World Brain Mapping Foundation

World Brain Mapping Foundation

Advancing Trailblazing Approaches to Cure Neurological Disorders

This Year's Recipients

The World Brain Mapping Foundation (WBMF) is pleased to announce the winners of this year's awards. These awards recognize outstanding achievements in brain mapping research, education, and service.

This Year's Recipients

The Beacon Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary courage and dedication for increasing awareness about neurological diseases, and for patients and their families who have exceeded expectations in fighting a neurological disorder with unprecedented courage. The Beacon Award identifies remarkable individuals who set the highest standards for increasing awareness of, and fighting, neurological diseases.

The Humanitarian Award is given to physicians and scientists who have contributed significantly to survival and quality of life of patients across the Globe.

The Pioneer in Technology Award is presented to the trail blazing companies and their CEOs/presidents who have facilitated the development of pioneering technologies through interdisciplinary approaches that have impacted diagnostics, treatment, and healthcare delivery in unprecedented ways.

The Pioneer in Medicine Award is presented to individuals who have significantly contributed to the scientific advancement in the fields of medicine and image guided therapy through a multidisciplinary approach. Their groundbreaking contributions have made development of state-of-the-art technology and scientific discovery a reality.

The Pioneer in Healthcare Policy Award is presented to lawmakers who have demonstrated visionary and crossdisciplinary approaches to introducing laws that have contributed to the advancement of science, technology, education, and medicine. They have paved the way to better integration of such advancements in other fields, like medicine and neuroscience. These lawmakers champion better healthcare for all.

The Golden Axon Leadership Award is presented to individuals who inspire with good will and an enthusiastic interest in science, technology and medicine. Named for the neuron cell fiber that carries outgoing messages to other target cells, the founding principle of the Axon Award is to recognize a highly regarded individual in the public sector who helps raise awareness and funding of WBMF and its mission in the community via fundraising event(s) and activities.

The WBMF Young Investigator’s Initiative is designed to recognize promising young scientists performing work in the brain sciences relevant to the World Brain Mapping Foundation. While this year’s awardees will not be receiving any financial incentives, this recognition will be a stepping stone for future recognition within and beyond the WBMF’s wide ranging collaborative partners.

The WBMF Student Service and Leadership Award is given to recognize excellence and commitment to dedicated fellows, interns, and students who have contributed to the advancement of medicine, specifically the neurosciences.

Late Robin Sidhu (1988 – 2015), a young ebullient science driven and information technology (IT) savvy person, died of an accident at an early age. His mission to accomplish in-depth understanding of human mind and health remained incomplete due to his early departure but his legacy will remain through supporting young innovative minds in science through this award.

Beacon of Courage and Dedication Award

No nominees this year

Humanitarian Award

Alya Michelson

Alya Michelson | Humanitarian Award 2024
Alya brings her classical training, life experiences, and talent to all her creative pursuits. After releasing her debut album in February 2019—the modern and experimental Ten Years of Solitude—she began working with producer Bill Schnee, a Grammy award-winning engineer for Steely Dan, on her follow-up. Their first collaboration, released later that year, was the song “American Beauty,” whose accompanying video tells the story of “a strong, talented, unique, gorgeous immigrant woman.” That project started a new chapter in her musical journey, delivering a message that lives deep in her DNA: “Stay true to your roots, be proud of who you are, and be thankful for whatever life brings to you.”

Gary Michelson

Gary Michelson, MD | Co-chair & Co-founder Michelson Philantropies
In 2005, the sale of his patents to Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device company, earned Dr. Michelson a place on the Forbes 400 as a self-made billionaire. That same year, Dr. Michelson began his philanthropic work, which spans across medical research, education, and animal welfare. In 2016, Dr. Michelson signedThe Giving Pledge, a campaign founded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that encourages the wealthiest individuals to contribute the majority of their fortune to philanthropic causes. Learn more about Dr. Michelson’s philanthropic work at Today, Dr. Michelson lives in California with his wife, Alya, their three children, and their two rescue dogs. Their focus is on their philanthropy, and helping benefit people, pets, and our planet.

Pioneer in Technology Award

Cameron Piron

MS | Synaptive Medical, President
In 2015, Cameron was named one of the Fast Company’s Most Creative People, was recognized for his leadership in 2016 when Synaptive was named Life Sciences Ontario’s Company of the Year, and was named a finalist for the 2017 Bloom Burton Award in recognition of his contributions to the Canadian healthcare industry. He is a member of Synaptive’s Board of Directors.

Pioneer in Medicine Award

Sujuan Ba, PhD

Sujuan Ba, PhD | KEYNOTE Annual World Congress SBMT 2024
One of the Top 300 Women Leaders in Global Health

Pioneer in Healthcare Policy Award

Ben Allen

California State Senator | Senate Select Committee on Mental Health and Addiction
Ben grew up in the 24th Senate District and attended public schools, graduating from Santa Monica High School in 1996. His father, Michael, spent his career on the English Department faculty at UCLA and mother, Elena, was a public school teacher and artist who served as Chair of the Santa Monica Arts Commission. Ben has a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude in History from Harvard University; a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge; and a Juris Doctor degree from UC Berkeley. Fluent in Spanish, Ben is a Senior Fellow with the international human rights organization Humanity in Action, an Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellow, a Truman National Security Project Fellow, and a graduate of the Jewish Federation’s New Leaders Project.

Golden Axon leadership Award

Ira Soebroto-Bullo

Chairwoman of WBMF Citizen Committee 2024
Chairwoman of WBMF Citizen Committee 2024

Kevin Morris

M.D. | | Research Scientist, 2021 Award Recipient | Neuroscience20 Organizing Secretary, India
As a Graduate Research Fellow in 2020 and received the Student Service and Leadership Award for 2020-2021 through hard work and dedication aided by proper mentorship. After that, he was promoted to a Graduate Research Scientist and has excelled in mentoring new fellows and interns since then.

Joe F. Bolanos

MD | Chief Operations Officer | Research Scientist, 2021 Student Service and Leadership Award Recipient | Neuroscience20 Organizing Secretary
A Passion for Innovation in Healthcare Dr. Joe F. Bolanos, MD, embodies a compelling fusion of medical expertise and technological acumen. With an unwavering interest in harnessing innovation to improve healthcare efficiency, Dr. Bolanos has carved a distinguished path throughout his career.

David Baron

DO, MSEd | Neuropsychiatry and Innovation Subcommittee
Senior Vice President and Provost of the Western University of Health Sciences and serves as Chief Academic Officer of the university. He is responsible for academic, accreditation, and budgetary affairs.

George Perry

PhD | Alzheimer's Subcommittee
Semmes Foundation Distinguished Chair of Neurobiology University of Texas, San Antonio, TX, USA

Young Investigator Award

No nominees this year

Student Service and Leadership Award

Jemma Yoo

Program Coordinator (2024) | Intern (2023)

Aysha Noor

MD | Research Fellow (2021-2024)

Robin Sidhu Memorial Young Scientist Award

No nominees this year