Trainee & Felicia Axelrod Awards

Trainee Abstract Awards

Travel fellowship awards are only available to AAS members. Individuals who are not yet members may complete their membership application and then are eligible to apply for the travel fellowship awards. Please find the membership application available on our website under the New Membership Application section. Application submission deadline is June 1, 2024!

Eligibility Criteria

a) A copy of your submitted abstract(s)


b) Confirmation of your training status – a letter written by your mentor (students and post-docs) or department chair (residents or junior faculty) on departmental letterhead confirming your training status.


c) Please submit as a single PDF


*Individuals must be a current AAS Trainee Member to be eligible to receive a trainee award.*

Evaluation Criteria

Trainee abstracts are judged on the following:


  • Significance of the hypothesis
  • Rigor of the methods and approach
  • Significance and potential impact of the findings
  • Validity of conclusion(s)
  • Presentation quality of the submission

All trainee members with abstract submissions are eligible for an in-person poster presentation competition held Wednesday, Nov 2.

Poster presentations will be rated by panel of senior investigator judges on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. Poster ratings will be based on scientific content, originality of study design, scientific relevance and quality of presentation.  Trainees who present abstracts earning the highest scores will will be notified at the end of each poster presentation day.

The top 4 trainee poster presentations will be selected to give a 5-min lightning platform presentation summary of their work at a designated platform session held Saturday, Nov 5.

Please submit to Amber Millen:

2023 Awards


Awardee: Timi Earl

PRESENTATION: Effect of levodopa on blood pressure and baroreflex function in individuals with Parkinson disease with and without orthostatic hypotension: a randomized cross-over study


Awardee: Rebecca Glarin

PRESENTATION: Functional brainstem imaging of sympathetic drive using MSNA coupled fMRI at ultra-high field

Awardee: Pouya E. Mehr

PRESENTATION: Parkinson’s disease is associated with worsening postprandial hypotension symptoms compared to multiple system atrophy


Awardee: Negin Badihian

PRESENTATION: Characteristics of multiple system atrophy: perspectives from patients and caregivers


Awardee: Donovan B. Smith

PRESENTATION: Optogenetic and chemogenetic silencing of the neurons that control blood pressure

2022 Awards


Awardee: Jan Hönemann

PRESENTATION: Effects of six hours daily lower body negative pressure on orthostatic tolerance and cardiac performance during 30 days strict head-down tilt bedrest


Awardee: Rashmin Hira

PRESENTATION: Objective cardiovascular autonomic abnormalities in post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC): overall and sex-based prevalence


Awardee: Iain T. Parsons

PRESENTATION: Orthostatic tolerance following heat acclimation: a single blinded randomised controlled trial


Awardee: Paul A. Beach

PRESENTATION: Locus coeruleus degeneration is associated with orthostatic responses in Parkinson disease and multiple system atrophy


Awardee: Robert F. Rosencrans

PRESENTATION: Adipose tissue catecholamine resistance correlates with differential sympathetic outflow onto visceral and subcutaneous fat

2021 Awards



Awardee: J. Hall

Presentation: Adrenergic receptor autoantibody concentrations are not different between patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and healthy controls



Awardee: D. Shiffer

Presentation: Symptoms and autonomic changes induced by chronic transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation in hyperadrenergic postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome


Awardee: K.M. Bourne

Presentation: Body compression reduces upright blood pressure oscillations in patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome



Awardee: A. Lenka

Presentation: Cardiac 18F-Dopamine PET distinguishes PD with orthostatic hypotension from parkinsonian MSA



Awardee: L.J. DeLalio

Presentation: Circadian cycle exaggerates sympathoexcitatory responses to activation of chemosensitive renal sensory nerves

2019 Awards



Awardee: N.C. Breier

Presentation: Increased gastrointestinal gut hormones secretion following a glucose challenge in postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome



Awardee: M. Ghariq

Presentation: Towards improved hemodynamic criteria to distinguish between classic orthostatic hypotension and reflex syncope during tilt-table testing


Awardee: R. Takeda

Presentation: Effect of dietary salt intake on morning blood pressure surge in healthy women



Awardee: M.A. Perez

Presentation: Baseline characteristics of patients with multiple system atrophy enrolled in the National History Study of the Synucleinopathies



Awardee: H. Barry

Presentation: Evidence of adaptations in the neural control of body temperature following heat acclimation in humans


Awardee: N. Wang

Presentation: Cutaneous biomarkers in multiple system atrophy

2018 Awards



Awardee: Karla Minota

Presentation: Sweat gland nerve fiber density: development of a novel unbiased reconstruction methodology



Awardee: Darius Gerlach

Presentation: Functional brainstem imaging reveals brainstem nuclei governing human baroreflex function


Awardee: Matthew Lloyd

Presentation: Sex and age differences in sympathetic vascular baroreflex function: insights from neck collar stimulation and an orthostatic stress test



Awardee: Prashanthi Vemuri

Presentation: Presentation: Discovery and validation of MRI morphometry features for early multiple system atrophy



Awardee: Robert Larson

Presentation: Norepinephrine transporter dysfunction contributes to increased sympathetic tone in a mouse model of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy


Awardee: Mahmoud AbdelRazek

Presentation: Epidemiology of postural tachycardia syndrome


Awardee: Lucy Lei

Presentation: Norepinephrine transporter inhibition with atomoxetine prevents tilt-induced vasovagal syncope: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial



Awardee: Dana Shiffer

Presentation: Relationship between cardiac sympathetic modulation and inflammation after repetitive automatic mechanical somatosensory stimulation (AMSS) in Parkinson’s disease


Awardee: Hendrik Kronsbein

Presentation: Assessing individual human baroreflex-chemoreflex interactions using an n-of-1 trial design he use of lidocaine lubricant in bowel management practices does not improve autonomic dysreflexia in spinal cord injury: a randomized clinical trial


Awardee: Jeung-ki Yoo

Presentation: Heightened sympathetic neural and blood pressure responses to cold pressor test in women with PTSD


Awardee: Jacquie Baker

Presentation: Evidence of cortical autonomic impairment in the pathophysiology of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension associated with peripheral autonomic dysfunction

2017 Awards



Awardee: Nataliia Nazarenko

Presentation: In-vivo measurement of brainstem and hypothalamic centers involved in blood pressure regulation in humans: a high-resolution fMRI study with LBNP



Awardee: Jacqueline Limberg

Presentation: Muscle sympathetic nerve activity is not altered by experimental sleep restriction in healthy humans


Awardee: Naima Covassin

Presentation: Blood pressure response to experimental sleep restriction: effect of family history of hypertension



Awardee: Jose-Alberto Palma

Presentation: Preliminary results of the Global Multiple System Atrophy Registry (GLOMSAR): an internet-based patient-reported registry



Awardee: Guillaume Lamotte

Presentation: Renal conversion of L-dihydroxyphenylserine (droxidopa) to norepinephrine in levodopa-untreated patients with neurogenic orthostatic hypotension


Awardee: Jessica Ng

Presentation: Vasovagal syncope patients have a reduced quality of life and greater psychological distress compared to healthy subjects


Awardee: Brock Preheim

Presentation: Initiation of droxidopa during hospital admission for management of refractory neurogenic orthostatic hypotension in severely ill patients


Awardee: Ben Illigens

Presentation: QT interval lengthening and recovery following experimental hypoglycemia using the hyperinsulinemic clamp procedure


Awardee: Vera-Ellen Lucci

Presentation: The use of lidocaine lubricant in bowel management practices does not improve autonomic dysreflexia in spinal cord injury: a randomized clinical trial


Awardee: Jorge Celedonio

Presentation: Nitric oxide function in POTS during high and low sodium diets



Awardee: Jacquie Baker

Presentation: Validity and reliability of orthostatic and non-orthostatic symptoms scores derived from the Orthostatic Discriminant and Severity Scale – a new instrument to discriminate orthostatic from non-orthostatic symptoms


Awardee: Brooke Hockin

Presentation: Can intermittent calf compression improve orthostatic tolerance?


Awardee: Seth Holwerda

Presentation: Effect of chronic anxiety on sympathetic vasoconstrictor and cardiac responsiveness in humans


Awardee: Alejandro Velasco

Presentation: Orthostatic heart rate-blood pressure relationship identifies neurogenic orthostatic hypotension

Felicia Axelrod Award

The AAS’ Felicia Axelrod Investigator Award will recognize an outstanding scientist with a track record of significant contributions to the field of autonomic science at the Assistant Professor level. This award acknowledges excellence in autonomic research for an individual poised to be the next leader in this field. Applicants should have a faculty appointment at a rank of Assistant Professor or a comparable position at an academic institution or in the industry (e.g. Scientist, Research Investigator, etc.). The applicant must be an AAS member in good standing. Axelrod Investigator award submission deadline: September 1, 2024.

About this award: Dr. Felicia B. Axelrod was a founding member of the AAS and former President of the Society. She was a pioneer of international collaborative rare disease research in autonomic medicine. She founded the Dysautonomia Center at New York University School of Medicine in 1969. She devoted her medical career to the care of patients with familial dysautonomia, a rare genetic disease that affects the development of the autonomic nervous system. As a member of the American Autonomic Society, she co-founded the pediatric specialist group, which is dedicated to supporting clinical care and research in pediatric conditions that affect the autonomic nervous system. She was an active member of the Society, until her retirement in 2015.

Eligibility Criteria

Investigators active in any area of autonomic research that has made an important contribution to the field. Candidates include PhDs and/or MDs.

Academic rank of Assistant Professor or a comparable position at an academic institution or in the industry (e.g. Scientist, Research Investigator, etc.).

Applicant must be a member of the AAS in good standing.

Previous winners of the Axelrod Award are not eligible to re-enter the competition in subsequent years.

There are no citizenship requirements.

Evaluation Criteria

The AAS Membership Committee will judge applications based on the applicant’s Biosketch, submitted research statement, and overall contributions to autonomic research.

Application Materials

The following items must be submitted for consideration for this award:

NIH Biosketch or similar brief biographical document (5-page limit)

Brief personal statement including a description of the current and pending research program (1-page limit statement of purpose)

A maximum of 3 reprints either as first or corresponding/senior author

Two letters of recommendation detailing overall contributions of the applicant to the field of autonomic research


The awardee will receive the following:

Complimentary registration to the AAS meeting.

A plaque commemorating the award and a $2,000 honorarium at the AAS meeting.

Invited submission of a review article for Clinical Autonomic Research by June 1st following the meeting.

A brief presentation of research at the AAS Meeting

Please submit to Amber Millen:

2023 Award

Felicia Axelrod: 2023 Awardee


Awardee: Guillaume Lamotte, M.D., M.Sc.


Guillaume Lamotte, M.D., M.Sc. is the 2023 recipient of the Felicia Axelrod Investigator Award. Dr. Lamotte is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Utah and a Staff Clinician at the VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City, UT. He received his medical degree at the University of Caen in France. He then completed a neurology residency at the University Hospital of Caen in France. His research thesis was on the use of cardiac sympathetic neuroimaging in parkinsonian syndromes. During his first residency, he spent a research year at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL studying the effect of endurance exercise in people with Parkinson’s disease. He then completed a second neurology residency in the United States between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. At the NIH, he worked in the Autonomic Medicine Section where his research focused on autonomic dysfunction in synucleinopathies such as Parkinson’s disease, pure autonomic failure, and multiple system atrophy. He then completed a clinical fellowship in autonomic disorders at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. There, he became an expert in the management of autonomic disorders and was involved in research and published landmark papers on the natural history and autonomic function testing in afferent baroreflex failure among others. He is the Chair of the Scientific Review Committee of the American Autonomic Society. He is also the Managing Editor of the journal Clinical Autonomic Research. He wrote several peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters related to autonomic science and edited the 6th edition of a classic 2-volume autonomic textbook: Introduction to Clinical and Basic Aspects of the Autonomic Nervous System. As a busy clinician, he is well-positioned to identify unmet needs and clinically relevant research questions. His goal is to become an independent clinician-scientist conducting clinically translatable research in the fields of autonomic disorders and movement disorders. He is building a research program to conduct clinical trials in the field of autonomic disorders at the University of Utah. One of his current research projects investigates the neural mechanisms of neurocirculatory dysregulation during exercise in Parkinson’s disease with the ultimate goal to develop individualized exercise prescriptions and new treatments.

2022 Award

Felicia Axelrod: 2022 Awardee


Awardee: Jacqueline (Jackie) Limberg, Ph.D.


Jacqueline (Jackie) Limberg, Ph.D. is the 2022 recipient of the Felicia Axelrod Investigator Award. Dr. Limberg is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri. Prior to the University of Missouri, Jackie completed her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in Exercise Physiology and postdoctoral training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Limberg has broad-based interests in human integrative physiology with a primary focus on the role of the autonomic nervous system in cardiovascular responses to environmental stress. Dr. Limberg’s lab has current NIH funding to conduct basic mechanistic research in humans examining sex-related differences in sympathetic nervous system activation and downstream vascular implications in obesity. Dr. Limberg was the 2021 recipient of the Beverley Petterson Bishop Award for Excellence in Neuroscience from the American Physiological Society and serves as an Environmental Councilor for the Exercise & Environmental Physiology section of the American Physiological Society. Dr. Limberg is also chair of the AAS Communications Committee and a Board Member of the AAS. Her long-term goal is to uncover mechanisms contributing to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease to improve the efficacy of current therapies and support the discovery of novel therapeutics.

2021 Award

Felicia Axelrod: 2021 Awardee


Awardee: Elizabeth A. Coon, MD


Elizabeth Coon, M.D. is the 2021 recipient of the Felicia Axelrod Investigator  Award. Dr. Coon is an Assistant Professor at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  She received her medical degree at the University of Iowa and then completed  residency at Mayo Clinic. She went on to complete fellowships in Movement  Disorders and a Mayo Clinic Scholar year in Autonomic Disorders when she  became actively involved in autonomic research. Dr. Coon’s research interests  include the synucleinopathies and multiple system atrophy (MSA). She has studied one of the largest cohorts of MSA patients in the world evaluating predictors of survival. Her recent work has also included patients with pure autonomic failure, evaluating factors predictive of phenoconversion to MSA or Lewy body disorders. She is the current recipient of the Dominium Foundation Career Development Award in Neurodegenerative Research in honor of Jack W. Safar studying how sex and gender differences influence autonomic failure in patients with MSA. Dr. Coon co-founded the MSA Clinic at Mayo and serves on the MSA Coalition Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Coon is currently the Autonomic Disorders Fellowship Director at Mayo Clinic and serves as the Chair of the UCNS Autonomic Disorders Examination Committee and AAN Autonomic disorders section Vice-Chair. Another of Dr. Coon’s interests is the History of Neurology. She has served as Vice Chair of the History of Neurology Section for the AAN and has also received the prestigious AAN Lawrence C. McHenry Award for her research in the History of Neurology.

2019 Award

Felicia Axelrod: 2019 Awardee


Awardee: Amy C. Arnold, Ph.D.


Amy C. Arnold, Ph.D. is the 2019 recipient of the Felicia Axelrod Investigator Award. Dr. Arnold is Assistant Professor of Neural and Behavioral Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, as well as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Autonomic Dysfunction Center and Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Arnold has been involved in autonomic research since 2005, when she was a graduate student in the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center at Wake Forest University. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology and a Master’s of Science degree in Clinical Investigation at Vanderbilt. Dr. Arnold’s translational research program examines the neural mechanisms of blood pressure regulation, with the ultimate goal of developing more targeted treatment approaches for cardiovascular-related diseases. Her research over the past decade has focused on the role of the renin-angiotensin system, and in particular the beneficial hormone angiotensin-(1-7), in cardiovascular autonomic regulation using both experimental animal models and human subjects. Dr. Arnold’s research has also examined underlying mechanisms and treatment approaches for supine hypertension in primary autonomic failure, as well as defined the nature of cognitive dysfunction or “brain fog” in postural tachycardia syndrome. Of particular importance, her research has shown that the renin-angiotensin system contributes to supine hypertension in autonomic failure, even in the absence of its rate-limiting enzyme renin, a finding that has altered treatment of these patients. The National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, Dysautonomia International, and Central Society for Clinical and Translational Research have generously funded her research.

2018 Award

Felicia Axelrod: 2018 Awardee


Awardee: Jose-Alberto Palma, M.D., Ph.D.


Jose-Alberto Palma, M.D., Ph.D. was the inaugural recipient of the Felicia Axelrod Investigator Award. Dr. Palma is Assistant Professor of Neurology at the New York University School of Medicine and Assistant Director of the New York University Dysautonomia Center. Dr. Palma has been involved in autonomic research since 2013 when he became an Autonomic Disorders fellow at NYU. Dr. Palma’s research interests are devoted to improving the diagnosis and treatment of genetic and neurodegenerative disorders characterized by autonomic dysfunction. Dr. Palma is investigator of the NIH-funded Natural History Study of the Synucleinopathies, an international collaboration whose goal is to describe the prodromal autonomic phenotype and evolution of patients with multiple system atrophy, Parkinson’s disease, and other autonomic synucleinopathies. This large study is crucial to define outcome measures that can be used in clinical trials of neuroprotective drugs, now in the pipeline. Dr. Palma’s research interests also include the description of the genotype and phenotype of patients with hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies (HSAN), with particular emphasis on familial dysautonomia (FD), a devastating disease to which Dr. Felicia Axelrod dedicated all her professional life. The Dysautonomia Foundation, a well-organized patient advocacy group founded by patients’ parents, has generously funded Dr. Palma’s research on FD. After part of this research identified that untreated sleep-disordered breathing is a risk factor of sudden death in patients with FD, implementation of nocturnal noninvasive ventilation is now virtually universal in these patients. Such developments, along with potential disease-modifying therapies in the pipeline to be tested in forthcoming clinical trials, will be key to reduce mortality.