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STOCKHOLM, Nov. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hans Wigzell Research Foundation (Hans Wigzells Forskningsstiftelse) awards its annual scientific prize to Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO, at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. Dr. Tracey receives the prize of USD 100.000 for his contributions to the fields of neuroscience and neuroimmunology and his pioneering discoveries in vagus nerve stimulation, the inflammatory reflex and bioelectronic medicine.
Dr. Tracey's discovery of the body's "inflammatory reflex" – a neural circuit regulating inflammatory responses, is on of his most important achievements. This unique approach combines neuroscience, immunology and electrical engineering to develop therapies and medical devices to modulate the inflammatory reflex treating conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and potentially life-threatening infections.
"The prize is given to Dr. Tracey for his innovative discoveries of the mechanisms of how nerves transmit signals to stop inflammatory diseases," said Hans Wigzell, MD, PhD, on behalf of the Hans Wigzell Research Foundation. "Dr. Tracey's research is a surprising new inroad to treat inflammation using computer chips targeting nerves instead of drugs."
"I am honored and sincerely grateful to Professor Wigzell and the Foundation," said Dr. Tracey, executive vice president of research and Karches Family Distinguished Chair in Medical Research at Northwell Health, New York's largest health system. "This prize celebrates the work of outstanding teams of brilliant colleagues who dedicated years of research in the shared hope of making discoveries that improve the lives of patients needing better therapies for inflammation. Having met some of the first patients who benefited from this work, we now in turn, dedicate this prize to them."
Rhenman & Partners Asset Management is the initiator and founder of the research foundation.
For further information, please contact:Hans Wigzell Research FoundationE-mail: email@example.com
About Kevin J. Tracey, MD
Dr. Tracey is President and CEO and the Karches Family Distinguished Chair in Medical Research at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. Dr. Tracey is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Molecular Medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra-Northwell and Executive Vice President, Research, at Northwell Health in New York.
Dr. Tracey participated in the discovery of the direct inflammatory activity of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) and the direct therapeutic role of monoclonal anti-TNF antibodies. He and his colleagues also discovered the role of HMGB1 in inflammation and identified the molecular mechanisms for signal transduction by signaling through pattern recognition receptors.
His laboratory discovered the molecular and neural mechanism for the reflexive control of inflammation, now termed the inflammatory reflex. They delineated the neurophysiological mechanisms dependent upon action potentials transmitted in the vagus nerve, which regulate a T cell subset producing acetylcholine. This lymphocyte derived neurotransmitter interacts with alpha-7 nicotinic receptors expressed in macrophages and receptor-ligand signal transduction in turn inhibits cytokine release.
These discoveries led to the first clinical trials of neuromodulating devices to replace anti-inflammatory drugs and spawned a new field, termed bioelectronic medicine. This work has been highly cited in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and in other media. Numerous other clinical trials of devices to stimulate the inflammatory reflex in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and other conditions are in progress.
His research has provided novel and basic discoveries that have been translated into clinical development and practice and his work has been published with more than 1,000 co-authors, collaborators, post-docs and students and Dr. Tracey is one of the most cited scientists in the world.
Dr. Tracey received his BS in chemistry, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Boston College in 1979, and his MD from Boston University in 1983. He trained in neurosurgery from 1983 to 1992 at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center and was a guest investigator at the Rockefeller University before moving in 1992 to the Feinstein Institutes. He directs the Laboratory of Biomedical Science and was appointed president and CEO there in 2005.
About Hans Wigzell, Professor of Immunology, Karolinska Institutet
Former President of Karolinska Institutet, former Chairman of KI's Nobel Committee and former Director General of the Infectious Diseases Institute and National Bacteriological Laboratory. Hans is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences IVA. Hans is part of the Scientific Advisory Board within the Foundation.
About Hans Wigzell Research Foundation
The foundation promotes its support of scientific research and education in the medical field, in particular through scholarships and other grants. It will also organize and/or support seminars and conferences. Foundation board:Olle Stenman (chairman), Dan Hoflund, Lynda Ondrasek Olofsson and Göran Nordström. The Foundation has established a Scientific Advisory Board for nominations and decisions. In addition to Hans Wigzell, the scientific advisory board consists of professors Ulf Eriksson, Mats Wahlgren and Ingemar Ernberg.
About Rhenman & Partners Asset Management
Rhenman & Partners Asset Management AB ("Rhepa") was founded in 2008 and is a Stockholm-based asset manager with a focus on the healthcare sector. Rhepa is responsible for the portfolio of a sector fund registered in Luxembourg. The fund is managed by FundRock Management Company S.A. who has commissioned Rhepa to manage the fund's portfolio. Rhepa's experienced investment team is supported by a scientific advisory board consisting of medical experts with a global network of researchers and specialists.
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