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Keith L. Black, MD
The prestigious award will be presented to the decorated doctor for his work in medicine and the community.
By Brian W. Carter, Sentinel Staff Writer
On Saturday, July 30, renowned neurosurgeon Keith L. Black, MD will receive with the Legend Award. The award ceremony will take place in Boston during the organization’s annual conference.
The Legend Award acknowledges influential leaders who have made great strides and accomplishments within the Black community. Black will be honored along with Suzanne de Passe, an entrepreneur within the entertainment industry, and NFL football coach Tony Dungy.
Black is chairman and professor of the Department of Neurosurgery, director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, director of the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center and the Ruth and Lawrence Harvey Chair in Neuroscience at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He joined Cedars-Sinai and founded Maxine Dunitz Neurological Institute (MDNI) in 1997. Black established the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center in 2007.
Black and other neurosurgeons, scientists and researchers are encouraging youth interests in especially in underserved communities with projects such as “Brainworks,” an annual event for 7th and 8th graders where they participate in fun and educational activities, scholarships through the Neurosurgery Department and the Pauletta and Denzel Washington Family Gifted Scholars Program in Neuroscience in 2004, a neurosurgeon residency program established in 2005, and a new program this year that introduces high school students to stem cell research.
Black showed interest in science at an early age and published his first research paper at 17, which won a Westinghouse Science Award. This would be the beginning of a budding future in science in medicine.
Now Black is known for his surgical expertise, his work in immunotherapy and results leading to a treatment for brain tumors, which is in a trial phase. He has continued to make significant medical discoveries in brain tumor research, coming up with new implementations for chemotherapy, stem cell research and new optic surgical devices.
His work has appeared in numerous media and broadcasts including PBS, Time Magazine, CBS Sunday Morning and Newsweek Japan. In 2000, Biography magazine used one of Black’s articles in its publication. The article would also appear in Discover in April of 2004, Essence in 2006 and Los Angeles Magazine in May of 2006.
He’s been awarded by Atlanta’s Morehouse College with the Candle Award in Science and Technology in February 2003. Black also received a Trumpet Award for his contributions to medicine. Last year he received the BET Honors public service award.
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquarterd in New York City, the group spearheads efforts of its local affiliates by developing programs, public policy research and advocacy. There are more than 100 local affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.