Research!America to Honor Health Research Advocates

Satcher, Wallace and Nobel Laureates are Among Awardees
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WASHINGTON—Jan. 24, 2007—A former U.S. surgeon general, world renowned journalist and two Nobel laureates are among those who will be honored for their exemplary advocacy for research to improve health at Research!America's 11th Annual Advocacy Awards gala on March 20.

"It is an honor to recognize our 2007 Advocacy Award winners, all of whom have done so much to advance health research broadly," said Mary Woolley, Research!America president. "In recognizing them and their work which includes focuses on mental health, cardiovascular, epilepsy, obesity and stem cell research, we hope also to inspire more advocates to action."

Mike Wallace, CBS News correspondent emeritus will be presented with the Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion.

Wallace has brought new understanding and hope to sufferers of depression and other mental illnesses by speaking candidly and in great detail about his descents into and recoveries from depression. He has reached millions regarding the promise of psychiatric research and the needs of psychiatric patients, in part through his memoir Between You and Me and in his 2005 farewell interview on "60 Minutes," for which he had been a correspondent since its 1968 premiere.

The award benefactor, Isadore Rosenfeld, MD, of Weill Cornell Medical Center, is one of the nation's preeminent physicians, health editor for PARADE magazine, a best-selling book author and a Research!America emeritus director.

The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award for Sustained Leadership at the National Level will be presented to David Satcher, MD, PhD, director, Center for Excellence on Health Disparities, Poussaint-Satcher-Cosby Chair in Mental Health, Morehouse School of Medicine. Satcher served as Surgeon General of the United States from 1998 through 2002, and founded the National Center for Primary Care at Morehouse.

Only the second person in history to have held the positions of surgeon general and assistant secretary for health simultaneously, his work transformed the nation's approach to public health because of his insistence that policy be based on solid research. He spearheaded efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health and oversaw the release of reports on topics including mental health, suicide prevention and obesity.

Award benefactors Beverly and Raymond R. Sackler, MD, are long-standing Research! America supporters. Raymond Sackler is a Research! America emeritus director.

Susan Axelrod, president and founder of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) will receive the Gordon and Llura Gund Volunteer Leadership Award. Axelrod launched CURE in 1998 with two other mothers who, like Axelrod, have children struggling with epilepsy. Her efforts have helped CURE raise $5 million and award more than 50 grants for research. Axelrod was instrumental in organizing the CURE-National Institutes of Health conference "Curing Epilepsy-Focus on the Future," which drew international attention, and several workshops and other conferences to help advance epilepsy research.

Award benefactors Llura and Gordon Gund have been innovative supporters of health research for more than 30 years. In March 2006, Gordon Gund was honored with a Research!America volunteer leadership advocacy award for his role in advancing research for retinal degenerative diseases.

The Paul G. Rogers Award for the Organization That Has Distinguished Itself by its Advocacy will be presented to the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research for its bold and effective work since 2001 to ensure that the voices of patients, scientists and physicians were heard in the debate over stem cell research and the future of regenerative medicine. Sean Tipton, CAMR president, will accept the award.

The award, underwritten by Hogan & Hartson LLP, is named for The Honorable Paul G. Rogers, a former Congressman, renowned advocate for health and Research!America chair emeritus.

Research!America's new Builders of Science Award recognizes individuals who have helped establish a research facility or build the credentials and reputation of an existing institution.

The inaugural Builders of Science Award will go to Nobel Laureates Michael Brown, MD and Joseph Goldstein, MD, and Donald W. Seldin, MD, for their collaborative work to build the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas into a top-ranked institution. Brown and Goldstein, who together received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1985 for their discoveries concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism, are regental professors at the medical center. Seldin is a chair in internal medicine.

Research!America is the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a much higher national priority. The 2007 Advocacy Awards represent Research!America's 11th year of recognizing the accomplishments of leading advocates for medical and health research.

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You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter