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Congratulations are in order for Dr Mootaz Salman, who has received the National Medal of Distinctive Scientific Achievement by the Government of Iraq.

Dr Mootaz Salman, Departmental Research Lecturer and Leverhulme Trust Fellow in DPAG, was presented with this distinguished accolade following meetings with the Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Dr Naeem Abd Yaser Al-Aboudi, and the President of the University of Mosul Dr Kossay Alahmady at an award ceremony in Baghdad in late December 2022.

Dr Salman graduated the University of Mosul with a Bachelor of Pharmacy with Honours before undertaking his masters and PhD at Sheffield Hallam University, where he discovered a new pharmacological framework for developing new drugs to treat traumatic brain injury, brain oedema and stroke. Following postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr Salman joined the Wade-Martins group at DPAG in 2020 as part of the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (OPDC). With his Leverhulme Fellowship awarded in June 2022, Dr Salman has started his independent line of research as a Group Leader in Cellular Neuroscience at DPAG and Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery, investigating the blood–brain barrier (BBB), which is known to be instrumental in the progression of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. Just a month after receiving his Fellowship, Dr Salman received the prestigious Young Scientist Lectureship Award by the International Society of Neurochemistry (ISN) in recognition for his eminent research achievements in cellular neuroscience.

On receipt of the Medal last week, Dr Salman said: "I am humbled and delighted to receive Iraq's National Medal of Distinctive Scientific Achievement. I am committed on continuing my efforts to promote scientific research in the Middle East and beyond and looking forward to working with all relevant institutions.”