APS announces 2005 Young Investigators Awards

03/08/05

March 9, 2005 BETHESDA, Md. The American Physiological Society (APS) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2005 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 $54,000 in monetary prizes is presented to the recipients and their research programs. Winners will receive their awards on Monday, April 4 at the International Union of the Physiological Sciences (IUPS) meeting in San Diego.

2005 Young Investigator Award Winners:

Susan Majka, Ph.D. University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
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. Majka's behalf. The focus of her research is vascular stem cells that, when disrupted during development, can produce long term impairment of lung function. Currently, her lab is studying the effect of oxidative stress on cells that would normally be endothelial or smooth muscle but that instead turn into fibroblast-type cells. Understanding why the cells change could lead to advances in stem cell and/or gene therapy.

David Fuller, Ph.D. University of Florida
The Giles F. Filley Memorial Award in Respiratory Physiology and Medicine
An award of $20,000 will be made to the University of Florida on behalf of Dr. Fuller. Dr. Fuller's laboratory uses neurophysiological techniques to explore mechanisms of plasticity (the ability to change) influencing respiratory neuron, nerve and muscle behavior following high cervical spinal cord injury. Specifically, Dr. Fuller's research is aimed at understanding how adaptations in the brain and spinal cord influence the control of the respiratory muscles. Increased control of respiratory muscles may benefit spinally injured patients by promoting less dependence on mechanical ventilators and improved quality of life.

Rong Ma, Ph.D. University of North Texas Health Sciences Center
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. Ma's behalf to University of North Texas Health Sciences Center. His research focuses on physiological function and regulating mechanisms of ion channels in kidney cells. Dr. Ma also studies pathological relevance of the ion channels in certain kidney diseases, such as diabetic and polycystic kidney disease.

David L. Allen, Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder
The Shih-Chun Wang Young Investigators Award
This $7,000 award recognizes an individual with outstanding promise in the field of physiological research. Dr. Allen's research focuses on the molecular biology underlying muscle adaptation to exercise. In particular, he is studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms that repair muscle following strenuous exercise. He is specifically interested in the role of connective-tissue degrading enzymes known as matrix metalloproteinases or MMPs in exercise-induced muscle damage and repair.

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