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Kastner Honored by Arthritis Foundation

Dr. Daniel Kastner, chief of the Genetics and Genomics Branch at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, was identified by the Arthritis Foundation as producing one of the top 10 research advances of 2003.

Dr. Daniel Kastner
Kastner and his research fellow, Dr. Jae Jin Chae, established an important new finding about the protein pyrin: that it helps to shut down the inflammatory process in the normal response to infection. When the gene that produces pyrin has a certain mutation, the body does not get the proper signals to shut down the inflammatory response. This finding, published in the March issue of Molecular Cell, has implications for the possible role of genetics in the development of arthritis, and supports the theory that some rheumatic and inflammatory diseases begin when individuals with genetic susceptibility encounter certain types of infection.

The "Top Ten" list, announced via teleconference Dec. 3, was developed in consultation with clinicians and scientists as well as with the American College of Rheumatology, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NIH.

NIDCR Dental Research Student Receives Hinman Prize

NICHD's Gabrielle Cannick (l) was recently awarded the grand prize at the Hinman Student Research Symposium sponsored by the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Society (THDS) and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry. At right is Dr. Mustafa Dabbous, coordinator of the Hinman Student Research Symposium at which Cannick won the grand prize. The symposium, held recently in Memphis, brought together 94 dental students from the United States and Canada. Cannick is a D.M.D.-Ph.D. student working on her dissertation research at NIDCR. Her symposium presentation on "Oral Cancer Knowledge among South Carolina Dental Students," garnered her the top prize that includes a plaque from THDS for "Most Outstanding Presentation in Clinical Research" and another from the National Student Research Group, American Association for Dental Research for the "President's Award for Excellence in Dental Research." The award also includes a check and a trip to the annual THDS meeting in March 2004.

Friends of NIDCR Award Bingaman

The Friends of the NIDCR (FNIDCR) recently held its gala annual awards dinner where Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM, center) was honored with the 2003 FNIDCR Lifetime Achievement Award. The organization presents the annual award to a public official who has demonstrated longstanding dedication to fostering health through oral and craniofacial research, education or care. FNIDCR honored Bingaman for his commitment to improving access and delivery of dental care to children. Also on hand are (from l) NIDCR director Dr. Lawrence Tabak, FNIDCR president Dr. Linda Niessen, NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni and Surgeon General Richard Carmona.

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