RESEARCH COMMITTEE

William L. Young Research Award Update and Application Submission Announcement

By William M. Armstead, PhD
Chair, Research Committee

William M. Armstead, PhD
William M. Armstead, PhD

Dr. William L. Young once wrote, “Finding the right set of questions is an anxiety-provoking decision process to face for a young trainee or a faculty, who rightly views the vast expanse of questions and methods as daunting. That expanse is daunting no matter what career stage you find yourself at. Standing at the ocean’s edge looking out to sea, the horizon does not change over the years, it is just one’s appreciation of what might lie beyond it”.1 His insightful statement about academicians resonates with many of us who seek answers to those questions. Throughout his career, Dr. Young demonstrated the passion of pursuing scholarly excellence. His multidisciplinary model led to the breakdown of specialty silos and barriers. His revolutionary work in cerebrovascular pathophysiology, especially arteriovenous malformations (AVM), explained perfusion pressure breakthrough2 and established new principles of medical treatment for this complex condition and numerous other forms of brain pathology relevant to neuroanesthesiology.

Dr. Young exemplified the most essential qualities of the investigative neuroanesthesiologist. He firmly believed in and embodied the link between strong mentorship and academic success. He also alerted us not to restrict ourselves to only anesthesia-specific questions. All aspects of neuroscience are in the anesthesiologist’s purview. He addressed the necessity of resilience by saying, “The emotional humor that flows after being rejected cannot be allowed to cross the blood brain barrier, at least not into the limbic system”.3

Dr. Young was an exemplary physician-scientist. Throughout his career, he served as the principal investigator on many National Institutes of Health grants, authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications, was the recipient of the ASA 2009 Excellence in Research Award, and was a member of the Editorial Boards for Anesthesiology, Stroke, JNA, etc. Dr. Young was elected to serve as the President of SNACC in 1996-97. His premature death brought shock to our Society and the whole neuroanesthesia community. SNACC has organized the William L. Young Neuroscience Research Award to honor his legacy with the hope of promoting new discovery in neuroscience for anesthesiology and critical care.

    The William L. Young Neuroscience Research Award will offer support to academic physicians and/or scientists who conduct either clinical or laboratory-based research relevant to neuroanesthesiology or neurocritical care. The two prior winners of this award are Miles Berger, MD, PhD, Duke University in 2016 and Andrew E. Hudson, MD, PhD, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in 2017. The William L. Young Neuroscience Research Award will be announced during the 2018 SNACC Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The successful applicant will receive $5000 in support of their research. The deadline for applications is July 16. Details of the application process can be found on the SNACC website.

References:

  1. Young, W.L., Sapere Aude!: the 2009 Excellence in Research Lecture. Anesthesiology, 2010. 112(4): p. 802-9.
  2. Warner, D.S. and W.L. Lanier, Mr. Piano Man: reflections on the life of physician, scientist, and humanitarian, William L. Young, MD (1954-2013). J Neurosurg Anesthesiol, 2014. 26(1): p. 1-3.
  3. Adrian Gelb: Serendipity, Mentorship and a Research Career: William L Young, ASA Ecellence in Research Award. SNACC News, Spring 2010. p. 4-7.
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