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UT faculty members win American Heart Association awards for advancing research
Date:12/23/2008

Faculty members at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSC-Houston) were honored for their work in the fight against heart disease at the 2008 American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions in New Orleans. Heart disease is the nation's No. 1 killer.

UT faculty members recognized were: Nobel Laureate Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D., director emeritus of The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM), a part of the UTHSC-Houston; John Holcomb, M.D., director of the Center for Translational Injury Research at the UTHSC-Houston; and Raffaella Lombardi, M.D., Ph.D., IMM postdoctoral fellow. The AHA scientific sessions were Nov. 8 -12.

Murad was named one of 13 Distinguished Scientists for 2008 by the American Heart Association. The prestigious award was created to honor researchers whose work has advanced the understanding of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Murad found that nitroglycerin and several related heart drugs induce the formation of nitric oxide and that this gas acts to increase the diameter of blood vessels in the body, according to the American Heart Association. He shared the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Robert Furchgott and Louis Ignarro for their major discoveries involving nitric oxide as a unique signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system.

"Nitric oxide is one of the most important signaling molecules produced within our body. Dr. Murad's contributions to the field have revolutionized the concept of cell signaling by a gaseous molecule. Potential applications are far-reaching across multiple organ systems. Discovery of this pathway has allowed new therapeutic strategies to control blood pressure, correct conditions of endothelial dysfunction and even treat erectile dysfunction," said Nathan Bryan, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular medicine at the IMM.

Murad completed his undergraduate work at DePauw Univ
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Contact: Robert Cahill
Robert.Cahill@hotmail.com
713-500-3042
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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