Acclaimed Houston Methodist neurologist Dr. Stanley H. Appel has been named one of this year’s four Houston Men of Distinction honoring Houstonians who have demonstrated “excellence in community achievement.”



Appel spent 15 years as chair of the neurology department – which is named after him – and more than four decades at Houston Methodist. World-renowned for his pioneering research on therapies for the neurodegenerative diseases of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and Alzheimer’s Disease, he recently began a new chapter in his career as medical director of the Ann Kimball and John W. Johnson Center for Cellular Therapeutics, a new Houston Methodist facility designed to explore treatments for neurological diseases, cancer, heart disease and organ failure.



His leadership led to creation of the multidisciplinary MDA/ALS Research and Clinical Center, which provides monthly gatherings for ALS patients where they can receive medical, financial, social and other support as they battle a disease that has no cure. Appel also worked with sports broadcaster Jim Nantz to establish the Nantz National Alzheimer Center at Houston Methodist in 2011, created in honor of and named after Jim Nantz’s father, who had Alzheimer’s Disease for 13 years.



During his tenure, Appel has helped shape the culture at Houston Methodist and has set an example of what it means to truly lead medicine. He’s known for his dedication and the compassion with which he treats patients – especially those facing difficult health challenges.



Men of Distinction has provided more than $5 million in funds for Texas Medical Center programs since its founding in 2007. This year’s beneficiaries of generous research funds include two Houston Methodist researchers – A. Osama Gaber, M.D., chair of the department of surgery, and Alessandro Grattoni, Ph.D., professor of nanomedicine in the Houston Methodist Academic Institute.