The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research today announced that John J. O’Shea, MD, scientific director at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will be the recipient of the second annual Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine. The Ross Prize is issued via the Feinstein Institute’s peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Molecular Medicine. The Prize, which includes a $50,000 gift, will be formally presented to Dr. O’Shea on June 9 at the New York Academy of Sciences in Manhattan, followed by an academic lecture by Dr. O’Shea and several other preeminent researchers.
The Ross Prize is made possible by the generosity of Feinstein Institute board members Robin and Jack Ross of Upper Brookville, NY. It is awarded annually by Molecular Medicine to mid-career scientists who have made a demonstrable impact in the understanding of human diseases pathogenesis and/or treatment, and who hold significant promise for making even greater contributions to the general field of molecular medicine.
“John O’Shea turned his passion for clinical care into a successful research career pushing the frontiers of molecular medicine,” said Feinstein Institute President, Kevin J. Tracey, MD, who also serves as editor-in-chief of Molecular Medicine. “His dedication and focus on the cytokine field have led to new treatments for immune diseases.”
“It is very humbling to be awarded the 2014 Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine,” said Dr. O’Shea. “From the beginning of my career, I was hoping to make discoveries that are important scientifically, but also directly help people – for me, it doesn’t really get any better than that. It is very gratifying that my efforts to these ends are being recognized by this award."
On June 9, at a ceremony to be held at the New York Academy of Sciences in Manhattan, Dr. O’Shea will be presented the Ross Prize. After the award presentation, Dr. O’Shea; James P. Allison, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Louis M. Staudt, MD, PhD, National Cancer Institute, NIH; and Charles A. Dinarello, MD, University of Colorado at Denver, will each present scientific lectures. These preeminent researchers will discuss the mechanisms of immune system function and signaling, which may improve the treatment for cancer and various autoimmune diseases. To learn more about and register for the Ross Prize celebration and symposium, visit www.nyas.org/RossPrize2014. Registration is free.
Dr. O’Shea has been a physician and immunologist at NIH for 33 years. He has made fundamental discoveries related to the signaling of cytokines – molecules that are critical for the development and functioning of the immune system. His research also has focused on the molecular cause of primary immunodeficiencies, inherited conditions in which immune function is impaired, and the genetic basis of autoinflammatory disorders, conditions in which the body attacks its own tissues. He was awarded a US patent for his work on Janus family kinase inhibitors as a new class of immunosuppressive drugs. Dr. O’Shea developed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which generated one such compound that is approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. O’Shea graduated Phi Beta Kappa from St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY, and received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati. After completing his residency in internal medicine at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, he received subspecialty training in allergy and immunology at NIH. He was appointed chief of the NIAMS Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch in 2002, and became scientific director of the NIAMS Intramural Research Program in 2005. Dr. O’Shea has been the recipient of numerous awards and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
For the Ross Prize, Dr. O’Shea was selected by an awards committee comprised of:
• Christopher J. Czura, PhD, vice president, scientific affairs, and executive editor, Molecular Medicine, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research;
• Betty Diamond, MD, head, Center for Autoimmune Diseases and Musculoskeletal Disorders, Feinstein Institute;
• Peter K. Gregersen, MD, head, Laboratory of Genomics and Human Genetics, Feinstein Institute;
• Göran K. Hansson, MD, PhD, professor of experimental cardiovascular research, Karolinska Institute, Sweden;
• Klas Kärre, MD, PhD, professor of molecular immunology, Karolinska Institute; and
• Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president, Feinstein Institute.
About Molecular Medicine
Molecular Medicine is an open access, international, peer-reviewed biomedical journal published by The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Molecular Medicine strives to understand normal body functioning and disease pathogenesis at the molecular level, which may allow researchers and physician-scientists to use that knowledge in the design of specific molecular tools for disease diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and prevention. To learn more, go to www.molmed.org.
About The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Headquartered in Manhasset, NY, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is home to international scientific leaders in many areas including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sepsis, human genetics, pulmonary hypertension, leukemia, neuroimmunology, and medicinal chemistry. The Feinstein Institute, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, ranks in the top 6th percentile of all National Institutes of Health grants awarded to research centers. For more information, visit www.FeinsteinInstitute.org.