Navigation Links
$500,000 Gruber Foundation Genetics Prize goes to Philadelphia scientist

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
Yale University

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:
(Date:4/19/2016)... 2016 The new GEZE SecuLogic ... web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It ... the door interface with integration authorization management system, and ... The minimal dimensions of the access control and the ... installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard to ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients ... a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a ... the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key ... body mass index, and, when they opt in, share ... visit to a local retail location at no cost. ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... WAKEFIELD, Massachusetts , March 23, 2016 ... kombiniert im Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und ... Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ... heute bekannt, dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro ... insbesondere aus der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 A person commits a ... crime scene to track the criminal down. An ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly ... support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition ... harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams ... New York City . The ... projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong ... senior curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, doctors ... being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem cells derived from ... frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers to the swelling ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June 23, 2016 ... the trading session at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones ... the S&P 500 closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. has ... INFI ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ... BIND Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more ...
Breaking Biology Technology: