UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Lindsay Symon award for MSc/MRes Stroke Medicine

24 December 2020

Charlotte Howland has been awarded the Lindsay Symon award for the achieving the highest overall mark for the MSc/MRes Stroke Medicine programme in the 2019/20 academic year.

We are delighted to award Charlotte with the Lindsay Symon award for the academic year 2019/20, in recognition of her outstanding achivement in achieving the highest overall mark for the programme.  

Lindsay Symon (1929-2019) was Professor of Neurosurgery at the Institute of Neurology, UCL, and Chairman of the Gough Cooper Department of Neurological Surgery at the National Hospitals from 1978 until he retired in 1995. He made truly ground-breaking observations in the field of stroke medicine. At Queen Square his team developed new techniques to measure blood flow, electrolyte changes, evoked potentials and intracranial pressure. These advances led to his most important and enduring contribution, first published in 1977, based on perfusion thresholds of function associated with progressive reduction of cerebral blood flow.  Symon said the affected area reminded him of a candle flame, where, around the bright centre, as in a partial eclipse of the sun by the moon , there is a shaded zone known as the penumbra. Thus the term “penumbra” was applied to areas of potentially salvageable tissue in acute focal cerebral ischaemia: this phenomenon is limited to about three hours in humans, so prompt restoration of blood flow has the potential to save brain tissue and restore function. These important observations are the basis for modern acute treatment of stroke with thrombolysis or mechanical thrombectomy.