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Pasarow foundation to honor outstanding researchers

The winners of this year’s Pasarow Foundation awards will speak at a scientific symposium to be held in Mayer Auditorium on the morning of June 2.

Each year, the Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation honors outstanding researchers in the fields of cancer research, cardiovascular disease research and neuropsychiatric research. The Pasarows created the Foundation in 1987 to encourage and reward outstanding medical research.

Each year, three winners at receive $35,000 prizes and deliver a scientific lecture here.

This years winners are:

o Cancer: Robert A. Weinberg, professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass.

o Cardiovascular Disease: Michael A. Gimbrone, the Elsie T. Friedman Professor of Pathology and Director of the Vascular Research Division at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

o Neuropsychiatry: Joseph T. Coyle, the Eben S. Draper Professor of Psychiatry and chair of the Consolidated Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital.

Each of the winners will speak at HSC’s Mayer auditorium on Monday, June 2. The program will run from 8:30 am until noon, and admission is free.

Reservations are not necessary.

The talks are projected to be a set of research updates from scientists who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields over the past several decades.

Weinberg’s lab was among the first to isolate a human oncogene, ras, in 1982, and the first human tumor supressor gene, Rb, in 1986. Weinberg now studies mammalian cell cycle control, attempting to define the complex molecular processes that underlie the beginnings of cancer growth. His USC talk will focus on “Control of the Cell Cycle.”

Gimbrone, whose research focuses on vascular pathobiology, will speak on “Vascular endothelium in health and disease.” Gimbrone’s laboratory concentrates on the molecular mechanisms of inflammation and atherosclerosis, and his team recently identified a class of adhesion molecules that could play an important role in the interactions between circulating blood cells and the lining of blood vessels.

Coyle will discuss “Glutamate and Neuropsychiatry.” A psychiatrist with a pharmacology background, Coyle’s interests include developmental neurobiology, mechanisms of neuronal vulnerability and psychopharmacology. He has been at Harvard since 1991, and now heads that medical school’s Consolidated Department of Psychiatry, which includes ten Harvard-affiliated hospitals.

Each year the Pasarow Foundation’s Board of Directors meets to determine the award winners.

In addition to the Pasarows, the board consists of Jack D. Barchas, professor and chair of psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College; Brian Henderson, USC professor of preventive medicine; Jerome H. Kay, clinical professor of surgery at USC and director of the Heart Institute at Good Samaritan Hospital; Glenn A. Langer, professor of medicine at UCLA; Susan Adele Pasarow, M.S.W.; Charles E. Rickershauser, Jr., attorney; and Joseph Van Der Meulen, USC vice president for health affairs.

Pasarow foundation to honor outstanding researchers

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