Lifetime Achievement Award
IAPRD 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award
Stanley Fahn, M.D.
Award Lecture: Saturday, 13 May 2023 during the opening ceremony
Stanley Fahn, MD, is the H. Houston Merritt Professor Emeritus of Neurology and Director Emeritus of the Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Other Movement Disorders at Columbia University in New York City, from which he retired in 2021 after nearly 60 years of teaching, research, and patient care. Dr. Fahn served as President of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) from 2001 to 2003, the Scientific Director of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation from 1979 until 2016, and the first president of the Movement Disorder Society, which he co-founded with Dr. David Marsden. He also co‑founded the journal Movement Disorders and served as co-editor for 10 years, in addition to serving as associate editor of the journal Neurology for 10 years. Dr. Fahn served twice as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs for the Food and Drug Administration.
With Dr. Ira Shoulson, Dr. Fahn co‑founded the Parkinson Study Group (PSG), a consortium of clinical investigators dedicated to conducting controlled clinical trials on the prevention and treatment of Parkinson disease. Dr. Fahn served as co-chair of its Executive Committee for 20 years and participated in many clinical trials of Parkinson’s disease therapeutics, including the ELLDOPA trial that studied the effect of levodopa therapy on the natural history of Parkinson’s disease, published in 2004 in the New England Journal of Medicine. For this work, he was co-winner of the triennial Anne-Marie Opprecht Foundation Parkinson Award in 2005 for the most outstanding scientific work on Parkinson’s disease published in the years 2002-2004.
In dystonia, Dr. Fahn founded and directed the first Dystonia Clinical Research Center in the United States. This Center was responsible for determining the autosomal dominant inheritance pattern of childhood-onset torsion dystonia and for mapping several genes for this disorder.
Dr. Fahn has received numerous awards from neurological organizations, including, from the AAN, the Robert Wartenberg Award for outstanding clinical research in 1986, the A. B. Baker Award for outstanding educator in neurology in 1996, and the first Movement Disorder Prize for outstanding contributions in 1997. The American Neurological Association awarded him the first Soriano Lectureship for excellence in research. The Movement Disorder Society presented him with its President’s Distinguished Service Award in March 2005, and he was awarded the Jay Van Andel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Parkinson’s Disease Research from the Van Andel Research Institute in 2016. Dr. Fahn has also received many awards from lay foundations, including the James Parkinson Medal, awarded once every 10 years by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
In 2002, Dr. Fahn was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies (now the National Academy of Medicine). September 2007 saw the publication by Elsevier of a textbook on movement disorders titled Principles and Practice of Movement Disorders, which he co-authored with Dr. Joseph Jankovic. The second edition was published in 2011, with Dr. Mark Hallett joining as a third author. Dr. Fahn has trained more than 130 movement disorder fellows, including many who are professors of neurology around the globe.