UMMS SCIENTIST HONORED BY  AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION

July 12, 2004

WORCESTER, Mass.—  Michael P. Czech , PhD, professor and chair of molecular medicine and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) has won the 2004 Albert Renold Award, presented by the American Diabetes Association.

The award, which is named for the renowned physician and researcher, is given annually to an individual whose career is distinguished by outstanding achievements in the training of diabetes research scientists or the facilitation of diabetes research.  The award was presented to Dr. Czech in June at the American Diabetes Associations’ 64th Annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida. “I am honored to receive Albert Renold Award in recognition for my role of mentoring the many students and postdocs that have passed through my lab,” Czech said. “I know that each and every one of them has made a contribution to further advancing our knowledge of diabetes and obesity.”

Throughout his career, Czech has studied type 2 diabetes, which afflicts approximately 17 million Americans. His lab has made important strides in understanding the fundamental mechanisms of the disease. An integral member and associate director of the UMMS Diabetes‑Endocrinology Research Center, one of 15 across the country funded by the National Institutes of Health, Czech directs a lab group of approximately 20 scientists who are at the leading edge of research on diabetes, insulin action and signal transduction pathways involved in metabolic diseases.

Czech has published over 250 papers and trained over 100 postdoctoral and graduate researchers, many of whom have become distinguished scientists themselves in the area of metabolic disease research.  Czech has also won numerous awards for his work including the 2000 Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement, the highest scientific award given by the American Diabetes Association that honors an individual's long-term achievement in the study of diabetes; the Eli Lilly award; and the 1998 Elliot P. Joslin Medal in diabetes research. He currently serves as a member of several editorial boards for journals in the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology, diabetes and oncogene research.

Czech came to UMMS in 1981 as chair of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and served in this capacity until 1992. In 1989, he was named the first director of the Program in Molecular Medicine, a multi-departmental research endeavor made up of 18 laboratory groups that include faculty affiliations with seven basic science and clinical departments of the Medical School. (He became the program’s first chair when it was granted departmental status in 2002.)  Prior to joining UMMS, Czech was a professor of medical science at Brown University, where he earned his doctoral degree in biochemistry in 1972.

In addition to his academic posts, Czech is a cofounder of CytRx Laboratories, which is actively pursuing sponsored research on the study of drug targets acting in insulin signaling and metabolic pathways deranged in type 2 diabetes and obesity.

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The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world- class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. The Medical School attracts more than $153 million in research funding annually, 80% of which comes from federal funding sources. Research funding enables UMMS scientists to explore human disease from the molecular level to large-scale clinical trials. Basic and clinical research leads to new approaches for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. Visit www.umassmed.edu for additional information.

Contact:  Michael Cohen, 508-856-2000, michael.cohen@umassmed.edu