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David Hovda Research Excellence Award

Dr. Hovda’s trainees and colleagues have collectively endowed a Research Excellence Award in his name, because their lives and careers have been influenced directly by his training, mentorship and friendship.

This annual award is awarded to the highest rated undergraduate/post-baccalaureate trainee poster presentation each year.

Dr. Hovda started his scientific career under the mentoring of Dr. Dennis Fenney at the University of New Mexico. Humility, hard work and gradualism led him to become the Director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center – a recognized "Center of Excellence" by the National Institutes of Health. He has devoted his research investigations to understanding the mechanisms of recovery of function. He has given tirelessly to serving the National Neurotrauma Society, NIH, and Department of Defense. His efforts have been recognized by the National Head Injury Foundation Award, the Giannini Foundation Award, the Benjamin Franklin Haught Memorial Award and named the Lind Lawrence Eminent Scholar for his work on the topic of Traumatic Brain Injury.


In 2011, Dr. Hovda received the "Strength of the Nation Award" from the United States Army, the highest award given to a civilian from the United States Army.

Dr. Hovda is a passionate and consummate educator, with students and colleagues in every corner of the nation and around the world. In 2006, he received the Women in Neurotrauma award for his teaching and support for women in neuroscience and the James F. Zimmerman Award in 2012.


Chelsea Bray

2019 - Chelsea Bray, The Ohio State University

2017 - Patrick Riley

Miranda Munoz re IMG 4881

2016 - Miranda Munoz, University of Pittsburgh



Award Amount:

$500.00 and engraved art glass trophy

Source of Funding:

Donations were received from grateful students, trainees, colleagues, and collaborators.

Targeted Recipients:

Highest rated high school/under-graduate/post-baccalaureate poster presentation.


Abstract selected as top ranked amongst those submitted for the annual symposium

How to Apply:

N/A. Inclusive of Trainee Poster Competition

Administrative Structure:

The funds are administered by the National Neurotrauma Society


Jonathan Lifshitz, PhD
Phone: (602) 827-2346 |
Cellular: (602) 618-7384
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Christopher C. Giza, MD
Phone: (310) 794-4070
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Mayumi Prins, PhD
Phone: (310) 825-0646
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National Neurotrauma Society is a 501(3)c non-profit association and donations are deductible by the IRS as allowable by law. NNS membership is not required to make a donation.

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Comments from the communty of donors

This is great – you can count on the Foundation making a donation in early 2016.  
Chris Nowinski

This is a great idea and I’m certainly indebted to Dave for allowing me to work in his lab first as a high school student, and later as a college student.  Happy to contribute!
Brian Nahed

Ok, so let me be the first to be more than willing to donate $1,000.00 (or more).  This is a wonderful idea.  Dave rocks!
Alisa Gean

I would add $2500 to the pile.
Marty Edelman

Thx for doing this. I'm in for $4,000. Way to go, Dave!
Dan Kelly

Dave is a treasure.  Happy to add $5,000.
Ron Katz

Their is no doubt that Dave saved soldier's lives while helping us develop policies that spared them, from an early age, of living a life with the cognitive issues associated with TBI.  He is my personal hero -- please allow me to contribute $3,000.  It is an honor to do so.
Peter Chiarelli

Happy to join this wonderful plan.  We will collect the donation from Japan.
Takeshi Maeda

I am delighted to be a part of this.  
Linda Noble

I'm grateful to call you a mentor.  I'm happy to call you a colleague.  I'm blessed to call you a friend!  
Chris Giza

I am happy to contribute to celebrate a true mentor of mine.
When Dave presented me with an award he encouraged all to continue to do the best science and tell the truth.
Gillian Hotz

As David would say: “I’m IN!!”  Most of you folks work with him – I know him as a close friend.  I’m sure that it’s no surprise that he cares deeply about all of you, and that if you ever needed advice or something done, that David will be there for you. Nobody has a bigger heart.  He constantly speaks warmly and proudly about his students, his colleagues, and his mentors. He talks about the injured that need help, and about the science – how he’s excited and certain that one day there will be a cure for TBI.  Of course he loves UCLA – he cheers on the teams and is excited to interview, and then get to know folks that want to study and to work there  – and I’m certain that he will be very touched and very proud that you all have chosen to honor him in this fashion.  Great idea!
Steven P. Goldberg

Dave has been a role model, colleague, and friend throughout my career.  I am honored to contribute to this award!  Thanks Dave.
Candace L. Floyd

Dave, thanks for all the lessons in lab and in life! Congrats!
Igor Fineman

I am IN.  Like everyone, I am a huge admirer of Dave, and I am honored to call him one of my good friends. He is a giant in the field and an incredibly good person. I know no one with a bigger heart and a quicker hand to help others. He truly loves those he works with, and he considers his students and colleagues part of his family. Simply put, I want to be like Dave (minus the back problems)...he is THE BEST!!
Jeffrey T. Barth

Dave’s leadership, dedication to science, mentorship, and warm heart have been my inspiration for years! This honor is well-deserved!
Dorothy Kozlowski

Dave was on my dissertation committee and I have worked with him in the BIRC. I have learned a lot from him and am happy to contribute to this award.  Thanks Dave!!
Norma D. McNair

Dave has been a wonderful mentor and a true friend.  I’m happy to be part of this.
Daniel Lu

Congratulations and thank you!
Ché Hutson

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