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Foundation for the NIH Announces Lurie Prize Recognizing Outstanding Achievement by a Young Biomedical Scientist
Date:2/26/2013

Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) February 26, 2013

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) announced today that Ruslan M. Medzhitov, PhD, David W. Wallace Professor of Immunobiology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Yale University School of Medicine, has been awarded the inaugural Lurie Prize in the Biomedical Sciences for seminal discoveries related to the innate immune system, the human body's first line of defense against invading organisms which cause infection.

A jury of eminent scientists headed by Solomon Snyder, MD, Director-Emeritus of The Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, selected Medzhitov, 46, for the honor from a group of 154 nominees. The annual prize honors early-career researchers whose findings have advanced basic biomedical science. The award, which carries an honorarium of $100,000, will be presented to Medzhitov at a ceremony on Tuesday, May 14 in Chicago.

The innate immune system rapidly mobilizes a response to infection and, together with the adaptive immune system, is crucial to protecting human health. In laying out the rationale for granting the award, Snyder said Medzhitov discovered and characterized a class of proteins called Toll-like receptors which recognize and facilitate the immune response to toxic proteins.

“Dr. Medzhitov's painstaking studies paved the way for the identification of multiple TLR family members and their respective ligands which help bind molecules forming larger complexes, advancing the entire field of immunology and opening the way for the development of new vaccines and treatments” Snyder said. “He is
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