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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 3, 2004

UI Neurologists To Receive Prestigious International Prize

Two physicians from the University of Iowa will receive an important honor at a ceremony Nov. 15 in the Salpetrière Hospital in Paris, France.

UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine faculty members Antonio Damasio, M.D., Ph.D., the M.W. Van Allen Professor and Head of the UI Department of Neurology, and Hanna Damasio, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Neurology and director of the Human Neuroanatomy and Neuroimaging Laboratory, will receive the Jean-Louis Signoret Prize in Cognitive Neuroscience. La Fondation Ipsen sponsors the prize.

The international jury cited the contributions of the Damasios to the neurobiological understanding of social cognition. This marks the first time that two investigators will share the prize. Previous recipients of the prestigious honor include neuroscientists Eric Kandel of Columbia University and Jean-Pierre Changeux of Institut Pasteur.

Antonio Damasio attended the University of Lisbon Medical School in Lisbon, Portugal. During his distinguished career, he has received numerous awards, including the Nonino Prize, the Arnold Pfeffer Prize in 2002, the Reenpa Prize in Neuroscience from Finland in 2000, the Golden Brain Award in 1995, the Pessoa Prize in 1992 and the William Beaumont Prize from the American Medical Association in 1990. Antonio Damasio is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, the Neurosciences Research Program and the European Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research involves the neurobiology of the mind, specifically the understanding of the neural systems which sub-serve memory, language, emotion and decision-making.

Hanna Damasio attended the University of Lisbon Medical School in Lisbon, Portugal. She completed two internships and a residency program at University Hospital in Lisbon, followed by research fellowships at the Centro de Estudos Egas Moniz in Lisbon and the Aphasia Research Center in Boston, Mass. Hanna Damasio is a Doctor Honoris Causa of the Universities of Lisbon and Aachen and a recipient of the Pessoa Prize in 1992 and an Outstanding Book in Bio and Medical Sciences Award in 1989 for her book, "Lesion Analysis in Neuropsychology." She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Neurological Association. Her research interests include the neuro-anatomical basis of cognition, new techniques to investigate brain structure and the neuro-anatomical substrates of language, memory, emotion and decision-making.

La Fondation Ipsen awards prizes to scientists for work that prestigious juries of their peers judge to be particularly important. Its mission is to encourage interactions between research scientists and clinicians. Such interaction is crucial because of the highly specialized nature of today's health sciences professions.

UI Hospitals and Clinics is the state's most comprehensive academic medical center. University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,