About Us - professional advisory Council

The Professional Advisory Council (PAC) serves as a consultative body to the Illinois Spina Bifida Association. The PAC is a multidisciplinary group of professionals that provide clinical services to individuals with spina bifida as well as conduct research in the field. Members of the PAC contribute to the mission of ISBA by providing the organization with their professional expertise, diverse knowledge of spina bifida communities, and relationships with colleagues, agencies, and resources at both the local and national level.

Fourth Annual Research Awards

The Illinois Spina Bifida Association (ISBA) Professional Advisory Council is pleased to announce its fourth annual Research Awards for excellence in publishing in the area of spina bifida clinical research. Prizes are awarded for the best papers by a clinician or researcher published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The Illinois Spina Bifida Association is grateful for the assistance of Professional Advisory Council chair Kathy Zebracki, PhD, and all of the PAC members and outside reviewers who make these awards possible.

2018 Research Awards

  • Winner: Alexa Stern, MA, et al, “A Longitudinal Study of Depressive Symptoms, Neuropsychological Functioning, and Medical Responsibility in Youth With Spina Bifida: Examining Direct and Mediating Pathways,” Journal of Pediatric Psychology

  • First Honorable Mention: Caitlin Murray, PhD, et al, “A Multimethod, Case-Controlled Study of Sleep–Wake Disturbances in Adolescents with Spina Bifida,” Journal of Pediatric Psychology

  • Second Honorable Mention: Colleen F. Bechtel Driscoll, MA, MS, et al, “Parental Distress and Stress in Association with Health-Related Quality of Life in Youth with Spina Bifida: A Longitudinal Study,” Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

Winner: $500
First Honorable Mention: $300
Second Honorable Mention: $200

Awards are presented to the first author of each paper. 

Nominations are considered from the field for articles that address clinical research in spina bifida.  

Nominations are reviewed by members of ISBA’s Professional Advisory Council as well as outside reviewers.  

There are no geographic restrictions for nominations, but the first author must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States to receive a monetary prize.  

2017 Research Awards

  • Winner: Christina Holbein, PhD, et al, "Milestone achievement in emerging adulthood in spina bifida: a longitudinal investigation of parental expectations," Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology

  • First Honorable Mention: Alexandra Psihogios, PhD, et al, "Testing the Utility of a Bio-Neuropsychosocial Model for Predicting Medical Adherence and Responsibility During Early Adolescence in Youth With Spina Bifida," Journal of Pediatric Psychology

  • Second Honorable Mention: Jaclyn L. Papadakis, MA, et al, "Psychosocial and Family Functioning Among Latino Youth With Spina Bifida," Journal of Pediatric Psychology

2016 Research Award

  • Winner: Caitlin B. Murray, MA, et al, "Developmental Course and Determinants of Sleep Disturbances in Adolescents With Spina Bifida," Journal of Pediatric Psychology

  • First Honorable Mention: Brad E. Dicianno, MD, et al, "Effectiveness of a Wellness Program for Individuals With Spina Bifida and Spinal Cord Injury Within an Integrated Delivery System," Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

  • Second Honorable Mention: Rachel M. Wasserman, PhD, et al, "ADHD and Attention Problems in Children With and Without Spina Bifida," Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

2015 Research Award

  • Winner: Jaclyn Lennon Papadakis, MA, "Resilience and Disruption in Observed Family Interactions in Youth With and Without Spina Bifida: An Eight-Year, Five-Wave Longitudinal Study,” Journal of Pediatric Psychology 

  • First Honorable Mention: Caitlin B. Murray, MA, "Observed Macro- and Micro-Level Parenting Behaviors During Preadolescent Family Interactions as Predictors of Adjustment in Emerging Adults With and Without Spina Bifida," Journal of Pediatric Psychology

  • Second Honorable Mention: Alexandra M. Psihogios, MA, "Condition Self-Management in Pediatric Spina Bifida: A Longitudinal Investigation of Medical Adherence, Responsibility-Sharing, and Independence Skills," Journal of Pediatric Psychology

To learn more about clinical trials on spina bifida, click here.

Professional Advisory Council Members

Haluk Altiok, MD

Robin Bowman, MD

Lynn Grabher Bradtke, MD

Patricia Braun, DNSc

Ann Flanagan, PT, PCS

Rachel Galant, MSNM, OTR/L

Mohan S. Gundeti, MD

Grayson Holmbeck, PhD

David G. McLone, MD, PhD

Sue Mukherjee, MD

Lawrence C. Vogel, MD

Kathy Zebracki, PhD, Chair


2013 Professional Symposium