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Foundation for Biomedical Research Board Chairman Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) congratulates Congress for today voting to award Dr. Michael E. DeBakey the highest civilian honor it can bestow, the Congressional Gold Medal.

"Dr. DeBakey's unparalleled contributions to cardiovascular medicine have improved the health of millions of American citizens and people around the world. His extraordinary talents as a surgeon, inventor, educator and medical statesman make him a true medical legend," said Frankie Trull, president of FBR.

DeBakey, who has been chairman of FBR's board of directors since 1985, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1969. In recognition of his life-saving achievements, Dr. DeBakey has been honored numerous times with hundreds of awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Legion of Merit from the United States Army, the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award, the Lasker Award and the Presidential National Medal of Science. He has been honored by kings and queens, and virtually every U.S. president since Harry Truman has sought the wisdom of "the maestro."

His many inventions and innovations have led to pioneering treatments and innovative surgical techniques used in operating rooms around the country every day. The first successful coronary bypass, performed by DeBakey in 1964, triggered the most explosive era in modern cardiac surgery. Two years later, he made medical history again by becoming the first person to successfully use a partial artificial heart (left ventricular bypass pump) to help patients who could not be weaned from a heart-lung machine following open-heart surgery.

"On behalf of FBR's Board of Directors, I extend my congratulations and my gratitude to Congress for recognizing the many achievements of this very extraordinary man, who has made enormous contributions to the health and well- being of Americans and, indeed, of all mankind," said Trull. "He epitomizes the true purpose and meaning of the Congressional Gold Medal."

The bill approved by both houses of Congress (S. 474) will now go before President Bush for signature.

FBR is the nation's foremost organization devoted to promoting public understanding, respect, and support for the humane and responsible use of animals in medical and scientific research. For more information on FBR, please visit its Web site at

SOURCE Foundation for Biomedical Research
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