JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Guojun Bu, Ph.D., a neuroscientist on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, will receive the 2016 MetLife Foundation Major Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease ─ one of the most prestigious awards given annually to the top scientist in this field of study. The award was presented to Dr. Bu today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto.
Over the past 20 years, Dr. Bu and his medical research lab have produced more than 220 peer-reviewed articles that have been cited more than 10,000 times. Colleagues and other Alzheimer’s researchers say his team’s contributions to Alzheimer’s research rank among the most significant in the field.
“We are very proud of Dr. Bu and his outstanding research team,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., CEO, Mayo Clinic in Florida. “At Mayo Clinic, we are grounded in research, so that we can continually advance the science of healing. Our world-class physicians and scientists strive every day to work toward solving the most complex and deadly health issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.”
Dr. Bu, the Mary Lowell Leary Professor at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, was given the award for his breakthrough discoveries focused on the cell surface receptor called LRP1. Dr. Bu researched the receptor’s role in liver function and discovered that one of its binding partners is apolipoprotein E, or ApoE. When it was discovered that carriers of a gene for the protein called ApoE4 were at significantly greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s in later life, Dr. Bu studied the biology of ApoE and its receptors as they relate to the pathology of Alzheimer’s and related dementia.
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“It is a tremendous honor, and I’m truly grateful to receive the MetLife Award,” says Dr. Bu. “This recognition also affirms the tremendous work by my lab colleagues who have worked diligently with me over the years to find new ways to understand and treat this deadly disease.”
Mayo Clinic is a world leader in research to advance the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Research at Mayo Clinic produces discoveries that translate to new diagnostics, treatment and prevention strategies for some of the most complex neurological diseases. Prior recipients of the MetLife Award on staff at Mayo Clinic are Dennis W. Dickson, M.D.; Clifford R. Jack Jr., M.D.; Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D.; and Steven G. Younkin, M.D., Ph.D.
The MetLife Foundation established the awards in 1986 to recognize and reward scientists demonstrating significant contributions to the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. The awards are administered by the American Federation for Aging Research, which manages the award selection process and presentation. Dr. Bu’s award carries a $100,000 institutional grant and a personal prize of $25,000.
“MetLife Foundation is proud to present this award to Dr. Bu for his exceptional scientific research contributions, which help bring us closer to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias,” says A. Dennis White, president and CEO, MetLife Foundation. “His outstanding contributions, recognized around the world, have helped us better understand this devastating illness.”
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