Brain Injury Research Center
David Hovda, a professor of neurosurgery and director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, was selected by the U.S. Army as the recipient of the 2011 Strength of the Nation Award, presented to an individual who engages in exemplary public service that makes a substantial contribution to the Army's mission. Hovda was cited for his breakthrough research that led to a system for the diagnosis of and recovery from traumatic brain injury on the battlefield as well as the establishing of the National Intrepid Center for Excellence, a national institute dedicated to advancing our nation’s understanding about the invisible wounds from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His visionary efforts have helped hundreds of military men and women at war receive state-of-the-art treatment for mild traumatic brain injury caused mainly by improvised explosive devices. If not treated, these injuries can lead to brain damage and mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.