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UCSF Neurologist William Seeley Named MacArthur Fellow

September 20, 2011
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UCSF neurologist Dr. William Seeley, age 39, has been named a 2011 MacArthur Fellow, one of the highest honors bestowed on an individual in the United States.

A clinician-researcher in the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, Seeley has made significant advances in the understanding of human neurodegenerative diseases, concentrating on frontotemporal dementia, a family of neurological syndromes usually afflicting people in midlife, and second only to Alzheimer's as the primary cause of progressive pre-senile dementia. A physician who treats patients and conducts clinical research, Seeley integrates microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and clinical examination to explore the structural, functional and behavioral aspects of disease.

The MacArthur fellowship, which includes $500,000 in support over the next five years, to be used at the recipient's discretion, recognizes individuals for "their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future," said Robert Gallucci, President of the MacArthur Foundation. The MacArthur Foundation announced the new fellows this morning.

Seeley and the 21 other fellows "exemplify how individual creativity and talent can spark new insights and ideas in every imaginable field of human endeavor," said Gallucci.

MacArthur Fellowships come without stipulations or reporting requirements and offer Fellows unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reflect, create and explore.

Recipients learn, with a single call, "out of the blue from the Foundation," that they have been named fellows.

Seeley is the fourth UCSF scientist to be named a MacArthur Fellow, and the first clinical researcher. Victoria Hale was named a fellow in 2006, while she was an adjunct associate professor of biopharmaceutical sciences. She founded the Institute for OneWorld Health (iOWH), a nonprofit pharmaceutical company with a mission to develop affordable drugs for neglected diseases that plague the world's poorest populations.

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