Alim-Louis Benabid
  • 2014 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award


French-Algerian Emeritus Professor and neurosurgeon, who has had a global impact in the development of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's Disease and other movement disorders. Prof. Benabid, shares the 2014 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award with Mahlon DeLong, for their work that led to the development of DBS.

Education and Work Experience

2006-2012, Advisor, Science Advisory Committee of Special, ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility)
2001-2007, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Education (Neurosurgery Section)
2007-Present, Scientific Advisor of the Director of Research and Technology at CEA
2008-Present, Chairman of the Board, Edmond J. Safra Biomedical Research Center, Clinatec

Honors and Awards

2007, James Parkinson Award
2008, First International Highest Recognition Award of the Secretary of Health and Human Services
2014, Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award
2015, Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Major Academic Achievements

From 1987 to 1991, Alim-Louis Benabid and his team developed a technique that involves implanting electrodes directly into the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease in order to apply high-frequency electrical stimulation. They were thus able to eliminate the motor symptoms (tremor, akinesia, rigidity) of the disease. This intervention shows remarkable efficacy, with very low morbidity, and allows a reduction in drug-based treatments. It presently constitutes the most effective surgical treatment for Parkinson’s disease, and also provides basic data of considerable theoretical value. Alim-Louis Benabid has also extended the indications for deep electrical stimulation to other pathologies, namely dystonia, refractory epilepsy, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Alim-Louis Benabid has subsequently focused his efforts on understanding the mechanisms of action of high-frequency deep brain stimulation and demonstrating its potential long-term effects, including its neuroprotective effects.