October 11, 2004

Ed Federico
(215) 349-5659


Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, MD, Named to National Neurology Advisory Council

(Philadelphia, PA) – Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson has recently appointed Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology and Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, to the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council -- the major advisory panel of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

NINDS -- a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the Department of Health and Human Services -- is the nation's primary supporter of basic, translational, and clinical research on the brain and nervous system. “I am extremely honored to serve on this advisory panel,” says Dr. Gonzalez-Scarano. “It’s my hope that our work over the coming years will help scientists further their efforts in trying to solve many of the disorders affecting the brain and nervous system that afflict a great number of people in our society.”

After receiving his medical degree from Northwestern University, Dr. Gonzalez-Scarano came to The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) as an intern in 1975 and stayed on as a resident in neurology the following year. He has been at Penn ever since, except for one year as a visiting worker in virology research at Great Britain’s National Institute for Medical Research. He was appointed a full professor in 1994.

A nationally recognized expert in the neuropathogenesis of HIV, Dr. Gonzalez-Scarano has also investigated La Crosse virus, a common cause of pediatric encephalitis. He serves as co-director of the interdisciplinary Penn Center for AIDS Research. In addition, he is a member of the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group, an associate member of the Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences, and a member of the Immunology Graduate Group. A Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1982 to 1987, he also had a Teacher-Investigator Award from what is now NINDS. Dr. Gonzalez-Scarano has served as chairman of the board of scientific counselors of NINDS, and as chairman of its Planning Panel for Glial and other Non-Neuronal Cells. Dr. González-Scarano is on the editorial board for the journals Glia, Virus Research, Journal of Neurovirology, Virology, and Journal of Virology. He has served on advisory groups for the NIH and for various professional societies and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society.

The National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council meets three times each year to review applications from scientists seeking financial support for biomedical research and research training on disorders of the brain and nervous system. Members also advise the Institute on research program planning and priorities. The 18-member Council is composed of physicians, scientists, and representatives of the public. Dr. Gonzalez-Scarano will serve through July 2008.


PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (created in 1993 as the nation’s first integrated academic health system).

Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #3 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

Penn Health System is comprised of: its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; Presbyterian Medical Center; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.

This release is available online at http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/oct04/NANDSC.htm