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Pasarow Awards presented at USC

by Chris Tedeschi

Three scientists whose research has advanced understanding of the causes of cancer, heart disease and neurological disease – including the “mad cow” disease plaguing England’s beef industry – will be honored with Pasarow Awards May 20 at USC.

Each year, the Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation awards $35,000 to one outstanding researcher in each of the fields of cancer research, cardiovascular disease research and neuropsychiatric research.

Brian E. Henderson, research professor of preventive medicine, and Joseph P. Van Der Meulen, vice president for health affairs and interim dean of the medical school, will host the event. Both serve on the foundation’s board of directors.

This year’s recipients are:Ù

Cancer: Alfred G. Knudson, a researcher at the Fox-Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.Ù

Cardiovascular Disease: Kenneth R. Chien, a professor of medicine and member of the Center for Molecular Genetics at UC San Diego.Ù

Neuropsychiatry: Stanley B. Prusiner, a professor of neurology at UC San Francisco.Ù

A specialist in the genetics of cancer, Alfred Knudson has been at the Fox Chase Cancer Center since 1976, and during 1980-82, served as the center’s president. Knudson’s research team helped find the chromosomal location of the gene that causes retinoblastoma – a hereditary form of eye tumor. The Philadelphia-based scientist also serves as an adjunct professor of pediatrics and human genetics at University of Pennsylvania.Ù

Kenneth Chien investigates the molecular basis for the growth, development, and failure of cardiac muscle. His laboratory has been responsible for basic insights into the formation of heart muscle and the development of ventricular hypertrophy – an abnormal enlargement of the heart’s lower chambers. Chien has been a professor of medicine at the UC San Diego since 1992.Ù

Stanley Prusiner has devoted much of his career to the study of neurological disease, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – a degenerative condition recently linked to “mad cow” disease in Britain. In the last two decades, Prusiner has helped to unravel the fundamental biology of Creutzfeldt-Jakob and other neurological conditions in humans and animals.

At the symposium, each of this year’s awardees will discuss their current research.The presentations will begin at 9 a.m. in the Ambulatory Health Center auditorium on Monday, May 20. The event is free.

In addition to Henderson and Van Der Meulen, the foundation’s board of directors consists of Robert and Claire Pasarow; Jack D. Barchas, professor and chair of psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College; Jerome H. Kay, clinical professor of surgery at USC and director of the Heart Institute of the Hospital of the Good Samaritan; Glenn A. Langer, professor of medicine at UCLA; Susan Adele Pasarow; and attorney Charles E. Rickershauser Jr.

The Pasarows created the foundation in 1987 to stimulate and reward excellence in medical and scientific research. Robert Pasarow is the founder and former president, CEO and chairman of the board of CHB Foods Inc.Ù

Pasarow Awards presented at USC

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