguished visiting lecturers brought to the UI by the Sahs gift will speak on topics relating to clinical practice and research in neurology and will spend a day teaching medical students and residents in the neurology department.

Dr. Antonio Damasio, the head of the UI neurology department, hailed the Sahs family's generosity, saying the gift will help continue the department's reputation of excellence in education, scholarship and research.

"Dr. Sahs was a leader in neurology who made many significant contributions to our field and who took great care to share his knowledge with his students. His family's gift will influence the field of neurology for generations," Damasio said.

Under Sahs's leadership, the UI neurology department began to establish its reputation as a premier neurological center. Known as an exceptional teacher and an astute diagnostician, Sahs was the author of 185 publications and was internationally renowned for his expertise in aneurysm, stroke and related conditions. He had many affiliations with prominent medical organizations, including service as a founding member and president of the American Academy of Neurology and as president of the American Neurological Association and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Sahs's association with the UI spanned 65 years. A gifted athlete who lettered twice in baseball at Iowa, he received his undergraduate degree (1927) and M.D. degree (1931) at the UI and served part of his residency here. Except for two years conducting research in Boston and New Haven, Conn., under a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, Sahs spent his entire career on the UI neurology faculty. He was department head from 1948 to 1974 and subsequently served as professor emeritus in the department until his death in 1986. The neurology department library is named for Sahs, who won a Distinguished Alumni Award from the UI Alumni Association in 1981.

Dr. Harold Adams, who will coordinate the lecture program for the UI neurology department, said the lectureship is a fitting tribute to Sahs.

"He taught several generations of physicians in this state and led in the treatment of Iowans with neurological diseases. He was revered by his students and colleagues. A lectureship in neurology befits his interests," Adams said.

The first Adolph L. Sahs Lecture will be given in September 2000 by Dr. Mark L. Dyken, professor emeritus of neurology at Indiana University School of Medicine. Dyken is editor of the journal Stroke and was a long-time friend and colleague of Sahs. He will discuss clinical trials in stroke, an area of research in which Sahs was a pioneer.

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions to all areas of the University of Iowa. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to provide support for professorships, scholarships, facilities improvements, equipment purchases, research funds, and other developmental activities at the UI.