05/31/2007

WVU Professor Inducted to Johns Hopkins University’s Society of Scholars

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A West Virginia University professor joined the ranks of some of the world’s most prominent research and medical leaders when he was inducted into the Johns Hopkins University’s Society of Scholars on May 17.

George Spirou, Ph.D., is WVU’s director of the Center for Neuroscience and director of research in otolaryngology. The Center’s faculty conduct a range of studies on normal brain function and disease states such as congenital blindness and stroke.

The WVU Otolaryngology Department faculty members study the receptor cells of the inner ear in health and disease models, sound processing in the brain, and how the auditory system develops. As the director of research, Spirou helped increasing the department’s National Institutes of Health funding to nearly $2.8 million.  NIH lists WVU’s Otolaryngology Department as one of the top ten ear, nose and throat research departments in the country. 

Spirou completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins in 1990.  His former mentors were so impressed with Spirou’s research and administrative leadership at WVU, they were compelled to nominate him for the Society.

George Spirou, Ph.D., is WVU’s director of the Center for Neuroscience and director of research in otolaryngology. The Center’s faculty conduct a range of studies on normal brain function and disease states such as congenital blindness and stroke. 

The Society of Scholars inducts previous postdoctoral fellows and junior or visiting faculty at Johns Hopkins who have gained marked distinction in their field of study.  There are currently 506 members in the Society of Scholars.

Spirou’s accomplishments in studying the neural mechanisms and structures that underlie binaural hearing, in particular localization of sound, were noted by the selection committee.

Spirou’s postdoctoral fellowship coincided with the formation of John Hopkins’ Center for Hearing and Balance, a cross-disciplinary effort encouraging collaborations in biomedical engineering and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery.

“When I finished my fellowship I didn’t want to start out in just research, like most other new faculty,” Spirou said.  “Seeing their Center form sparked my interest in how academic programs develop so I decided to pursue a position that combined research and administration.”

Spirou’s interest quickly turned to experience as he went on to help lead a 15-year expansion of WVU’s biomedical programs, which have achieved national prominence in audition, vision and neuroimaging.

“Part of the reason the committee at Johns Hopkins selected me, is because they see that WVU has a quality program where experts in the field come to conduct their research,” Spirou said. 

The WVU Center for Neuroscience is seeking to increase its research into neuropsychiatric disease, as Spirou and others are recruiting clinical research leaders in the areas of depression and stroke.  

Some members of the Center will move into a state-of-the-art Biomedical Science Research Facility upon its completion in spring 2008. 

“What’s really great about going back to visit a university like Johns Hopkins,” Spirou explained, “is that you can look at their programs and see what we might be able to build upon and apply in a unique manner to our programs at WVU.”

For more information on the WVU Center for Neuroscience visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/wvucn/.

- WVU -


07-120
For more information:
Steve Bovino, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
bovinost@wvuh.com
cw:05-31-07

Return To News Releases