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Penn veterinarian Ralph Brinster awarded National Medal of Science
Date:9/27/2011

PHILADELPHIA Ralph Brinster of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has been awarded the National Medal of Science, according to an announcement today from the White House. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers.

Brinster, the Richard King Mellon Professor of Reproductive Physiology at Penn Vet, is the first veterinarian and the seventh Penn faculty member to receive the award since it began nearly 50 years ago.

Brinster is being honored for his research on the manipulation of the mammalian germline, the cells that give rise to sperm and eggs. By inserting new genes into the germline of a developing organism a process known as transgenesis researchers can produce animals with selected traits that are indispensible models in understanding life processes and disease.

"Ralph Brinster is a trailblazer in the field of reproductive biology and genetics whose work has had inestimable influence in science and medicine," Penn President Amy Gutmann said. "His early findings helped usher in the era of transgenic research and represent foundational aspects of techniques used in genetic engineering, in vitro fertilization and cloning. We are extraordinarily proud that he has received the National Medal of Science in recognition of more than five decades of scientific achievement."

"The entire Penn community congratulates Ralph Brinster on this tremendously prestigious honor," Provost Vincent Price said. "He has been a pioneer in using fundamental research to address profound and far-reaching biological questions. His innovations have defined entire fields of inquiry, spurred critical new technologies and transformed the study of human biology and disease."

Brinster's interest in animal genetics and the mammalian germline came from his upbringing on a New Jersey farm and early training at Rutgers University Agricultural School. After mil
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Contact: Evan Lerner
elerner@upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert  

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