Award recognizes scientific breakthroughs

Phoenix, AZ, November 17, 2005- The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) today announced that Dr. Mitsutoshi Nakada, an associate investigator in the Brain Tumor Research Unit, has received the prestigious Hoshino Award from the Japan Society for Neuro-Oncology for his work in discovering new therapeutic targets for primary brain tumors.

"Dr. Nakada is an exceptionally dedicated and disciplined researcher who shows compassion for brain tumor patients and demonstrates urgency in his approach to developing new therapies through translational research," said Dr. Michael Berens, Senior Investigator at TGen. "He is an integral member of the Brain Tumor Unit at TGen."

A two-year fellowship award from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science supports Dr. Nakada's work at TGen. His research focuses on searching for new therapeutic targets on primary brain tumors called gliomas. Dr. Nakada has made fundamental discoveries on the role of a family of genes called ephrins, which 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. His research at TGen led to the discovery that ephrins help mediate glioma cell invasion.

In addition to receiving the Hoshino Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of brain tumor research, Dr. Nakada presented a lecture at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Neuro-Oncology. Since 1993, the Japan Society for Neuro-Oncology has annually selected one Japanese Neuro-Oncologist to receive the Hoshino Award. The award was named after internationally recognized brain tumor researcher, Dr. Takao Hoshino, who is a former professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Hoshino died from gastric cancer at the age of 55 in 1993.

Prior to joining TGen, Dr. Nakada spent seven years as a neurosurgeon at Kanazawa University Hospital in Japan. He has conducted basic brain tumor research since 1997 in addition to his work as a neurosurgeon. His research in Japan showed a strong interaction between extra cellular matrix degradation enzymes and glioma cells during the invasive process and then he identified a specific inhibitor of the enzyme.

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About TGen
The mission of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is to make and translate genomic discoveries into advances in human health. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applying them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases. TGen is focused on personalized medicine and plans to accomplish its goals through robust and disease-focused research.

Media Contact:
Amy Erickson-TGen (602) 343-8522

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