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UMass Medical School researcher Victor Ambros receives Gairdner Award, Franklin Medal
Date:4/15/2008

WORCESTER, Mass. University of Massachusetts Medical School professor of molecular medicine Victor R. Ambros, PhD, whose discovery of microRNAs (mRNAs)opened a dramatic new world of investigation into developmental biology, will receive the 2008 Gairdner International Award, considered one of the most prestigious in science. Dr. Ambros shares the award with collaborator Gary Ruvkun, PhD, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, with whom he discovered micro miRNAs. Ambros will be a keynote speaker at the awards luncheon today in Toronto, at which all six Gairdner Award winners will be honored.

When we recruited Dr. Ambros to campus, we knew his presence would have a profound impact on our growing RNA community, and the Gairdner Award underscores that impact, said Michael F. Collins, MD, interim chancellor of UMMS. He is an integral part of a remarkable group of RNA scientists here at UMMS who, together, are advancing our understanding of biological mechanisms and furthering the field of biomedical science.

microRNAs play such a fundamental role in the regulation of numerous normal cellular processes. The hope is that the discovery of mircroRNAs will open the door to a deeper understanding of complex processes such as cancer, aging, inflammatory diseases and normal growth and development. With the outstanding scientific contributions of Dr. Ambros and his colleagues at UMMS, that hope becomes much more attainable, said Terence R. Flotte, M.D., Dean of the School of Medicine, Provost and Executive Deputy Chancellor.

Nationally sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Canadas agency for health research, the award recognizes outstanding contributions by medical scientists worldwide whose work will significantly improve the quality of life. Established in 1957 by Toronto businessman James Gairdner, the Gairdner Foundation first recognized achievements in medical science in 1959. Since that time
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Contact: Alison Duffy
alison.duffy@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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