Navigation Links
$500,000 Gruber Foundation Genetics Prize goes to Philadelphia scientist
Date:6/28/2012

Douglas C. Wallace, PhD, a pioneering genetics researcher who founded the field of mitochondrial genetics in humans, will receive the 2012 Genetics Prize of The Gruber Foundation. Wallace is being honored with this prestigious international award for his groundbreaking achievements in helping science understand the role of mitochondriathe "power plants" of cellsin the development of disease and as markers for human evolution.

He will receive the award November 9 in San Francisco at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, where he will also deliver a lecture titled "A Bioenergetic Perspective on Origins, Health, and Disease".

"Douglas Wallace's contributions to our understanding of mitochondrial genetics have changed the way human and medical geneticists think about the role of mitochondria in human health and disease," said Elizabeth Blackburn, chair of the Selection Advisory Board to the Prize. Blackburn is the 2006 Gruber Genetics Prize laureate and shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.

Wallace began his research on mitochondrial biology 40 years ago, at a time when few people thought the study of mitochondria and its DNA (mtDNA) would have any significant applications for clinical medicine. In the early 1970s, Wallace and associates demonstrated that the mtDNA coded for heritable traits by developing the cybrid transfer technique and showing that chloramphenicol resistance was cytoplasmically inherited. This system permitted them to delineate the characteristics of cytoplasmic genetics. Then in the late 1970s, Wallace demonstrated that the human mtDNA is inherited solely through the mother. Using maternal inheritance as a guide, Wallace identified the first inherited mtDNA disease, Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), and subsequently linked mtDNA mutations to a wide range of clinical symptoms, including deafness, neuropsychiatric disorders, cardiac and muscle problems, and metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Wallace also showed that mtDNA mutations accumulate in human tissue with age, and thus may play a role in age-related diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. In addition, he found that the levels of these age-related mtDNA mutations are higher in the brains of people with certain neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease and Huntington disease.

Wallace's research has also made a major contribution to the field of molecular anthropology. Using mtDNA variation, he has reconstructed the origins and ancient migrations of women, tracing all mtDNA lineages back some 200,000 years to a single African originthe so-called mitochondrial Eve.

"The impact of Doug Wallace's visionary research has been remarkable," said Huda Zoghbi, a member of Selection Advisory Board and the 2011 laureate of the Gruber Neuroscience Prize. "His discovery of the first mtDNA mutations in humans opened up the field of mitochondrial genetics and demonstrated the role of mitochondria in many human diseases. It's an extraordinary legacyand he is richly deserving of this award."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sara Hrera
media@gruberprizes.org
203-432-6231
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UCSF pair win Gruber Foundation Neuroscience prize
2. Kessler Foundation implements Ekso Bionics first commercial robotic exoskeleton
3. Renowned geneticist R. Rodney Howell receives ACMG Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
4. John A. Kaufman named 2012 Dotter Lecturer by Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation
5. Genzyme/ACMG Foundation Genetics Training Award in Clinical Biochemical Genetics announced
6. 2012 ACMG Foundation/Signature Genomic Laboratories Travel Award winner announced
7. ASBMB wins National Science Foundation grant to enhance K-12 science education
8. UF receives $1 million from Keck Foundation to study mechanisms of inherited disease
9. Merkin Family Foundation to fund next generation of Broad Institute scientists
10. Michael J. Fox Foundation grant to Dr. Samuel Young will provide Parkinsons drug development tools
11. New York Stem Cell Foundation scientist grows bone from human embryonic stem cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/23/2017)... GENOA, Italy , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic ... and trunk, has been officially launched in Genoa, Italy ... Europe and the USA . The ... launched on the market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to ... view the Multimedia News Release, please click: ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... 2017 RAM Group , Singaporean ... breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based ... by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will ... chains and security. Ram Group is a next ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global ... of a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s ... recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during ... at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based ... of its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is part ... as the company moves into a significant growth period. , It will also expand ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, ... The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on ... DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM ... firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu ... , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature ... Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ... how to continue to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: