APS announces four 2004 Young Investigators awards


BETHESDA, Md. The American Physiological Society (APS) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2004 Young Investigators Awards. The awardees, who hold academic standing up to the assistant professor level, are APS members who have demonstrated outstanding promise in the field of physiology. More than $62,000 in monetary prizes is presented to the recipients and their research programs. Winners will receive their awards on Monday, April 19 at the APS annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

2004 Young Investigator Award Winners:

Sarah Gebb, Ph.D. University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver
The Giles F. Filley Memorial Award in Respiratory Physiology and Medicine
An award of $20,000 will be made to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center on Dr. Gebb's behalf. The focus of her research is normal lung development and how premature birth disrupts this process. Her lab has observed that prior to birth, the lung actually needs a low oxygen environment to grow and develop properly. Thus, the high oxygen environment that a premature baby's lungs are exposed to after birth may actually impede lung growth. Dr. Gebb is also investigating several approaches to improve lung development in the high oxygen environment in hopes of improving the mortality and morbidity associated with premature birth.

Dolly Mehta, Ph.D. University of Illinois
The Giles F. Filley Memorial Award in Respiratory Physiology and Medicine
An award of $20,000 will be made to the University of Illinois on behalf of Dr. Mehta. She is studying the effects of RhoA, a low molecular weight G protein found to be a central player in disrupting the cell layer that lines blood vessels. This layer, called the endothelial barrier, is vital in maintaining fluid balance in tissue. Dr. Mehta's lab is investigating the role of Rho regulators in controlling the activation of RhoA. This research will shed light on the mechanisms of inflammation and edema, a hallmark of acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Armin Just, M.D., Ph.D. University of North Carolina
The Arthur C. Guyton Award for Excellence in Integrative Physiology
An award of $15,000 will be made on Dr. Just's behalf to the University of North Carolina. His research focuses on time-dependent aspects of cardiovascular regulation and the dynamic interaction of its underlying mechanisms. His previous studies investigated the frequency ranges of regulating mechanisms, revealed a new source of blood pressure variability, and determined the balance and interactions between the mechanisms regulating blood flow in the kidney. Ongoing studies investigate factors governing this balance and compare the regulatory responses to other vascular beds to better understand short- and long-term regulation of blood pressure.

Bruce Schultz, Ph.D. Kansas State University
The Lazaro J. Mandel Young Investigator Award
This $7,500 award recognizes an individual with outstanding promise in the field of epithelial and renal physiology and will be given on Dr. Schultz's behalf to Kansas State University. Dr. Schultz' research focuses on developing treatments to circumvent or cure cystic fibrosis. He is also studying cells that line the distal portion of the male reproductive tract and have implications in treating infertility and developing male contraceptives. Additionally, Dr. Schultz researches mammary function and the prevention or treatment of mastitis, the most costly disease to the dairy industry.

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