Dr. Robert Cantu

Dr. Robert Cantu, considered a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of concussions, has been named the 2009 United States Sports Academy Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award winner.

Dr. Cantu is known throughout the world for his work on catastrophic head and neck injuries, concussions and post concussive syndrome. He was the first doctor to establish a grading scale for concussions (Grades 1, 2 and 3), based on symptoms at the time of injury. His background on the subject has provided medical professionals with much-needed guidelines where previously none had existed.

Cantu is a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Boston University School of Medicine and co-director of the Neurological Sports Injury Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has become a voice for newspaper reporters seeking information on the National Football League (NFL) and the continuing debate on the league’s policies on concussions and studies that link head injuries on the football field with brain disease.

The Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award is named in honor of a former Olympic athlete, international sports medicine scholar and Director of the University of Kentucky Rehabilitation Center. It is given annually to an individual for his or her contributions to the growth and development of sports medicine through practice and/or scholarly activity. The individual should exhibit a mastery of some aspect of sports medicine through practice or research, be well known in the sports medicine field and have an abiding belief in and practice of ethical behavior in pursuit of knowledge.