October 25, 2013
Congratulations to Kathy Haaland, PhD, ABPP-CN, a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology and Research Career Scientist at the VA Hospital, who received the 2013 Clinical Science Research Award from the UNM Health Sciences Center on October 16. Dr. Haaland was nominated for the award by Dr. Mauricio Tohen, Chair of Psychiatry, and Dr. Gary Rosenberg, Chair of Neurology, for her internationally recognized research on the cognitive and neuroanatomical correlates of movement.
“This award is particularly meaningful because I was selected by fellow researchers at the Health Science Center,” says Haaland.
Dr. Haaland’s work has found that each of the hemisphere controls different aspects of movement in both arms suggesting that hemispheric asymmetries are present not only for language but also for movement. One of the most important clinical implications of this work is that stroke patients have problems moving their un-paralyzed as well as their paralyzed arm after damage to one hemisphere, suggesting that stroke rehabilitation therapy should include both arms. This work has been supported for more than 30 years by grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs. In her acceptance speech Haaland acknowledged that she represented a large team of collaborators, postdoctoral fellows, and research assistants involved in this work over the years.
“I am tremendously grateful for the large number of stroke patients and their families who have contributed their time to make this research possible,” says Haaland.
Last year, Dr. Haaland was honored with the “Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Neuropsychology Award” from the National Academy of Neuropsychology. The award is given to a senior member of the Academy who has made significant scientific, intellectual, and training-related contributions to the field of neuropsychology. Neuropsychology specializes in the assessment and treatment of patients with brain injury or disease. Research like Haaland’s is an example of how neuropsychology is aiding in the development of models and methods for understanding both normal and abnormal brain function.