Susan Bookheimer, the Joaquin Fuster Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCLA, received the 2018 Glass Brain Award from the Organization of Human Brain Mapping. The award recognizes lifetime achievement in the use of neuroimaging to advance understanding of the brain. She is the first woman to receive the Glass Brain Award since it was first awarded in 2014.
Bookheimer, who teaches in the department of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and is a member of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, was honored for her work developing brain imaging techniques to help patients with Alzheimer’s disease, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, brain tumors and epilepsy. She has been active in functional magnetic resonance imaging since the inception of the technique in the early 1990s and created the clinical fMRI program at UCLA.
Bookheimer, who is director of the UCLA Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, has used neuroimaging in language and language disorders, memory and memory disorders. More recently, she has served as principal investigator of the UCLA Autism Center of Excellence. In addition, she is a principal investigator at UCLA for the Human Connectome Lifespan and the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development projects, which are national, multi-site studies of normal brain development and aging.
Early in her career, Bookheimer was an epilepsy specialist at the National Institutes of Health. At that time, the NIH was one of only a few places using positron-emission tomography scans to measure brain activation. Because she was working with epilepsy, she began using PET scans for identifying language and memory centers to help plan neurosurgery.