Four Faculty Named Spivack Scholars

Tarik Haydar, PhD, and Tsuneya Ikezu, MD, PhD, are the recipients of the Jack Spivack Excellence in Neurosciences Award for 2018. Mr. Spivack established the award in 2013 to recognize and support the research of an outstanding faculty member conducting clinical or basic research in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, and other neurological disorders.

COM-Tarik Haydar Haydar, professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology, came to BUSM in 2010 from George Washington University School of Medicine and the Center for Neuroscience Research at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. He is internationally recognized for his cutting-edge work in developmental neurobiology and cellular mechanisms of neurogenesis in the mammalian forebrain, and particularly for his innovative work in Down syndrome. He received his BS in 1992 in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and his PhD in 1997 in Physiology from the University of Maryland and then completed postdoctoral training in 2002 in Neurobiology at Yale University.

The author of 55 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, case reports, editorials and critical reviews, Haydar serves on the editorial board of Developmental Neuroscience and has served on more than 30 NIH Study Section panels, most recently as Chair of the Neurogenesis and Cell Fate Study Section. He also co-chaired a Session on Neural Development for the American Society of Neurochemistry and a Minisymposium on Brain Development in Down Syndrome at the Society for Neuroscience. His research, which has been continually NIH funded since 1998, is supported by a team of postdoctoral fellows and graduate students from the Anatomy/Neurobiology, Molecular Medicine and GPN programs.

COM-Ikezu Ikezu, professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Neurology, also arrived at BUSM in 2010 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.┬áHe is known for his outstanding contributions in basic science research on the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to his role in Pharmacology, he is a member of the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. He received his BS in biological science, MD and PhD in pharmacology from the University of Tokyo.

Ikezu holds six patents and among his honors, he received the 2017 Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer’s research at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference for the senior author of the most impactful study in the previous two calendar years. The author of 87 peer-review papers and book chapters, he serves as senior section editor for the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology and on the editorial board of Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis (AITE).

2018 Spivak Emerging Leaders


Michael Esterman, PhD, is an assistant professor of Psychiatry and an investigator at the VA Boston Healthcare System. His research includes the neural basis of attentional control and distractibility in both healthy young and old adults and in neurological and psychiatric populations. He received his BA in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and his PhD in psychology from the University of California-Berkeley.
COM-Medalla Maria Medalla, PhD, is an assistant professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology. Her research uses high-resolution imaging and cellular electrophysiological approaches to study the structural and functional details of critical prefrontal brain networks that underlie cognitive and motivational functions. She received her BS in biology from the University of the Philippines-Diliman and her PhD in applied anatomy and physiology from Boston University.