HonorHealth Research Institute investigator receives lifetime achievement award from the American Headache Society

Dr. Donald B. Penzien is honored for his lifetime body of groundbreaking work, developing and delivering innovative and effective care for patients with severe headaches and chronic pain

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — June 13, 2024 — Donald B. Penzien, Ph.D., a professor at Wake Forest University and a research scientist at the HonorHealth Research Institute, today received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Headache Society (AHS) at its 66th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego.

“I'm truly humbled to be even nominated for this honor, let alone to be receiving it,” Dr. Penzien said. “I distinctly am not a person who seeks accolades or the recognition of my colleagues and peers for my work, and so it is most humbling to be recognized by them in this way.”

Dr. Penzien is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Neurology and Epidemiology and Prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine, where he is Director of Research for the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Director for the Center of Integrative Medicine. Since 2017, Dr. Penzien also has been a scientific leader and investigator at the HonorHealth Research Institute.

“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,” according to the AHS.

“Dr. Penzien’s research has been transformative for the fields of headache, pain and behavioral medicine, introducing new understandings and technologies for delivering effective virtual care to enhance access to care for all communities, reducing suffering and enhancing the quality of life for countless individuals,” said Mark Slater, Ph.D., Vice President of Research for the HonorHealth system and CEO of the Scottsdale-based HonorHealth Research Institute. “Dr. Penzien embodies our HonorHealth Research Institute values of innovation, excellence, multidisciplinary collaboration and patient-focused impact.”

HonorHealth's Dr. Penzien

Chemotherapy pain a key focus

At the Research Institute, Dr. Penzien’s recent focus has been on enhancing pain management, including an ongoing study to evaluate a virtual Internet-delivered intervention for patients with peripheral neuropathy (weakness, numbness and pain, typically affecting the hands and feet) stemming from chemotherapy. Much of his work has been conducted at the Institute’s Bob Bové Neuroscience Institute in collaboration with Todd Levine, M.D., medical director of the Institute’s Neuroscience Research Division and others.

Dr. Penzien, an AHS Fellow, has over 175 research articles, book chapters and books/ monographs to his credit. His research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other funding agencies.