This award is the Society’s highest honor and is presented to an AHS member, held in high regard from colleagues of the Society, in recognition of sustained and substantial service to the Society and the field of headache medicine over the person’s lifetime. The award is presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting each year.

Congratulations to the 2024 recipient!

Donald B. Penzien, PhD, FAHS
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Dr. Penzien is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Neurology, and Epidemiology and Prevention. He is Director of Research for the Department of Psychiatry as well as Deputy Director for the Center of Integrative Medicine at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. He is widely recognized for his contributions in behavioral medicine—particularly headache and chronic pain research methodologies—and enhancing the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of nonpharmacologic therapies. He has over 150 research articles, book chapters, and books/ monographs to his credit. His research has been supported by grants from the NIH, the Department of Defense, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and other funding agencies.

Past Recipients

2023 - R. Allan Purdy, MD, FAHS

R. Allan Purdy, MD, FRCPC, is Professor of Medicine (Neurology)at Dalhousie University. He was Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine, and Chief of the Medicine Service of the Department of Medicine at Dalhousie and QE II Health Sciences Centre Health from 2005 to June of 2011. He previously was the Professor and Head of Neurology at Dalhousie from 1994 to 2006. He is the past President of the American Headache Society and the Canadian Headache Society. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, American College of Physicians the American Headache Society. He recently stepped down, after 6 years, as Chair of the Education Committee for the International Headache Society.

He has many publications and Excellence in Teaching Awards, throughout his career. In 2005 he received the Arnold P. Friedman Distinguished Clinician Research Award from the American Headache Society for outstanding contribution to the field of headache, and in 2007 Life Time Achievement Award from the Headache Cooperative of New England. He is the 2018 recipient of the John R. Graham Lecture Award from the American Headache Society for international leadership in research and education in the field of headache. In 2019 he received the John Edmeads Award from the Canadian Headache Society for his work in the field of headache and resident education in Canada. He is the 2020 recipient of the Seymour Solomon Award Lecture from the American Headache Society in recognition of achievements in the field of headache neurology. He was a 2021 recipient of a Special Recognition Award, from the International Headache Society for his work in headache education in the Society and worldwide. He is the 2023 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Headache Society. His interests include migraine, other primary and secondary headache disorders, general neurology and neurological education and teaching.

2022 - Gretchen E. Tietjen, MD

Dr. Gretchen Tietjen is professor and Chair of
Neurology at the University of Toledo, and director
of the University of Toledo Medical Center Headache
Treatment and Research Program and Stroke Program.

The UTMC Stroke Program, established in 1994, was
the area’s first center, and today treats an average of
300 stroke patients each year. Dr. Tietjen has been
the recipient of the Harold G. Wolff Lecture Award
for Headache Research at the American Headache
Society Conference, and the American Headache
Society John R. Graham Lecture Award. She specializes
in headache medicine and vascular neurology and
has uncovered groundbreaking connections between
migraine and stroke and between childhood abuse,
post-traumatic stress, and migraine. Her research
also includes migraine as a risk factor for stroke and
cerebrovascular disease. Dr. Tietjen graduated from
the University of Michigan medical school in 1984 and
has more than 30 years in practice.

2021 - Elizabeth W. Loder, MD, MPH, FAHS

Dr. Elizabeth Loder is a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. She is the head of research for The British Medical Journal and Chief of the Division of Headache in the Department of Neurology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Loder is a past president of the American Headache Society. She speaks regularly at regional, national and international meetings on topics related to pain and headache, publication practices and ethics, and the barriers faced by women in academic medicine.

2020 - Richard B. Lipton, MD, FAHS

Dr. Lipton is the Edwin S. Lowe Professor and Vice-Chair of Neurology, Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health and Director of the Montefiore Headache Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is Past President of the American Headache Society. He has written over 750 articles in peer reviewed journals and 10 books. He is a four-time winner of the AHS Harold G. Wolff Award and recipient of the Enrico Greppi Award, all for excellence in headache research.

2019 – Linda McGillicuddy

Linda McGillicuddy, American Headache Society (AHS) CEO, has retired from day-to-day operations as of March 2019. She has given AHS over 25 years of outstanding leadership and accomplishment and service. We on the Board miss her commitment, energy, imagination, enthusiasm, and of course, her friendship.

Since the early 1990’s, Linda has been the primary force that has kept AHS focused, vital and growing.

Under her guidance, working in collaboration with the Board of Directors, Linda raised a significant amount of funding to support many AHS educational programs. For example, she was instrumental in developing and executing a business plan that led to the formation of Academic Headache Centers across the United States which today continue to improve access to highly skilled care for patients in need.

Linda has also been actively involved in the formation and growth of the American Migraine Foundation as well as the American, and International, Registry for Migraine Research (ARMR and IRMR).

Through her unique ability to understand people and see their strengths, Linda helped AHS to articulate our mission and become a world-class society.

Linda has been the institutional memory of AHS and the person who helped us get things done. Her imprint on AHS will be forever and will not be forgotten by those of us who have benefited from her dedication and counsel.

2018 – Robert Daroff, MD, FAHS

Robert B. Daroff, MD is currently Associate Dean and Physician Director of Development at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also Professor and Chair Emeritus of Neurology at the Medical School and University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center.

He attended College of the University of Pennsylvania where he was Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Pennsylvanian in his senior year. He then received his MD at Penn, did his Neurology Residency at Yale, and served as a Neurologist in the U.S. Army for two years, one year of which (1965-66) was with the U.S. Forces in Vietnam. He was the first Neurologist and, for six months, the only Neurologist in the country.
He then took a Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellowship at the University of California San Francisco, after which he joined the faculty at the University of Miami, where he remained for 12 years before moving to Cleveland to assume the Case Chair. He was Chair from 1980-1993, and then became Chief of Staff of the Medical Center and Associate Dean at the School of Medicine, a position he held for 10 years.

In recent years, Dr. Daroff has held many positions within the Medical School including Vice-Dean for Education. He became Associate Dean for Development in 2008.
He has served as President of the American Neurological Association and the American Headache Society, and was Chair of the Medical/Scientific Advisory Board of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America. He is currently Chair of the International Advisory Committee of the Saudi Alzheimer’s Disease Association.

Dr. Daroff has been on the Editorial Boards of 21 scientific journals and was Editor-in-Chief of Neurology, the official publication of the American Academy of Neurology, from 1987 to 1996. He currently serves as Scientific Integrity Advisor for Neurology and the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology. He is also Senior Editorial Advisor for the journal Headache.

2017 – Seymour Solomon, MD, FAHS

Seymour Solomon, MD, FAHS received his undergraduate and MD degree at Marquette University. He first trained in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in Milwaukee and then completed a residency in neurology at Montefiore Hospital in New York. He was appointed Director of Neurology at Philadelphia General Hospital. After two years as Captain in the Air Force at Maxwell Air Force Base Hospital in Alabama, he returned to Montefiore as Associate Chief of Neurology. Dr. Solomon spent the remainder of his career at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

When Dr. Solomon finished his residency at Montefiore in the 1950s he declined Dr. Friedman’s offer to work in the Unit because at that time headache and migraine in particular was considered a psychological condition. By the 1970s the biological mechanisms of migraine were being understood and after Dr. Friedman retired Dr. Solomon gladly accepted the offer to be the Director of the Headache Unit in 1980. Dr. Solomon was a mentor to many neurologists who worked with him and a number have established headache centers and attained the rank of professor.

Dr. Solomon had faculty appointments at Temple University and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons before joining Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he is Professor of Neurology. He has written more than 250 scientific papers, book chapters and reviews. He is the author of The Headache Book for the lay population. He has held many positions in the American Headache Society including President. He is a fellow of the American Headache Society (FAHS), the American Academy of Neurology (FAAN) and the American Neurological Association (FANA). Dr. Solomon has held offices in the International Headache Society and has been a member of many other organizations related to neurology and pain. He has received awards from the National Migraine Foundation, the American Council for Headache Education, the Headache Cooperative of New England, the John Graham Award and Arnold P. Freidman Award from the American Headache Society and has the honor of that society’s annual Seymour Solomon Presidential Lectures. Dr. Solomon also receved the award of the Staff and Alumni Association of Montefiore Medical Center and was the Physician Honoree of the Center.

2016 – Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, FAHS

Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, FACP, FAHS, is Professor of Neurology and Director of the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After completing a fellowship in neurology at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London, Dr. Silberstein served as a pharmacology research associate in the Toxicology Laboratory of Clinical Science at the National Institutes of Mental Health and completed a neurology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Silberstein is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, the American College of Physicians, and the American Headache Society®. He has served the American Headache Society® as President, Treasurer, and Board of Directors member. He has served on the Publications, Scientific, and Education Committees and was Co-Chairman of the Annual Scientific Meeting. Dr. Silberstein is an active member of the American Academy of Neurology and is Co-Director of the national and international Headache Guideline Project, in cooperation with the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. He is Chairman of the Headache Research Group of the World Federation of Neurology and present Chairman of the International Headache Society’s annual meeting.

Dr. Silberstein is senior editor of the 8th edition of Wolff ’s Headache and Other Head Pain; Editorial consultant to Clinical Therapeutics, JAMA, Medical Letter; a member of the Editorial Board of CNS Drugs, BMC Neurology, Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, Cephalalgia, Primary Neuro News, and Practical Neurology, and senior editorial advisor of Headache. He is an ad hoc reviewer for many publications, including Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, Brain, Clinical Journal of Pain, Consultant, Drug Safety, Drugs, Drugs in Paediatrics, Hormone and Metabolic Research, Hospital Medicine, Journal of Neurology, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Lancet, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, The Medical Letter, Neurology, Neurology India, New England Journal of Medicine, Patient Care, and Women’s Health. Dr. Silberstein has over 300 publications to his credit and lectures internationally on the pathogenesis, neurobiology, diagnosis, and treatment of headache.

2015 – J. Keith Campbell, MD

Keith Campbell was born in England in 1935. He attended the University of Liverpool Medical School graduating with an MB, ChB in 1959. After an internship, he spent five years as a medical officer in the British Royal Navy following which he continued his training in internal medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland. After three years in Canada at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, involved in cerebrovascular research and neuropathology, he moved to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he completed a neurology residency. He obtained an MD by thesis from the University of Liverpool in 1970 and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh in 1975. He joined the staff of the Department of Neurology of the Mayo Clinic in 1972 and achieved the rank of Professor of Neurology, Mayo Medial School before retiring from clinical practice in 1995.

Dr. Campbell was president of the American Association for the Study of Headache, now the American Headache Society, from 1996 to 1998 and was editor of the journal Headache from July 1991 until July 2001. He was chair of the Research Group on Migraine of the World Federation of Neurology from 1995 to 2001. His publications on headache included studies on the surgical treatment of cluster headaches and low cerebrospinal fluid pressure syndromes.

In 1991, Dr. Campbell received the Distinguished Clinician Award from the Mayo Foundation.

2015 – Kenneth Holroyd, PhD

Dr. Holroyd received a BA in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Miami, completed a Clinical Psychology Internship at the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital and Stanford University, and subsequently was a NIMH Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley with the Stress & Coping Project.

Dr. Holroyd was a member of the clinical psychology and clinical health psychology faculties for 35 years and co-director of the Headache Treatment & Research Clinic with sites at Ohio University and in Westerville and Columbus, OH. At Ohio University, he taught graduate courses in Health Psychology, Clinical Interventions in Health Psychology, Group Therapy, and Psychopharmacology, as well as supervised students in the Clinical Health Psychology Interventions practicum that focuses on clinical health psychology in primary care. In 2002, he was elected to receive the Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor Award, which is the highest distinction for faculty members at Ohio University.

Dr. Holroyd has conducted both laboratory research and clinical research examining chronic headache. His laboratory research examined the psychophysiology of chronic headache disorders and related pain disorders, attempting to understand the psychobiological processes that lead commonly occurring pain problems to become chronic pain disorders. The clinical research has focused on the role of psychological factors in headache disorders and on the evaluation of psychological interventions. Dr. Holroyd has been the PI on NIH (NINDS) sponsored clinical trials evaluating the separate and combined effects of psychological and drug therapies for chronic tension-type headache and severe disabling migraine.

Dr. Holroyd has co-edited two books, authored or co-authored over 50 book chapters, over 100 journal articles, and numerous reports, book reviews, technical reports, as well as two sets of patient learning materials designed for minimal contact treatment of recurrent headache disorders. He served on panels for international (WHO), US Government (e.g., Agency for Health Care Quality & Research, NIH study sections), non-profits (e.g., Center for Health Policy Research & Education, Robert Wood Johnson), and commercial (e.g., Pharmaceutical Company) organizations as well as on the Boards of a number of national organizations including the American Headache Society®.

2014 – Ninan T. Mathew, MD

Dr. Ninan T. Mathew is a familiar name in the field of headache worldwide. His interest in headache started through research, measuring cerebral blood flow in migraine patients while at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Early on, he realized that headache was completely ignored and poorly understood by physicians, even though it was a common malady.

These factors led Dr. Mathew to establish the Houston Headache Clinic in 1976, with outpatient and inpatient facilities for comprehensive care, which was the first headache specialty center in Texas. In 1984, he started the Dallas Headache Clinic.

Dr. Mathew has served in various national and international organizations related to headache and is a past president of the International Headache Society (IHS) and the American Headache Society (AHS). He is a former chairman of the Headache Section for the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), which he helped to form. He has also served as the chairman of the American Council for Headache Education (ACHE).

Dr. Mathew significantly contributed to medical literature, with more than 200 scientific publications to his credit, in leading journals such as JAMA, Lancet Neurology, and Neurology. These include the first description of transformation of episodic migraine into chronic daily headache (transformed migraine or chronic migraine); clinical importance of medication overuse in determining the progression of chronic migraine; and the importance of detoxification. Dr. Mathew strongly believes that the majority of chronic headaches are migraine variants and that medication overuse and comorbidities are important factors that perpetuate the process.

2013 – Joel R. Saper, MD

Joel R. Saper, MD, FACP, FAAN, a board-certified neurologist, is the Director of the Michigan Head Pain & Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor, MI. Founded in 1978 by Dr. Saper, the Institute was the first comprehensive head pain treatment center in the world. Dr. Saper, who became interested in head pain disorders while an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan, left the University to develop the Institute. The Institute now provides over 24,000 visits per year to patients referred from throughout the world and has helped to train many physicians and other health professionals who have gone on to leadership roles in the pain field in well known medical programs such as Harvard, Mayo Clinic, and Johns Hopkins University, among others.

Dr. Saper is a Professor of Neurology at Michigan State University, is board-certified in three specialties: neurology, pain medicine, and headache medicine. He has received many awards and honors during his career. Also, he has been recognized in both major textbooks identifying the outstanding physicians in the United States: The Best in Medicine (Dietrich, 1986) and consecutive editions of The Best Doctors in America (Naifeh and Smith, 1992-present). He is the recipient of the Philip Lippe Public Service Award from the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the John R. Graham Senior Clinician Award from the American Headache Society®, and the American Council for Headache Education Lecture Award for outstanding contributions to persons with headache. Dr. Saper is also a Past President of the American Headache Society®.

In addition to Dr. Saper’s clinical activities and his active teaching and course responsibilities, he is the author of seven medical books as well as 200 journal articles, abstracts, and medical chapters in standard textbooks of neurology and pain. His most recent book, Handbook of Headache Management, was published in 1992 (Williams and Wilkins) and is now in its second edition (1999). He is formerly Editor-in-Chief and primary author of Topics in Pain Management, an international newsletter on pain management therapy.

2012 – Robert Smith, MD

Dr. Smith is Professor Emeritus in the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Family & Community Medicine. A pioneer in the field, he created and directed three university-based departments of family medicine. In 1963, he established the first such department at the University of London at Guy’s Hospital Medical School. In 1968, he was invited to start a new department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and in 1975, to do the same at the University of Cincinnati. He directed this department until 1992 and continues to work there daily.

He has received many awards and citations for his contributions to family medicine. On the 25th anniversary of the founding of the University of Cincinnati’s Family Medicine Department, Dr. Smith was recognized by the United States Congress for his commitment to education and training of family practitioners. He received a citation from Gov. George Voinovich and the Ohio General Assembly and was honored with a proclamation from the Mayor of Cincinnati naming Saturday, June 30th, 1990, as Dr. Robert Smith Day “for training 110 family physicians, 50 of whom practice in Cincinnati.” That number has now increased to 300 with about half practicing in the Greater Cincinnati area.

The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians honored Dr. Smith for “academic leadership and as a role model, mentor, educator, and clinician in family practice and for scientific endeavors in headache research.” On May 7th, 2004, the UC College of Medicine acknowledged the sustained contributions of Dr. Smith and proclaimed the establishment of the “Dr. Robert and Myfanwy Smith Chair in Family Medicine.”

2011 – Barry S. Baumel, MD

Barry S. Baumel, MD graduated from the University of Miami School of Medicine and then completed his residency in Neurology at the University of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. He, along with Larry Eisner, MD, founded the Baumel-Eisner Neuromedical Institute, a leading medical research center in South Florida that specialized in the study of diseases of the central nervous system. In 1999, Baumel-Eisner joined the clinical research division and became a wholly owned subsidiary of AdvancePCS (Caremark), a nation-wide pharmacy benefits manager.

In 1990, he was named the Corporate Liaison of the American Headache Society®, serving on the Board and Executive Committee, and charged with presenting the Society’s interests and educational goals to its numerous sponsors. During his tenure, many significant corporate partnerships were formed leading to programs designed to enhance the education of healthcare professionals and improve the lives of headache sufferers. In 2010, he was named the chair of the American Migraine Foundation. He is also a member of the American Academy of Neurology and a member of the board of trustees of the Mind Research Network.

2006 – Neil Hugh Raskin, MD

Neil Hugh Raskin, MD is Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Raskin completed his neurology residency at the Neurological Institute of New York, where he served as chief resident. Dr. Raskin has been with UCSF since 1968 and was the 2001 recipient of the school’s prestigious Gold-Headed Cane Award.

Dr. Raskin served on the Board of Directors of the American Headache Society (then the American Association for the Study of Headache), from 1985 through 1998, and was President of the Society from 1994 through 1996. He received the Society’s Distinguished Clinician Award in 1987, the John R. Graham Senior Clinicians’ Award in 2000, and in 2002, was elevated to Regent status in the American Headache Society. Dr. Raskin has also been active in the American Academy of Neurology, serving as Chairman of an Annual Course from 1973 through 1986 and again 2000 through 2001. Dr. Raskin is a frequent lecturer at UCSF, across the United States and internationally.

Dr. Raskin published the book Headache in 1988 (Second edition), which was among the first scientifically-based monographs on the topic and was used throughout the United States as a textbook. Dr. Raskin is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of headaches, particularly migraines. His research on the subject has been published widely in books and journals. Among his contributions are ice pick head pain, hypnic headaches, thunderclap headache and the DHE protocol. Dr. Raskin continues to be fascinated by the mechanisms and therapeutics of headache.