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March of Dimes awards $250,000 prize to scientists who explained human sex chromosomes

DENVER, CO, MAY 2, 2011 Two scientists who pioneered research on the X and Y chromosomes have been chosen to receive the 2011 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology.

Patricia Ann Jacobs, OBE, DSc, FRS, professor of Human Genetics, Southampton University Medical School and co-director of Research, Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory, Salisbury, England and David C. Page, MD, director, Whitehead Institute, investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor of Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, will share this year's prize.

Patricia Ann Jacobs was the first to describe a human sex chromosome abnormality with her landmark 1959 paper on Klinefelter syndrome, a disorder involving an additional X chromosome.

David Page's studies of the Y chromosome revealed its role as a complex genetic system with many specialized functions, far beyond determining male sex.

"Taken together, the research of Patricia Ann Jacobs and David Page has expanded medicine's ability to diagnose and understand the basis of infertility and many other diseases," said Michael Katz, MD, senior vice president for Research and Global Programs at the March of Dimes.

The prize was presented today to Patricia Ann Jacobs and David Page at a gala black-tie dinner and ceremony held at the Four Seasons Hotel, here. They also delivered the Sixteenth Annual March of Dimes Prize Lecture at the Colorado Convention Center at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies. CBS sportscaster Greg Gumbel, member of the March of Dimes national Honorary Board of Trustees, hosted the award ceremony.


Contact: Elizabeth Lynch
March of Dimes Foundation

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