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Alumni Awards

Ralph G. Dacey, Jr., MD ’74

Congratulations to Ralph G. Dacey, Jr., MD ’74, winner of the 2015 Walter Reed Distinguished Achievement Award from the UVA Medical Alumni Association and Medical School Foundation. This award recognizes professional accomplishments, outstanding innovation, and exemplary leadership in the field of medicine. The award was presented by UVA School of Medicine Interim Dean Randolph J. Canterbury, MD at the 2015 UVA Medical Alumni Association Business Meeting on April 25, 2015.

Ralph G. Dacey, Jr. received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1974. He subsequently served as a neurosurgical resident at UVA under Dr. John Jane. He was an American College of Surgeons Schering Scholar, a postdoctoral fellow in physiology and worked as a neurosurgical registrar in Plymouth, England. He is board certified in internal medicine and neurological surgery.

Following his post-graduate training, he became an assistant professor of neurological surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle. At the age of 38, he was appointed Chairman of Neurosurgery at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, becoming the youngest neurosurgeon in the nation appointed to a chair position. He is currently the Henry G. and Edith R. Schwartz Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dacey’s clinical interests range from cerebrovascular surgery to the surgery of pituitary tumors and meningiomas. His research focuses on the physiology of intracerebral microcirculation. He was awarded a Clinician Investigator Development Award by the National Institutes of Health and has been funded by NIH for many years. His CV lists over 190 publications in the area of neurosurgery and cerebrovascular physiology. He has served as a member of the NIH’s National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council.

Dacey has been the recipient of numerous awards in the field of academic neurosurgery. Among them, he received the prestigious Grass Foundation Award from the Society of Neurological Surgeons in 2003. He also received the Society of Neurological Surgeon’s Winn Prize, which is the specialty’s highest award for career research achievements. He was also elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Dacey received two nominations for the Walter Reed Award this year. One of them stated: “Ralph Dacey is a truly an extraordinary ‘son of UVA.’ Despite his enormous achievements, Ralph has always focused on helping others and never seeks the limelight for himself. I’ve had the privilege and honor to work closely with Ralph over many years. He graduated from UVA medical school 11 years before me, and he has always been like a heroic older brother figure to me in the way he has conducted himself in all spheres of life.”