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Pollin Pediatric Research Prize awarded for discovery of lifesaving treatment of RDS
Date:4/3/2008

ffective treatment for RDS and the genesis of a new area of pulmonary biology," says Dr. Herbert Pardes, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Replacement surfactant is now a standard therapy for premature infants in most countries, and it is also being examined for its applicability to other diseases, such as adult RDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis and pneumonia.

Dr. Rudolph Leibel, chairman of the selection panel that coordinates the administration of the Pollin Prize, says,"It is our intent that the Prize both recognizes outstanding and important biomedical research, and encourages others to pursue research that specifically benefits children." Dr. Leibel is co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, chief of the Division of Molecular Genetics, and professor of pediatrics and medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is also a pediatrician at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian.

Dr. John A. Clements and Discovery of Lung Surfactant

After graduating in 1947 from Cornell University Medical College (now Weill Cornell Medical College), Dr. Clements joined its Physiology Department as a research fellow and instructor. Two years later, at the United States Army Medical Research Laboratory at Edgewood Arsenal, Md., he developed an interest in pulmonary function and began to elucidate the physical and chemical properties of a previously unknown natural material he named"lung surfactant." His pioneering application of biochemisty to respiratory mechanics paved the way for research, by Dr. Clements and others that described the lipid-protein substance and its role in maintaining the expansion of the lung's airspaces. His findings also led directly to the discovery, in 1959, that surfactant was missing from the lungs of infants who had died with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) -- and to later efforts that developed surfactant substitutes.

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Contact: Belinda Mager
bem9048@nyp.org
212-305-5587
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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