H. Julia Hannay, the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston (UH), received the Lifetime Distinguished Career Award from the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) at its 41st annual meeting in Waikoloa, Hawaii. The award recognizes her contributions to the field of neuropsychology.
“Few lifetime achievement awards have been given out by the society,” said David J. Francis, a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor and chair of the psychology department at UH. “Recognition of a lifetime record of contribution to a discipline by one’s national and international peers is among the highest honors that a university professor can receive.”
Hannay is a clinical neuropsychologist and a pioneer in the field of experimental neuropsychology, specializing in the assessment of cognitive functions in children and adults, as well as the cognitive and physiological effects of brain injury and the impact of rehabilitation. She directed the clinical neuropsychology training program at UH from 1987 to 2010, widely identified as a model for specialty training in psychology.
“What I have always found so remarkable about Julia as a scholar is the breadth of her scholarship,” said Francis. “She has leveraged her great intellect, curiosity and mastery of basic and applied experimental methods in psychology to advance our understanding of the brain and its role in human cognition from consciousness to complex human abilities, and how these develop and become disordered by injury and disease across the lifespan. Julia is truly a unique and remarkable colleague and we are very fortunate to have her in the department of psychology at the University of Houston.”
The author of a textbook on experimental neuropsychology, Hannay was also a co-author of a major reference book on neuropsychological assessment. Her research includes studying the neuropsychological consequences of traumatic brain injuries of various types. She also has derived paradigms for studying cerebral specialization and assessing cognitive functions in normally developing children and adults.
“Dr. Hannay is a household name in our field. She has been one of the leaders of our field for the past three decades and has achieved all of the major successes – being elected president of the International Neuropsychological Society, leading the landmark workshop that established training credentials in our field (the Houston Conference in 1997) and contributing to the book that is the ‘bible’ in our field,” said Daniel Tranel, a professor in the department of neurology at the University of Iowa. “Hannay is also a fellow of the American Psychological Association.”
Her academic research has been enhanced by her work as an adjunct professor of neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine, as well as a clinical neuropsychologist in the department of neurosurgery at Ben Taub General Hospital. For over two decades, she has seen patients at the hospital, a Level 1 trauma center run by the Harris Health System, as a collaborator and project principal investigator on NIH and NIDRR grants with experts from Baylor College of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Memorial Hermann Hospital and the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) locally.
“I have made so many friends among colleagues nationally and internationally because of INS and I have considered the organization to be an intellectual home during my career,” said Hannay. “This award is the icing on the cake. I am highly honored but not ready to retire.”
In 2012, Hannay received the Esther Farfel Award, a symbol of overall career excellence and the highest honor UH bestows on a faculty member.
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