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TGen Researcher Awarded JSPS Fellowship

Prestigious award helps fund additional brain cancer research

PHOENIX, AZ, December 1, 2004 - TGen researcher Mitsutoshi Nakada, M.D., Ph.D., today received a prestigious fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The 2-year $91,743 (10,000,000 yen) fellowship allows Dr. Nakada to continue his work on brain tumors at TGen under Michael Berens, Ph.D., Head of TGen's Brain Tumor Cancer Unit.
Dr. Nakada is currently working at TGen under a 2-year award from the American Brain Tumor Association. His research focuses on therapeutic targets of primary invasive brain tumors called gliomas. A family of genes called ephrins control processes in the brain during normal development, such as how neurons connect with one another, how blood vessels form, and how cells migrate in the brain

Mitsutoshi Nakada, M.D., Ph.D.

"My training in neurosurgery enables me to understand on a personal level the current challenges of treating brain tumor patients," said Dr. Nakada. "This fellowship from the JSPS fuels my strong motivation for brain tumor research, and I hope soon to discover the biological mechanism of glioma invasion. I want to establish a new strategy for treatment of glioblastoma."

Earlier this year, Dr. Nakada published findings that demonstrated the importance of the ephrin receptor in glioma invasion. This may be significant in understanding fundamental process of brain tumor formation and could lead to creating a clinical treatment to eliminate recurrent tumors in glioblastoma patients.

Prior to joining TGen, Dr. Nakada spent seven years as a neurosurgeon at Kanazawa University Hospital in Japan.

"The JSPS Fellowship is a much-deserved acknowledgement of the promise of Dr. Nakada's approach and the unique environment provided by TGen," said Dr. Berens. "He has demonstrated outstanding research progress over the last two years, finding specific genes that are misbehaving in brain tumors. In a rich collaboration with TGen's clinical, academic, and research partners, his experiments now are moving rapidly towards developing ways to target these genes with new medicines."

About JSPS
JSPS was founded in 1932 as a non-profit foundation through an endowment granted by Emperor Showa. It is an independent administrative institution that champions the advancement of science in all fields of the natural and social sciences and the humanities. JSPS plays a pivotal role in the administration of a wide spectrum of Japan's scientific and academic programs. Its primary goals include fostering young researchers and promoting international scientific cooperation. The organization's operation is supported in part by annual subsidies from the Japanese Government.

About TGen
TGen is a not-for-profit research institute whose primary mission is to make and translate genomic discoveries into advances in human health. Translational genomics research employs innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applies them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics, and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases.

Media Contact:
Galen Perry - 602-343-8423


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