U-M bone marrow transplant expert receives Doris Duke Charitable Foundation award

ANN ARBOR, MI James L.M. Ferrara, M.D., Director of the University of Michigan Health System's Bone Marrow Transplantation Program, is the recipient of the prestigious 2002 Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award in the field of oncology. This is a highly competitive national award in which Ferrara was selected from a field of distinguished candidates in translational cancer research; he is one of only five scientists to receive the award this year.

"Dr. Ferrara has distinguished himself as an expert in the important area of bone marrow transplantation, both in research and clinical care delivery. He has helped propel our bone marrow transplant unit into one of the finest units of its kind in the United States by taking laboratory findings and translating them into improved treatments for our patients. He is richly deserving of this recognition," says Allen S. Lichter, M.D., dean of the U-M Medical School and Newman Family Professor of Radiation Oncology.

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation funded only five such awards in four disease categories: cancer, AIDS, cardiovascular diseases, or sickle cell anemia and other blood disorders. The award includes up to $1.5 million in research funds over the next five to seven years to support Ferrara's ongoing laboratory research for the development of improved therapeutic strategies for prevention and treatment of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), as well as support of career development in young physician-investigators.

Ferrara, who is a professor in the U-M Medical School's Pediatrics & Communicable Diseases and Internal Medicine Departments, focuses his research on GVHD a common and deadly complication of bone marrow transplants used to treat leukemia and other cancers. Instead of the patient's body rejecting a donated organ, as occurs in an organ transplant, the donated bone marrow, called the graft, rejects cells in the host or patient.

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Contact: Mary Beth Reilly
University of Michigan Health System

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