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    Morehouse School of Medicine Scientist Named Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar

    Atlanta - Ruben Rene Gonzalez-Perez, Ph.D., assistant professor in Morehouse School of Medicine's (MSM) Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Immunology, has been named a Georgia Cancer Coalition (GCC) Distinguished Cancer Scholar and will receive $50,000 annually for five years to support his research efforts.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Contact: Gayle Converse / (404) 756-6701 / gconverse@msm.edu
    Contact: Judy Stanton / 404/584-0527 / jstanton@georgiacancer.org

    Atlanta - Ruben Rene Gonzalez-Perez, Ph.D., assistant professor in Morehouse School of Medicine's (MSM) Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Immunology, has been named a Georgia Cancer Coalition (GCC) Distinguished Cancer Scholar and will receive $50,000 annually for five years to support his research efforts. The Coalition selects scientists engaged in the most promising areas of cancer research that can strengthen the state's research talent, capacity, infrastructure, and funding.

    Gonzalez is one of the leading scientists in the specific field of leptin signaling and cancer biology. Leptin, a hormone found in fat cells, has been suggested as a potential link in the positive correlation between obesity, post-menopause and breast cancer incidence. Gonzalez' laboratory is studying innovative ways of inhibiting leptin signaling to prevent and/or treat breast cancer.

    Gonzalez has been with MSM since 2006. He was recruited from Boston, where he remains active as an adjunct scientist and instructor of the Boston Biomedical Research Institute and an associate scientist of the Vincent Center of Reproductive Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He studied Pharmaceutical Biochemistry and has a doctorate in Enzymology and Microbiology from the University of Havana in Cuba.

    "We believe Dr. Gonzalez' studies on chemoprevention and treatment of cancer using his novel leptin inhibitors could provide important data to develop a new way to reduce breast cancer incidence and its devastating consequences," says Sandra Harris-Hooker, Ph.D., MSM vice president and senior associate dean for Research Affairs. "His work will contribute to our School's national reputation in the research enterprise."

    Since its inception in 2001, the GCC has named seven Distinguished Scholars at MSM. In addition to Gonzalez, the other MSM Distinguished Cancer Scholars are: Lee S. Caplan, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.; Roland Matthews, M.D.; Veena R. Rao, Ph.D.; E. Shyam P. Reddy, Ph.D.; Ralah H. Shamsa, Ph.D., M.P.G.; and Xuebiao Yao, Ph.D.

    "Funding Scholars is an investment not only in Georgia's future as a national leader in cancer control, but also is valuable in attracting increased funding to Georgia for cancer research," said GCC President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Todd. "The Distinguished Cancer Clinicians and Scientists program is the cornerstone of the Georgia Cancer Coalition's efforts to advance scientific discovery into the prevention, treatment, causes, and cures of cancer."

    The GCC review committee examines the scholars' history of grants, publications and patents, and considers the researchers' potential for attracting future funding. In fiscal year 2007, GCC Distinguished Scholars were responsible for bringing $47 million in privately and federally funded research grants into the state of Georgia.

    Selection is based on how the applicant's research relates to the goals of the Coalition, the research priorities of the National Cancer Institute and the strategic plan of the sponsoring institution. Each application is reviewed by both an external scientific review committee and an advisory review committee appointed by the Coalition in cooperation with Georgia's research universities. Members rank scholars according to predetermined scientific and technical criteria.

    The Georgia Cancer Coalition is an independent, not-for-profit organization that unites government agencies, academic institutions, civic groups, corporations and health care organizations in a concerted effort to strengthen cancer prevention, research and treatment in Georgia, with the ultimate goal of making Georgia one of the nation's premier states for cancer care. The mission is to reduce the number of cancer-related deaths in Georgia. The Coalition is the first of its kind in the nation. For further information, visit www.georgiacancer.org.

    Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) recruits and trains minority and other students as physicians, biomedical scientists and public health professionals committed to improving the health and well-being of communities. MSM is a member of the largest consortium of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the world - the Atlanta University Center (AUC). For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, visit us online at www.msm.edu.


    Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), located in Atlanta, Georgia, recruits and trains minority and other students as physicians, biomedical scientists and public health professionals committed to improving the health and well-being of communities. MSM is a member of the largest consortium of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the world - the Atlanta University Center (AUC). For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, visit us online at www.msm.edu

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