Lowell receives Smith Family Award for Excellence in Medical Resarch

June 14, 2005

BOSTON - Bradford B. Lowell, MD, PhD, an investigator in the Division of Endocrinology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has received the Smith Family Award for Excellence in Medical Research from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation.

The award, which was created in 2002 to recognize unique, outstanding contributions among particular scientific disciplines, is periodically made to a former recipient of the Smith Family New Investigator Awards Program, which supports newly appointed junior faculty engaged in innovative basic research in the areas of AIDS, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or neuroscience.

Honored as a Smith Family New Investigator in 1994 for his work in diabetes and obesity research, Lowell is the fourth recipient of the foundation's Award for Excellence in Medical Research, for which he received a $65,000 cash prize at a scientific meeting held May 24.

"The New Investigator Awards Program was created because we wanted to ensure that our support of medical research would make a difference," says Richard A. Smith, co-chair of the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation.

Lowell's investigations utilize genetically engineered mice to probe the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for obesity and its complications. These studies have led to important discoveries regarding the means by which the brain controls fat stores.

Among other findings, Lowell's lab has discovered an important role for uncoupling protein-2 in causing obesity-induced loss of pancreatic beta-cell function in type 2 diabetes. He has also identified molecular pathways mediating diet-induced thermogenesis and established the importance of beta-adrenergic receptors in regulating energy expenditure. His laboratory is also in the process of conducting neuroanatomical mapping studies to identify neurocircuits that may be important in regulating food intake and energy expenditure.

An associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Lowell received both his medical degree and a doctoral degree in physiology from Boston University School of Medicine. He went on to complete his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in endocrinology, both at the former Beth Israel Hospital. He is Director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Transgenic Program.
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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.harvard.edu.

ABOUT THE SMITH FAMILY FOUNDATION

The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation has been a major funder in the greater Boston community for more than 40 years. In addition to supporting groundbreaking medical research and Boston's healthcare institutions, the Foundation supports nonprofit organizations making significant contributions in the areas of youth development, poverty alleviation, and cultural enrichment.

The Smith Family Foundation welcomes contributing partners to support the New Investigator Awards Program. Because the Foundation assumes all administrative costs of the program, every dollar from other donors goes directly to support the award recipients. Contributing partners to the New Investigator Awards Program have included the Dolphin Trust, the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust, and two anonymous donors.

Launched in 1991 by the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, the Smith Family New Investigator Awards program supports promising young scientists engaged in new and innovative basic research in the areas of AIDS, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neuroscience. Now entering its 14th year, the program has made awards to 82 new investigators and provided close to $10 million in research support.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

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