The inaugural $100,000 Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science has been awarded to Harry Dietz, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan's A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute announced today.
Dietz, a cardiologist and genetics researcher, has made groundbreaking progress in the understanding of aortic aneurysm and related tissue disorders. His lab is the first to determine that some defects in the human body's connective tissue, long thought to be unchangeable, can be modified with medication. The discovery has overturned decades of conventional wisdom and has tremendous implications for the treatment of genetic connective tissue disorders.
Dietz will receive the $100,000 grant to further his research and will appear as keynote speaker Oct. 11, 2012 at the Taubman Institute's annual symposium in Ann Arbor.
"Dr. Dietz epitomizes translational research," said David Ginsburg, M.D., a Taubman Scholar and member of the Taubman Prize selection committee. "He initiated a line of research into the molecular basis for an important class of human diseases at a time when the cause was completely unknown.
"His landmark body of research, beginning at the basic laboratory bench, identified the responsible gene and developed a mouse model, leading to remarkable new insight into molecular pathogenesis. Based on these laboratory findings, Dr. Dietz then led a clinical trial that is likely to change the standard approach to treatment for these diseases. His accomplishments are a perfect example of exactly what we wish to honor with the Taubman Prize."
The Taubman Prize was established to annually recognize the clinician-researcher who has done the most to transform laboratory discoveries into clinical applications for patients suffering from disease.
"Dr. Dietz exemplifies the passion and persistence of physician-scientists everywhere," said Alfred Taubman, founde
|Contact: Kara Gavin|
University of Michigan Health System