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Duke Medicine physician-scientist receives National Medal of Science
Date:8/25/2008

blockers for heart disease. Lefkowitz and his group first identified, purified and cloned the genes for these receptors in the 1970s and 1980s, thus revealing the structure of the receptors as well their functions and regulation. This work facilitated and fundamentally altered the way in which numerous therapeutic agents have been developed.

"The National Medal of Science is a great personal and professional honor that reflects my entire career in the life sciences," said Dr. Lefkowitz, who is a professor of biochemistry, immunology and medicine, and also a basic research cardiologist in the Duke Heart Center. "One of the most rewarding aspects of my career at Duke has been the opportunity to mentor more than 200 very talented students and fellows. Many of them have gone on to distinguished careers in academia and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. This award honors them as much as it does me. I really can't imagine a more fulfilling career for me than to have been a Professor of Medicine and a scientist. I am as excited about the opportunities and challenges of our work at present as I have ever been. And I am so honored that the President will acknowledge our cumulative body of work in medicine and the biological sciences."

"I'm thrilled that Bob is being honored in this way as it really is a recognition and celebration of not only his well-documented seminal discoveries, but more importantly the incredible body of scientific work that has characterized his long and illustrious career," said Nancy Andrews, MD, Ph.D., Dean, Duke University School of Medicine. "He is an inspiration to the next generation of basic scientists, not only at Duke, but around the world."

In 2007, Lefkowitz received two other major awards. He won the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine for his breakthrough research "that has had a positive effect on mankind" and with that recognition won a $1 million prize. He also won the Albany Medical Center
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Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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