MS Researcher to Be Honored by International Neuropsychological Society
Ralph H. Benedict, PhD, professor of neurology at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo (UB), has been selected by The International Neuropsychological Society (INS) to receive the 2016 INS Mid-Career Award, also called Arthur Benton Award, for his work on multiple sclerosis (MS) research.
The award, established by INS in 1982, is given to recognize the scientific achievements of mid-career individuals who “have made a substantive, independent contribution to research in the area of brain-behavior relationships as indexed by the impact of their research, number of citations, quality of journal, productivity and recognition by their peers.”
According to a UB’s news release, Dr. Benedict will deliver the lecture, “The Evolving Role of Neuropsychological Investigations in Multiple Sclerosis,” during the annual meeting of the INS to be held in Boston in February. He will be presented the honor at the meeting’s awards ceremony.
Globally known for his research into the neuropsychological and psychiatric aspects of MS, Dr. Benedict and colleagues published ground-breaking research showing deep gray matter atrophy as the primary driver of cognitive dysfunction in MS in 2004 and 2005. The studies also revealed that cognitive dysfunction is the main predictor of vocational disability in MS patients.
Dr. Benedict has been a member of the UB faculty since 1992, and is the director of a UBMD outpatient neuropsychology clinic at Buffalo General Medical Center and an inpatient consultation service at Erie County Medical Center. He is the co-director of a multidisciplinary case conference at the UB Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center. Dr. Benedict also assists the National Hockey League and the National Football League in neuropsychological consultations in cases of head trauma. He is the creator of the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised and the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised, which are commonly used tests for dementia and traumatic brain injury, as well as MS. He also developed the Minimal Assessment of Cognitive Function in MS (MACFIMS).
In total, Dr. Benedict has authored more than 180 peer-reviewed publications, and has received grant support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National MS Society, and industry. He has chaired or served on several task forces for the American Academy of Neurology, NINDS, Consortium of MS Centers, and National MS Society. In 2015, he was the recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. He is also a fellow of the American Psychological Association. In 2013, he won the Stephen Kelly Award for MS Research of the Western New York Chapter of the National MS Society. He has also served on the editorial boards of BMC Neurology, the International Journal of MS Care, the MS Journal, and Neuropsychology, and on the grant review committee of the National MS Society.
Dr. Benedict completed his doctorate at the Arizona State University in 1990, and did his postdoctoral residency in neuropsychology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Benedict holds an ABCN diploma, directs a postdoctoral residency program at SUNY Buffalo, and has served on the program committee for INS and the board of directors of the Association for Post-Doctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology since 2001.
The INS also recognizes early career and lifetime contributions to research, education, or service.