Congressman Chris Van Hollen, NIH's Dr. Story Landis Receive 2011 Udall Awards

September 2011 Monthly Message

*Click here to watch the videos of Rep. Van Hollen and Dr. Landis receiving their awards!*

At the Parkinson’s Action Network’s 2011 Udall Awards Dinner on September 14, Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Dr. Story Landis were given the 2011 Morris K. Udall Award for Public Service.

Morris K. Udall served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years and was a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1976. During “Mo’s” distinguished career, he infused American politics with his singular style of humor, grace, and dignity. Many of today’s leaders — both Democrats and Republicans — have cited Mo as an inspiration and role model. As a partisan Democrat, he was a much-feared debate opponent, but he was fair and always decent. It is in this spirit that the Morris K. Udall Awards for Public Service are presented to individuals who have made important contributions to public policy with humor, grace, and dignity.

Elected to Congress in 2002, Rep. Van Hollen quickly earned a reputation as an active, engaged, and effective Member of Congress, becoming one of the youngest members to rise to Democratic leadership in 2008.  In addition to representing the Eighth District of Maryland and serving in House leadership, Congressman Van Hollen’s colleagues elected him in 2010 to serve as the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.  He currently serves on the newly established deficit-reduction Congressional Super Committee, and is a Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease.

“Congressman Van Hollen’s support of the Parkinson’s community and our legislative agenda has been remarkable,” said PAN CEO Amy Comstock Rick.  “Across the board, he understands and fights for our federal priorities around biomedical research and Parkinson’s disease programs.  The whole nation – not just the Eighth District of Maryland – is grateful for his service and leadership on so many important issues.”
“It is an honor to receive the Morris K. Udall Award for Public Service and I am proud to join the ranks of those who have been given this honor in years past,” said Congressman Van Hollen.  “I meet with community leaders and advocacy groups every day, and the dedication and determination I see across the Parkinson’s community is awe-inspiring.  It is that effort that I know will help push us toward finding a cure for this debilitating disease, and I am committed to doing whatever I can to help in your work.”
Dr. Story Landis has been Director of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2003.  Her unprecedented leadership in the area of Parkinson’s disease and biomedical research has helped shape the field for future breakthroughs we hope will get us that much closer to better treatments and a cure.  As NINDS Director, Dr. Landis oversees an annual budget of $1.6 billion that supports research by investigators in public and private institutions across the country, as well as by scientists working in its intramural program.  She is an effective leader when it comes to collaborating with her colleagues across the NIH-led research spectrum. 

“You will find no greater champion of Parkinson’s disease research at the NIH than Story Landis,” said PAN CEO Amy Comstock Rick.  “It is an honor to work with her on a wide range of issues surrounding biomedical research, particularly her thoughtful and thorough approach in working with the scientific community in pursuit of ways to accelerate the development of more effective diagnostics, measures, and therapeutics.”

“I am so honored to be given the Udall Award for Public Service because this is a community that is close to my heart,” said Dr. Landis.  “Parkinson’s research is important not just to people with Parkinson’s but to the broader research community.  The things we learn in one field of study have the potential to shed new light on other areas of research, and we want to keep moving forward toward finding a cure.”

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