Archives for August 2016

PNR&D Director earns Laureate Award from Endocrine Society

Washington, DC— Eva L. Feldman, MD, PhD, the Director of the Program for Neurology Research and Discovery, has earned the Endocrine Society’s prestigious 2017 Laureate Award.

Dr. Feldman, the University of Michigan’s Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology and Director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, is the winner of the Gerald D. Aurbach Award for Outstanding Translational Research. This annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to research that accelerate the transition of scientific discoveries into clinical applications. She is a clinician-scientist whose basic and clinical research has led to new disease therapies, changed clinical guidelines, and made her an opinion leader in neurology.

She conducted pioneering studies on the causes of nerve damage in metabolic diseases and later used cell-based and novel mouse models as well as human transcriptomics to discover pathways that are disrupted in diabetic neuropathy. She developed a clinical tool for diagnosing diabetic neuropathy that is used worldwide and in multiple clinical trials. An author of more than 350 publications, she is a past President of the American Neurological Association, has received numerous awards, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Endocrinologists are PhDs and MDs who specialize in untangling complex symptoms to study, diagnose, treat, research or cure hormone-related conditions. These professionals are responsible for research breakthroughs that lead to the cures of tomorrow and for providing the gold standard of care for patients with hundreds of conditions and diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, obesity, hormone-related cancers, growth problems, reproduction, infertility and rare diseases, among others.

Established in 1944, the Society’s Laureate Awards recognize the highest achievements in the endocrinology field, including groundbreaking research and innovations in clinical care. The Endocrine Society will present the awards to the 14 winners at ENDO 2017, the Society’s 99th Annual Meeting & Expo in Orlando, FL, from April 1-4, 2017.


Buddy’s Pizza president makes $500,000 matching gift for Alzheimer’s research

Robert Jacobs is no stranger to neurological disease: He lost his father to Alzheimer’s disease, and was himself diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome a decade ago.

So the Buddy’s Pizza president takes neurological research personally, and has demonstrated his commitment with a remarkable gift to the Program for Neurology Research & Discovery (PNR&D): He will match up to $500,000 to support research into environmental toxins and their potential link to Alzheimer’s disease.

“Sometimes people make a gift because of family issues or other people’s issues, but I have my own issues,” he said. “My father had Alzheimer’s disease and I’ve had my own syndrome. I believe in Eva (Feldman) and the University of Michigan. It’s pretty simple. It’s actually to make a difference.”

Earlier this year, PNR&D Director Eva L. Feldman, MD, PhD, along with Stephen A. Goutman, MD, and others, published a study that showed a high percentage of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) had been exposed to agricultural pesticides. The Jacobs gift gives the PNR&D a jump start on a similar study of Alzheimer’s patients.

“This incredibly generous gift from Bob gives us a chance to make genuine headway in understanding environmental causes behind the growing incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in our aging population,” Feldman said. “By making it a matching gift, Bob has in effect doubled down on this research. We’re excited at the opportunity.”

Jacobs was diagnosed a decade ago with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder that causes the immune system to attack nerves, causing muscle weakness, tingling and paralysis. And while the syndrome wasn’t necessarily a result of toxins Jacobs has long held an interest in environmental toxins and their impacts on human health.

“This gives the team more money to do something with,” he said. “Hopefully this gift will allow them to draw the correlation between toxicity and Alzheimer’s disease. Then the question becomes what you do with that information. With the extra money you can do so much more.”

The need for intensified Alzheimer’s disease research has never been greater. The disease affects 5.2 million people in the United States, a number that is expected to double by 2050. The national cost of caring for the AD population is estimated at over $200 billion annually, according to the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on Aging. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by an accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain which, over time, injure and kill brain nerve cells.  As the nerve cells are lost, so is a person’s ability to think, reason and function normally.

About Buddy’s Pizza: Buddy’s Pizza – Detroit’s Original Sicilian Style Square Pizza – was introduced at Buddy’s Rendezvous, a bar in Detroit, in 1946. The business was purchased by Jacobs’ parents, Billy and Shirley Jacobs, in 1970. Today, Buddy’s has 11 locations throughout Metro Detroit.