Penn Vet's Brinster Receives Gairdner Foundation International Award
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Dr. Ralph L. Brinster, V'60, the Richard King Mellon Professor of Reproductive Physiology, was awarded the Gairdner Foundation International Award on October 26, 2006 in Toronto. Dr. Brinster received the award for his "pioneering discoveries in germ line modification in mammals."
First awarded in 1959, the Gairdners are among the most prestigious international awards in medical research, recognizing outstanding contributions by medical scientists whose work will significantly improve the quality of life. Among the 279 Gairdner winners during the past 46 years, 65 have gone on to win the Nobel prize.
Dr. Brinster's research career is noted for many achievements in the field of reproduction, genetics and stem cell biology. In particular, Brinster has been a leader in the biology of germ cells. Early in his career, he established techniques to grow and manipulate eggs, and later used these methods to generate genetic changes in mice and other animals. More recently, Dr. Brinster has created a technique of altering genes in spermatagonial stem cells.
"Ralph Brinster is truly a trailblazer in the field of gene modification in animals," said Dr. Joan Hendricks, V'79, GR'80, dean of the School. "His early findings helped usher in the era of transgenic research and its many medical and scientific benefits, while his current work is at the forefront of stem cell medicine."
Dr. Brinster is the sixth Penn faculty member—and the first from the School of Veterinary Medicine—to win a Gairdner, a list that includes Clay Armstrong (2001), Baruch S. Blumberg (1975), Britton Chance (1972), Daniel J. McCarty (1965) and John H. Gibbon (1960), all from the School of Medicine.
Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine is one of the world's premier veterinary schools. Founded in 1884, the School was built on the concept of Many Species, One Medicine. The birthplace of veterinary specialties, the School serves a distinctly diverse array of animal patients, from pets to horses to farm animals at our two campuses. In Philadelphia, on Penn's campus, are the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital for companion animals, as well as classrooms, laboratories and the School's administrative offices. The large-animal facility, New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, Pa., encompasses hospital facilities for the care of horses and food animals as well as diagnostic laboratories serving the agriculture industry. The School has successfully integrated scholarship and scientific discovery with all aspects of veterinary medical education.
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