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Arnold Starr named honorary member of prestigious academy

July 16, 2015 — UC Irvine neurologist Arnold Starr, MD, PhD, a longtime chair of the Department of Neurology, has been selected as an honorary member of the American Academy of Neurology.

Starr was the second neurologist to join the UC Irvine faculty and became the first chair of the Department of Neurology. He led the division of neurology, as it became a new department in 1977. He remained chair for 10 years. Although retired, Starr continues to teach and conduct research.

“Dr. Starr is a wonderful example of the best that neurologists can achieve in their lifetimes,” said Steven L. Small, PhD, MD, Stanley van den Noort Professor and current chair of the department. “In retirement, Dr. Starr continues to be active in teaching and research.”

The AAN bestows honorary membership upon those individuals deemed by the Academy’s board of directors to have performed exceptional meritorious contributions to the field of neurology, with national or international impact.

Starr helped to develop objective electrophysiological measures of sensory processing. Among his most important contributions was the use of auditory brain stem responses to provide objective measures of hearing in neonates, thus leading to a screening program for newborns that has become the national standard.

In addition, he defined a novel neurological disorder, auditory neuropathy, which is characterized by impaired speech processing in the face of hearing preservation.

Small and Tahseen Mozaffar, MBBS, director of the UC Irvine Health ALS and Neuromuscular Center, nominated Starr.