SBMT Elects J. Wesson Ashford, a World-Renowned Psychiatrist-Neuroscientist, as President to Promote and Advance Brain Health, Technology, Innovation and Research Issues for 2016-2017.
It is a great honor to be elected as the 14th President of the Society for Brain Mapping & Therapeutics. From an early age, an interest and passion for understanding the brain for the purpose of improving lives has been a defining force in my career. I have done extensive research and made leading advances in nearly every aspect of Neuroscience, including brain imaging, cognitive assessment, genetics, pharmacotherapy, dementia, traumatic brain injury, cell culture, neuroanatomy, neuropathology, and diagnostic neurophysiology.
Many of my current efforts are now directed at educating students, health-care professionals, patients, and the public on neuroscientific principles and how to live better lives in the future. Living in Silicon Valley, California, and being surrounded by cutting edge innovation provides me with a rich environment in which to facilitate the development of innovative technologies to better measure brain function and disease states. Entrepreneurs in brain health measurement and the brain illness and injury sectors need our support to develop commercial products which can be applied to novel approaches to improve the health and lives of all. Looking forward, there are realities which we all find uncomfortable such as the inevitability of the passage of time, the deterioration of aging, and the unalterable genetic fate to which each of us is endowed at conception. These realities compel us to feel the sense of urgency to move forward and look across disciplines and fields of work to find the common threads of vision, research, and care for others to which we are all dedicated.
In accepting the honor of being the SBMT's 14th President, I thank the SBMT founder, Dr. Babak Kateb, whose energy and personal strength founded this society and have moved it forward in such important and strategic directions impacting basic, clinical science and global policies/initiatives on neuroscience including the G20/(Neuroscience)N20 World Brain Mapping Initiative. I support the vision of SBMT to engage venture and philanthropy in our annual meeting. In last 14 years together, as members of SBMT, we have been rapidly advancing the science and quickly translating such science into life saving diagnostics and therapeutics.
As an employee of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), I strongly support SBMT's interest in helping Veterans and providing them with the best care available anywhere in the world. As the Director of one of the 3 sites of the VA's War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, I look forward to including Veterans and their families at a higher level. I would like to extend a particularly warm invitation of gratis admission to Veterans and their families to the convention in Santa Clara. Not only may they see and hear the latest advances in diagnosing and treating deployment-related brain conditions, we too may benefit from their stories and perspectives.
History of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT)
Over the 15 years since its founding, the SBMT has fostered dramatic advances in brain measurement and therapy by bringing about a pioneering transformation of the way in which leaders and innovators interact in advancing the science and technology of brain science. The SBMT draws its own structure from the massively parallel and reciprocal connection principle that is so tremendously effective in the human brain itself: the SBMT has a broad, dynamic focus for reciprocally connecting scientists and entrepreneurs. The advancements of our understanding the brain and nervous system support that focus by drawing on the widest possible array of inputs and sources.At remarkable annual meetings, SBMT has drawn together:
- space scientists from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL),
- technology champions from DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the military branches and the Los Alamos National Laboratory,
- the collective academic neuroscientists from hundreds of research universities around the world,
- major governmental agencies supporting clinical science such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Veterans Administration,
- the President of the United States and political leaders from the US Congress that keep our nation focused on serving the people through the advancement of science,
- leading clinical scientists from the fields of neurosurgery, neurology, psychiatry, orthopedics, anesthesiology, and physical medicine,
- Scientists and other leadership from the world's leading technology corporations.
- Industry leaders (device and pharmaceutical)
- International delegations from all continents
14th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA , April 18 – April 20
Los Angeles a tremendously exciting venue from everyone's perspective. Los Angeles is the heart of the Entertainment Industry Worldwide. From a tourists perspective there are more attractions in the Los Angeles area then anywhere in the world. I am privileged to be able to lead SBMT and have the support of the Board of Directors and the nearly 5,000 members of the organization. I have made brain health, technology, innovation, and research the major focus of this convention.
I sincerely hope to see you in Los Angeles on April 18-20th 2017!
J. Wesson Ashford, M.D., Ph.D.
14th President of SBMT (2016-2017)
Clinical Professor (affiliated),
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
Director, War Related Illness & Injury Study Center
VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California
United States of America (U.S.A.)