2019 International Brain Stimulation Award

We are delighted to announce Mark Hallett, M.D. is the recipient of the 2019 International Brain Stimulation Award.

The International Brain Stimulation Award acknowledges outstanding contributions to the field of brain stimulation. The Senior Editors and Deputy Editors of Brain Stimulation: Basic, Translational and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation will formally present the award at the 3rd International Brain Stimulation Conference, February 24-27, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada.

HallettDr. Hallett is the Chief of the Medical Neurology Branch and the Human Motor Control Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland. He trained at Harvard Medical School, NIH, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatry in London. From 1976 to 1984, Dr. Hallett was the Chief of the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. From 1984, he has been at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke where he also served as Clinical Director of NINDS until July 2000. He is past President of the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine and the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, past Vice-President of the American Academy of Neurology, and current Past-President of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology.

Dr. Hallett’s research has focused on principles of motor control and the pathophysiology of movement disorders. In this endeavor, he used multiple neurophysiological techniques and, among them, brain stimulation interventions. Early work examined the effects of high voltage electrical brain stimulation and, when transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) became available, on the comparison of physiological data between electrical and magnetic paradigms. His pioneering work in the Human Motor Control Section of the NIH attracted many fellows who now occupy positions across the world as leaders in the field of brain stimulation. Many studies on basic effects of stimulation and their physiology were devised by Dr. Hallett, who has co-authored more than 350 articles on non-invasive brain stimulation. He was one of the original deputy editors of the journal, Brain Stimulation. Early on, many in the field had concerns about the safety of TMS. Dr. Hallett organized the first international meetings on the safety of TMS, as well as subsequent efforts, including the recent conference in October 2018. His group was the first to develop repetitive TMS and to test its therapeutic potential in neurological and psychiatric conditions. He also helped develop a new TMS coil, the H-coil, which led to an NIH patent, and therapeutic applications.

Dr. Hallett has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the physiological principles underlying brain stimulation. This work included ground-braking studies of brain reorganization in various disorders, including after ischemia and amputation, as well as after learning a new motor task, the effects of fatigue on corticospinal excitability, or the more recently developed concept of surround inhibition in the pathophysiological mechanisms of dystonia, or the combination of TMS, EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging to study brain connectivity.