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NNS Dr. Xiao-Ming Xu Diversity Memorial Award 

In honor of Dr. Xiao-Ming Xu, a world-renowned neuroscientist in the field of spinal cord regenerative medicine, NNS 2023 will announce the inaugural “NNS Xiao-Ming Xu Diversity Memorial Award”.  This award, funded by NNS and the Chinese Neurotrauma Scholars Association, is in recognition of Dr. Xu’s commitment to advocacy and mentoring of underrepresented trainees, including undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who continue to follow in his footsteps by forging new pathways of discovery in this challenging field.

How to Apply: HOW APPLY: This award is presented annually by the National Neurotrauma Society as part of the abstract competition. The submission process can be found at Trainee Poster Award.

The Mission of CNSA is to promote communication, research, development, collaboration, support, and the availability of information on neurotrauma and other related topics among Chinese scholars and others internationally. CNSA organizes scientific symposium and webinars, interacts among the CNSA members via social media and other in-person social events, and publishes the CNSA Newsletter to provide resources for neurotrauma research.

Past Winners

Jessica Bryan, 2023

Dr. Xiao-Ming Xu 

In 2023, the National Neurotrauma Society (NNS), in a joint effort with the Chinese Neurotrauma Scholar Association (CNSA) announced the establishment of the “NNS Dr. Xiao-Ming Xu Diversity Memorial Award”. This award serves to honor Dr. Xiao-Ming Xu, an internationally-renowned scientist for his significant contributions to the advancements in spinal cord injury (SCI) research and his unwavering support of diversity trainees.

Dr. Xu received his graduate education in China and the United States. He received his Medical Diploma and a master’s degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine (previously known as Shanghai Second Medical University).  He subsequently completed his Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neurobiology at The Ohio State University in 1990, and a postdoctoral fellowship in 1994, under the mentorship of Dr. Mary Bunge, at the Miami project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami.

In 1994, Dr. Xu accepted his first faculty position in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at St. Louis University, achieving the rank of Associate Professor.  In 2001, he was recruited to the University of Louisville, where he was named the James R. Petersdorf Endowed Chair in the Department of Neurological Surgery and helped establish the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center as he transitioned from Associate to Full Professor.

Since 2007, Dr. Xu served as the Scientific Director of the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Division at Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, Professor and Mari Hulman George Chair of Neurological Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and a Research Career Scientist at the Richard Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.  His research focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to secondary injury after SCI with the objective of developing neuroprotective and neurorestorative strategies to improve neurological outcomes.  He championed the pathway toward regeneration, using research that relied on diverse biochemical, physiological and bioengineering approaches.  This is exemplified in his studies that examined cell transplantation, gene therapy, and tissue engineering, with the objective of promoting axonal regrowth, myelination, and the restoration of function.

Dr. Xu served as the Editor-in-Chief of the cross-disciplinary journal, Neural Regeneration Research (  This platform was effective in bringing together researchers from different disciplines, including neuroscience, molecular biology, chemistry, immunology, and bioengineering, to address the broad biological challenges imposed by SCI.  Such collaborations generated significant impact by fostering innovation and a clear pathway toward therapeutic breakthroughs.  This was also the foundation for the establishment of the International Neural Regeneration Symposium for which Dr. Xu served as co-chair from 2011-2020.

Throughout his career, Dr. Xu promoted national and international interdisciplinary collaborations, which represented a rich diversity of talented scientists.  He actively mentored and educated the next generation of scientists including undergraduates, graduate/medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty members.  In order to prioritize and support under-represented students and trainees, Dr.

Xu served as a regular committee member for the NIH Diversity K award and NINDS Diversity K01 and K22 applications.  And, as the Founding President of the CNSA, established in 2010, Dr. Xu’s leadership, vision, and commitment to advancing neurotrauma research, has created an environment that has fostered networking opportunities at all levels of expertise, promoting knowledge sharing and professional development.  These collective efforts have served to build a bridge of knowledge that has advanced our understanding of mechanisms underlying loss of function and aberrant pain, critically important steps in the identification of novel therapeutics that are specifically tailored to SCI and neurotrauma.  Dr. Xu has been recognized by a number of awards, including his listing in the “World’s Top 2% of Scientists 2020”, an honor that speaks to his dedication and accomplishments in the field. 


Lisa Xu, MD, Daughter of Dr. Xiao-Ming Xu

Wei Wu, MD, PhD, Board member of CNSA (2022-2023)

Zezong Gu, MD, PhD, President of CNSA (2021-2023)

Linda J Noble-Haeusslein, PhD, Professor, Departments of Neurology and Psychology, University of Texas at Austin

On behalf of the CNSA Board and NNS Program Committee

The National Neurotrauma Society is a 501( c )(3) tax exempt non-profit organization registered in the state of Texas. | © 1995-2023 NNS. All rights reserved. 

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