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UCSF Neurologist to Receive Prestigious Scientific Award


American Brain Foundation to Honor Physician-Researcher Stephen Hauser, MD, for Research in MS

Stephen L. Hauser, MD, Professor of Neurology and Director of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, has been chosen by the American Brain Foundation (ABF) to receive its second annual Scientific Breakthrough Award. Hauser is being honored for his career-long commitment to advancing the understanding of the genetic basis, immune mechanisms and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The Scientific Breakthrough Award is given to an individual or group whose research has led to meaningful advances for the care of patients living with neurological disease. In bestowing the award, the foundation noted that, “Hauser’s research led to the development of B cell therapies for people with multiple sclerosis, representing a powerful new approach for progressive forms of the disease. His 40+ year, career-long commitment has changed the landscape of treatment and deepened our understanding of MS.”

Hauser will receive the award at the American Brain Foundation’s annual Commitment to Cures gala will take place on April 6 in Seattle, to celebrate the researchers and advocates working toward life without brain disease. In addition to Hauser, the event will honor brain disease advocates, including Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller Rogen, and best-selling author Susannah Cahalan. The event will be in-person and livestreamed.

“I thank the American Brain Foundation for this wonderful honor, which I accept with gratitude and on behalf of the many others who participated in this 40-year journey—colleagues across national borders, industry partners who took risks on a disease mechanism judged by many as implausible, funders including the National MS Society and the NIH, and private donors who believed in novel scientific directions,” said Hauser. 

In addition to the Scientific Breakthrough Award, Hauser has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, the Charcot Award, the Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research and the Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Research.

Hauser is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Physicians. He is an editor of the medical textbook Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine and previously the editor-in-chief of Annals of Neurology. He was chair of the UCSF Department of Neurology at for 25 years and has also served as president of the medical staff at UCSF and president of the American Neurological Association. He served as chair of the Research Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and was appointed by the Obama administration to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, charged with advising the president on issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology. 

Hauser is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School. He trained in internal medicine at the New York Hospital, in neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and in immunology at Harvard Medical School and the Institute Pasteur in Paris. He was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School before moving to UCSF.

About ABF: The American Brain Foundation was founded to bring researchers and donors together to cure brain diseases and disorders. For almost 30 years, the organization has funded research across a broad spectrum of brain and nervous system diseases and disorders in the pursuit of improved treatments, prevention, and cures.

About UCSF: The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as UCSF’s primary academic medical center, includes top-ranked specialty hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area. UCSF School of Medicine also has a regional campus in Fresno. Learn more at or see our Fact Sheet.


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