Seattle Neurologist Honored for 18 Years of Service to Patients with Debilitating Brain Condition

Dr. Michael A. Williams received the Leadership Award by the Hydrocephalus Association to honor his career dedicated to caring for patients with hydrocephalus.

Dr. Michael A. Williams, a practicing neurologist and professor of neurology and neurological surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine, received the Vision Award for Leadership at the Hydrocephalus Association’s 4th annual Vision Dinner held in New York City on October 14, 2016. The event entitled, “A Time for Awareness. The Hope of a Cure,” brought together researchers, philanthropists, business leaders, patient advocates and family members to raise the public profile of a brain condition impacting over 1 million Americans. The evening also served as a catalyst for a focused research initiative into Post Hemorrhagic Hydrocephalus (PHH), the development of hydrocephalus after a brain bleed. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain. There is no cure and the only treatment option requires brain surgery.

“I’m honored to receive the award, and to have had the privilege to work with the Hydrocephalus Association over the last 18 years to advance the goals of research and improved care for hydrocephalus,” stated Dr. Williams. “Our work is not done, and together we will continue our efforts to find cures and improve care for patients with hydrocephalus at every age and stage of life.”

The Leadership Award honors Dr. Williams for his unwavering commitment to adult hydrocephalus, as evidenced by his leadership roles over the course of his career. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of adult hydrocephalus, and has published more than 75 research papers. He co-chaired the first-ever National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Workshop on hydrocephalus in 2005, helped to create the International Society for Hydrocephalus and CSF Disorders in 2008, and was its president from 2012 to 2014. He is active with the Hydrocephalus Association, serving as a member of the Board of Directors, the Vice-Chair of the Medical Advisory Board, and a member of the steering committee for a national summit on transitional care in hydrocephalus. He is also a founding member of the Adult Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network.

Last year, the Hydrocephalus Association completed the creation of a research infrastructure that supports collaboration and innovation between scientists and clinicians to streamline the movement of new therapies and interventions from the lab to the hydrocephalus patient population. A new Hydrocephalus Association project leverages a unique partnership between the newly launched HA Network for Discovery Science (HANDS), the focus of last year’s Vision Dinner, and the two established hydrocephalus-focused Clinical Research Networks. The initiative has set finding a cure for PHH as its initial priority and the dinner launched a $3,000,000 three-year campaign to raise crucial funds to support this project. The goal is to take the most promising research from a pool of PHH studies currently being funded by the Association and move them through the pipeline towards clinical applications for patients.

The evening is underwritten by Craig and Vicki Brown, generous benefactors to the Hydrocephalus Association, to ensure every dollar donated is allocated to advance hydrocephalus research. “The new project allows us to aggressively tackle the various forms and underlying causes of hydrocephalus,” said Craig Brown, Senior Vice Chair, Hydrocephalus Association Board of Directors. “Our vision is a world without hydrocephalus and we hope that by investing in the most promising research, this will become a reality.”

For more information about the event or about hydrocephalus, please contact

More About Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus, which affects over 1 million Americans of all ages, is caused by an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. There is no cure and the only treatment requires brain surgery. Repeated brain surgeries are often needed due to high failure rates of the predominant treatment—the insertion of a medical device called a shunt into the brain. It is not uncommon for children with hydrocephalus to have more brain surgeries than birthdays. Infants with PHH are an extremely vulnerable population, more likely to suffer from intellectual disabilities and the co-occurrence of epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Adults also are at risk for developing PHH from a traumatic brain injury or repeated head trauma.

About the Hydrocephalus Association

Founded in 1983 by the parents of children with hydrocephalus, the Hydrocephalus Association is the nation’s largest and most widely respected organization dedicated to hydrocephalus. More than 60 percent of HA’s funding comes from individual donations, and approximately 35 percent comes from foundation and corporate grants. The Hydrocephalus Association’s mission is to find a cure for hydrocephalus and improve the lives of those impacted by the condition. HA is fighting on all fronts to improve the quality of life for people living with the condition. The Vision Dinner is meant to encourage more research, increase public awareness, inspire physicians to specialize in hydrocephalus, and to continue to guide and support people living with the condition. For more information, visit or call (888) 598-3789.