The 2012 Scientific Achievement Award winners are listed below.
John Jacob Abel Award in Pharmacology
Jin Zhang, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences,
Neuroscience, and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is the
recipient of the 2012 John J. Abel Award, sponsored by Pfizer. Dr. Zhang receives the John J. Abel Award as
an outstanding young investigator for her contributions to cellular enzymology
that have helped shape the field of pharmacology.
received a B.S. in chemistry from Tsinghua University in China. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of
Chicago where she was recognized for her graduate studies on the problem of
virulence in the plant pathogen Agrobacterium
tumefaciens. Her postdoctoral
studies began at the University of California at San Diego where her
collaborative work is now being intensively applied in academic cell signaling
labs and in the pharmaceutical industry in drug development programs. In 2003, Dr. Zhang was recruited as Assistant
Professor to Johns Hopkins where she has developed a robust independent
research program. She has refined the
protein kinase A reporter which has allowed for greater sensitivity and
temporal responsiveness, leading to several applications in neuroscience,
metabolism, cell invasion, and drug screening.
Her research group has recently published research that reveals the
oscillatory connection between calcium signaling and protein kinase A in
pancreatic β cells, providing new insights about how insulin secretion is
regulated. Dr. Zhang has also developed
novel fluorescent sensors for second messengers for cyclic AMP and phosphatidyl
inositides. Dr. Zhang’s sensors are now
used in over 100 labs worldwide.
Dr. Zhang has
been featured over a three month appointment as the “Ask the Expert” columnist,
a high-profile feature of the journal ACS
Chemical Biology. She has also served as an ad hoc member of a number of
NIH panels. Dr. Zhang is recipient of
the highly acclaimed NIH Pioneer Award and has chaired or organized several
sessions at international meetings in molecular imaging. She was a Chair of the Gordon Research
Conference on Signaling in 2010.
Julius Axelrod Award in Pharmacology
Gavril W. Pasternak, M.D., Ph.D.
Gavril Pasternak has been named recipient of the 2012 Julius Axelrod Award in
Pharmacology by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental
Therapeutics (ASPET). Dr. Pasternak
holds the Anne Burnett Tandy Chair in Neurology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center and is Professor of Neurology & Neuroscience, Pharmacology
and Psychiatry at the Weill Medical School of Cornell University. He is recognized for his major contributions
into the differential roles of opiate receptor subtypes in relieving pain with
diminished side effects. The Julius
Axelrod Award, named after the 1970 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or
Medicine, is given to recognize outstanding scientific contributions in
research and mentoring in pharmacology. The Award was established to honor the
memory of the eminent American pharmacologist who shaped the fields of
neuroscience, drug metabolism and biochemistry.
Pasternak received his Bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Johns Hopkins where he
also obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees and clinical training in
neurology. Following completion of his
neurology residency, Dr. Pasternak joined the faculty of Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where he has remained.
his career Pasternak’s research has focused upon characterization of opiate
receptors. As a graduate student at
Johns Hopkins University, he was part of the team that identified and
characterized opiate receptors and showed how they mediate the actions of these
drugs. In his independent laboratory at
Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Pasternak focused upon subtypes of opiate
receptors. Three principal types of
opiate receptors had been discriminated and differentiated by pharmacologic
analysis and molecular cloning as mu, delta and kappa, with the mu receptors
being the principal mediators of analgesic effects of most opiates. Utilizing both ligand binding and molecular
biological techniques, Pasternak uncovered several novel receptors derived by
alternative splicing of the mu opiate receptor gene. His discoveries markedly altered our
understanding of how opiates act and have led to novel, potent analgesics with
markedly reduced side effects. One
subtype of opiate receptor discovered by Pasternak responds more effectively to
morphine than heroin, while another responds to heroin but not morphine. In recent research, by sculpting molecules
selective for receptor subtypes, Pasternak has discovered new opiate drugs that
are 100 times more potent than morphine with diminished adverse effects and do
not appear to cause physical dependence.
Pasternak’s accomplishments have been recognized by numerous awards including
the Anne Burnett Tandy Chair in Neurology, the John Bonica Award, the S. Weir
Mitchell of the American Academy of Neurology, fellowship in the American
Academy of Neurology and election to the Johns Hopkins University Society of
Pharmacia-ASPET Award for Experimental Therapeutics
Angela M. Brodie, Ph.D.
Angela Hartley Brodie, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and
Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is
the recipient of the 2012 Pharmacia-ASPET Award for Experimental
Therapeutics. The Pharmacia-ASPET Award
for Experimental Therapeutics is given annually to recognize and stimulate
outstanding research in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics—basic
laboratory or clinical research that has had, or potentially will have, a major
impact on the pharmacological treatment of disease. This award is funded
by an endowment from Pharmacia (now Pfizer) and by ASPET.
Brodie earned her Ph.D., in Chemical Pathology from the University of Manchester,
United Kingdom. After receiving her
Ph.D., she was awarded a fellowship from the NIH for postdoctoral training at
Clark University and the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in
Massachusetts. She remained as a staff
scientist and later became senior scientist at the Worcester Foundation. She would later join the University of
Maryland as Research Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and
Experimental Therapeutics in the School of Medicine. Now Full Professor, she also has appointments
in the Department of Physiology and the University of Maryland Greenebaum
Brodie’s major research interests are in breast cancer treatment and the
development and use of aromatase inhibitors and new treatments for prostate
cancer. She is an internationally
recognized scientist for her pioneering research on aromatase inhibitors for
treatment of breast cancer. Her discoveries have provided hope for women who
were previously unresponsive to widely accepted forms of breast cancer
treatment. Her pioneering studies led to
the development of aromatase inhibitors that are now approved by the FDA for
treatment of breast cancer. She has
expanded her research to investigate inhibitors of androgen synthesis as
potential agents for treating prostate cancer.
to her major research accomplishments she has been awarded many of the leading
cancer awards including the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s Brinker
International Award for Breast Cancer Research, the Landon Award from the
American Association of Cancer Research, and the Kettering Prize from the
General Motors Cancer Research Foundation. Dr. Brodie is also involved in the training
of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and teaches in medical and
graduate pharmacology courses. She has
served on many NIH and NCI study sections as well as a reviewer and member of
the integration panel for the U.S. Army Department of Defense Army Breast
Cancer Program. She is also a member of
the Advisory Board for the Komen Foundation.
The Goodman and Gilman Award in Receptor Pharmacology
V. Craig Jordan, Ph.D.
V. Craig Jordan, OBE, Ph.D., DSc,
FBPharmacolS, FMedSci Professor of Oncology and Pharmacology and Scientific
Director at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University
Medical Center, is recipient of the 2012 ASPET Goodman and Gillman Award in
Drug Receptor Pharmacology. The biennial
Award, was established to recognize and stimulate outstanding research in the
pharmacology of biological receptors. Such research might provide a
better understanding of the mechanisms of biological processes and potentially
provide the basis for the discovery of drugs useful in the treatment of
diseases. Dr. Jordan receives this award for his seminal contributions in
developing the pioneering breast cancer drug, tamoxifen.
obtained his B.S. and Ph.D., degrees in Pharmacology from the University of
Leeds, England. While a faculty member
at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental biology and at the University of
Leeds, he advanced tamoxifen from a failed contraceptive to the treatment and
prevention of breast cancer. At the
University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center where he was Director of
the Breast Cancer Research and Treatment Program, he developed the practical
concept of selective estrogen receptor modulation. He would later move to Northwestern
University where he was Director of the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Research
Program. Shortly thereafter he would
become Vice President and Research Director of Medical Sciences at the Fox
Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. He moved to Georgetown in 2009.
of many of the highest honors in science, Dr. Jordan is a member of the
National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of the Brinker International Award
for Basic Science from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Charles F. Kettering
Prize from the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, and the American
Cancer Society Medal of Honor. Queen
Elizabeth II inducted him an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British
Empire (OBE) for services to international breast cancer research. Dr. Jordan also has been honored with the St.
Gallen Prize for Breast Cancer Research, considered the most prestigious Breast
Cancer Prize in the World. He is an
honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a Fellow of the Academy of
Medical Science (UK equivalent of the Institute of Medicine). He is a Fellow of the British Pharmacological
The Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism
Yuichi Sugiyama, Ph.D.
Sugiyama, Ph.D., Professor and Chair in the Department of Molecular
Pharmacokinetics and Professor in the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Regulatory
Sciences at the University of Tokyo is the recipient of the 2012 Bernard B.
Brodie Award. The Brodie Award recognizes Dr. Sugiyama’s
outstanding contributions to our understanding of human drug metabolism,
transport, and to future research in the field. Dr. Sugiyama received his B.S. in Pharmacy and
Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Tokyo.
Sugiyama is a world leader in the pharmacological and pharmaceutical sciences
via integrative studies on the pharmacokinetics and membrane transport of
drugs. He has spearheaded the era of physiologically-based
pharmacokinetics and brought molecular aspects and inter-individual variation
due to genetic polymorphism to light. His
work has highlighted the importance of considering pharmacokinetic properties
of new entities in drug development, using high-throughput screening methods to
test large numbers of drug candidates. Over his career, Dr. Sugiyama’s research
has had a profound impact on how we understand drug disposition among the
population, drug-drug interaction, and drug development.
is internationally recognized by many prestigious awards including, the Medal
of Honor with Purple Ribbon, bestowed by the Government of Japan to the most
highly honored scientists. He is also
recipient of the ISSX Asian Pacific Scientific Achievement Award, AAPS
(American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists) Distinguished
Pharmaceutical Scientist Award, FIP Host-Madsen Gold Medal, and the Pharmaceutical
Science World Congress Research Achievement Award.
Sugiyama is coauthor of more than 570 original publications in international
journals, and is among one of the world’s most cited pharmaceutical
scientists. He has served as an
editorial board member of several international journals, including as an
Editorial Committee member for Annual Review of Pharmacol Toxicol (current
member) and as Editor in Japan of Pharmaceutical
Research, Biopharmaceutics & Drug
Disposition, and the AAPS Pharm. Sci.
The Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement Award in Pharmacology
Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D.
J. Lefkowitz, M.D., Howard Hughes Medial Institute Investigator and James B.
Duke Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at the Duke University Medical Center,
is the recipient of the 2012 Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement Award in
Pharmacology. The award was established in recognition of the
contributions made to drug discovery and development by Dr. Ruffolo to
recognize the scientific achievements of scientists who are at the height of
their careers and who have made significant contributions to any area of
Lefkowitz received his B.A. in chemistry and M.D. from Columbia University.
Following two years of house staff training in Internal Medicine at Columbia
Presbyterian Medical Center and two year fellowship at the NIH, he moved to
Massachusetts General Hospital where he completed his medical residency and
research and clinical training in cardiovascular disease. Upon completion of this training he was
appointed Associate Professor of Medicine and Assistant Professor of
Biochemistry at Duke Medical Center.
Lefkowitz is renowned for his studies in receptor biology and signal
transduction, most notably the characterization of the sequence, structure and
function of the β-adrenergic and related receptors. He is also known for the discovery and
characterization of the two families of proteins which regulate them, the
G-protein coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) and β-arrestins. Dr. Lefkowitz’s lab also cloned the genes for
the β-adrenergic receptor, and then rapidly thereafter, eight other adrenergic
receptors. This work has had profound
implications for understanding hormone and drug receptor interactions and the
mechanisms by which they are regulated. He is among the most highly cited
researchers in the fields of biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology
and clinical medicine. He is also widely
recognized among peers for his dedication to mentoring and his tireless
devotion to his students.
P.B. Dews Lifetime Achievement Award in Pharmacology
James E. Barrett, Ph.D.
James E. Barrett, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine is the recipient of the 2012 P.B. Dews Lifetime Achievement Award in Behavioral Pharmacology. The award is given in alternate years and honors the fundamental contributions of P.B. Dews to behavioral pharmacology. Dr. Barrett’s many contributions to behavioral pharmacology built and expanded upon the many intellectual foundations laid by Peter B. Dews and the broader field of behavioral pharmacology.
Dr. Barrett’s research involves nearly every major aspect of behavioral pharmacology. His numerous research accomplishments have focused on some of the most important concepts and questions in the field of behavioral pharmacology, with particular emphasis on the behavioral determinants of drug action. An important part of Dr. Barrett’s research involved the concepts of environmental context and behavioral history. A landmark study of his showed that a specific behavioral history could impact the behavioral effects of drugs in an orderly and predictable fashion. Dr. Barrett has also dedicated a great deal of research to animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders, especially affective disorders.
Dr. Barrett received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland and his Ph.D. in Psychology and Neurobiology from Penn State University. Following postdoctoral training at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology he received faculty appointments at the University of Maryland and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. He moved to the pharmaceutical industry, first at Lederle Laboratories where he was Director of Central Nervous System Research. His move to Wyeth followed its merger with Lederle where he was Vice President of Neuroscience Discovery Research. He has also held positions as Chief Scientific Officer and President of Research at Adolor Corporation and served as Vice President of Research and Development at Memory Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Barrett has published more than 275 scientific articles, books and abstracts. He has served on numerous NIH review committees and serves on several editorial boards. He was a Past President of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) and currently serves as Chair of ASPET’s Board of Publication Trustees. For several years, he was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the New England Regional Primate Research Center at Harvard Medical School. He is Past President of the Behavioral Pharmacology Society and has served on the board and committees of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). Throughout his career, Dr. Barrett has also been recognized by many colleagues for his great commitment and dedication to teaching and mentoring. Now at Drexel, he established a Masters Program in Drug Discovery and Development to help more fully instruct students on pharmaceutical industry career development.