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Brookhaven Lab's Joanna Fowler to be awarded National Medal of Science
Date:9/24/2009

UPTON, NY Joanna Fowler, a senior chemist and Director of the Radiotracer Chemistry, Instrumentation and Biological Imaging Program at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, will be awarded the National Medal of Science at a White House ceremony on October 7. She is one of nine researchers named by President Barack Obama to receive the nation's highest award for lifetime achievement in science.

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. The annual award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Nominees are selected by a committee of Presidential appointees based on their advanced knowledge in, and contributions to, the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences, as well as chemistry, engineering, computing and mathematics.

"This award is both humbling and gratifying," Fowler said. "It recognizes the importance of chemistry and imaging in advancing our knowledge of the human brain, particularly as it is affected by drugs, disease and aging."

Fowler has been a major contributor to brain research and the study of diseases such as addiction, which she has studied using an imaging technique called positron emission tomography (PET). In 1976, Fowler and her colleagues synthesized 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a radiotracer used in PET. Today, FDG is widely used in hospitals and research centers throughout the world to diagnose and study neurological and psychiatric diseases and to diagnose cancer.

In her recent research, Fowler has focused on changes in the brain circuits that are disrupted during drug addiction. Some of her studies included imaging the uptake and movement of cocaine and methamphetamine in the human brain, which shed light on why these drugs are so powerfully addictive. She is also involved in PET studies to understand the action of thera
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Contact: Diane Greenberg
greenbd@optonline.net
631-344-2347
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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