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U-M's Taubman Institute awards inaugural $100,000 translational medical research prize
Date:7/9/2012

r and chair of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute. "We established the Taubman Prize to recognize and encourage these dedicated researchers, whose drive to find effective treatments and cures is fueled by their interaction with the patients suffering from life-altering diseases.

"In honoring Dr. Dietz, an eminent scientist whose landmark findings may improve quality of life for tens of thousands of people, I am confident that we have accomplished our goal."

Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Taubman Institute and the Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology at the U-M Medical School, said the nominees for the prize included many of the most talented and accomplished clinician-scientists at the world's top research institutions.

"It's a tribute to the extraordinary nature of Dr. Dietz's work that our selection committee unanimously agreed to award him the Taubman Prize," said Feldman. "The Taubman Prize is meant to reward translational research and to help remedy the long-standing disconnect between research in the laboratory and the introduction of new treatments for patients. Researchers like Dr. Dietz are truly scientists who create cures."

Dietz, a professor of pediatric cardiology and genetics expert at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, began his research career studying Marfan syndrome. This potentially fatal connective tissue disease enlarges the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body and the main highway for blood as it leaves the heart. The syndrome makes the aorta more inclined to tear or burst, an often fatal event. About one in 5,000 people have Marfan syndrome, which is thought to have afflicted historical figures such as Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln and Charles de Gaulle. Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman died in 1986 from an aneurysm that was the result of Marfan syndrome.

Working with his Johns Hopkins collea
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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