Career ladder: One of the nation's top ALS researchers, Feldman, 64, holds undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry from Earlham College in Indiana, a master's in zoology from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D in neuroscience and M.D. from the University of Michigan. She was a neurology resident at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in 1984 and chief resident in 1986-87 and became instructor of neurology at UM in 1987. UM named her director of Neurology Research and Discovery in 2000 and Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology and director of ALS research in 2004. She became director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute in 2008.
Power metrics: Feldman's research team is overseeing Phase 2 U.S. Food and Drug Administration trials treating ALS patients with injections of embryonic human stem cells. She's also seeking funding for trials for Alzheimer's patients. In trials with mice, scans of the brain after treatment show near disappearance of the plaque associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Secret weapon: Working with "several truly exceptional colleagues. It is having these amazing individuals as part of my laboratory team and along my career path that have made all the difference."
Power lesson: "I believe the ability to focus on the task at hand is critical when balancing numerous responsibilities, as well as the ability to truly dedicate oneself to noteworthy ideas and be decisive."
Cool miracle: Results on trials with mice with Alzheimer's have been dramatic, Feldman says. Mice with inherited genes for Alzheimer's who were in full dementia were injected with 50,000 stem cells. When normal mice are given two identical objects in their cage one day, they will sniff them out. The next day, if one of those objects is put back in with a new object, the mice spend most of their time investigating the new object. The Alzheimer's mice spend just as much time with the old object because they don't remember it. After getting stem cells, they ignored the old object and focused on the new one.
Most recent honor: In March, Feldman was one of three U.S. physicians honored for clinical excellence at the 11th annual Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year Awards in New York. Of the 900,000 licensed physicians in the U.S., only 47,000 make Castle Connelly Medical Ltd.'s directories for best doctors. Of those, only three are honored annually with the peer-nominated and -reviewed clinical excellence awards.
Jennette SmithHere's how we produced this special section.
Jennette SmithWe view all of our honorees over the years as part of a "legacy list," some of whom should be considered as prospects for corporate and nonprofit board service.
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Staff Blog | Mary KramerThat's why Crain's Detroit Business has joined with the Michigan Women's Commission and Deloitte, among others, to create a path to help more companies find talent for their boards.
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