|Neal Young, M.D. (left) with NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., at the Sammies award gala on Sept. 13, 2012. Photo credit Sam Kittner/Kittner.com|
Congratulations to Neal Young, M.D., chief of the NHLBI's Hematology Branch, for receiving the 2012 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal ("Sammie") in the Science and Environment category. Nine Sammies are awarded each year to "outstanding federal workers who are making high-impact contributions critical to the health, safety, and well-being of Americans."
The award recognizes Young's work to save the lives of patients with bone marrow failure diseases, including aplastic anemia. Some of the notable accomplishments from his laboratory have been the successful development of immunosuppressive therapies for patients with aplastic anemia and related syndromes; the description of B19 parvovirus as an agent of human disease and the development of a vaccine that is now in clinical trials; and the elucidation of both the immunology and genetics of acquired aplastic anemia, including the first demonstration of pathogenic mutations in TERT, the gene for the telomerase enzyme. In this video, he talks about the importance of conducting clinical trials, some of the benefits of participating in a trial, and a discovery made in his laboratory in 2011 related to the treatment of aplastic anemia.
"It is wonderful to see Neal receive such prestigious recognition for his achievements and his ongoing efforts to improve the lives of people with rare blood and bone marrow diseases," said NHLBI Director Gary H. Gibbons, M.D. "We are proud of the extraordinary public service that he and others of our staff here at the NHLBI perform every day."
Congratulations as well to Lynne Mofenson, M.D., chief of the Pediatric, Adolescent, and Maternal AIDS Branch, in the NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, on being named Federal Employee of the Year for her "pivotal role in preventing the AIDS epidemic among children by devising ways to put an end to mother-to-child transmission."
Read about each honoree at the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals website.