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NIAMS' Kastner Receives Two Awards

Dr. Daniel L. Kastner, chief, genetics section, Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch, NIAMS, was recently awarded the Lee C. Howley, Sr. Prize for Arthritis Research; it was presented in Orlando by the Arthritis Foundation at its yearly national meeting. The award recognizes researchers whose contributions during the previous 5 years have represented a significant advance in the understanding, treatment or prevention of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.

Kastner has also been awarded the Paul Klemperer Award and Medal, and he gave the Paul Klemperer Memorial Lecture. These honors are presented annually by the New York Academy of Medicine to an individual for outstanding scientific achievements and contributions to the study of connective tissue and their diseases.

Joining Dr. Daniel Kastner (second from r) with the Howley prize are Don L. Riggin (l), president and CEO, Arthritis Foundation (AF); Dr. Margaret Beckwith, Kastner's wife; and William J. Mulvihill (r), chair, AF.

Kastner's achievements include cloning the gene responsible for familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), an inherited condition (hallmarked by joint inflammation and episodic fever) that is seen commonly in people of Jewish, Arab, Armenian, Turkish and Italian ancestry. Kastner's group also identified the genetic basis of a dominantly inherited periodic fever. The disorder was originally designated as familial Hibernian fever, because it was first observed in people of Irish descent. It has been renamed TRAPS (tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome) to reflect the common aspects of the disorder in families of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Additionally, Kastner made important contributions to understanding the genetic basis of cystinuria, a rare, inherited disorder that can sometimes cause kidney stones. He has also contributed to the understanding of the underlying genetic structure of the human population. He is now continuing his studies of FMF and TRAPS.

McFarland Honored by MS Society

Dr. Henry McFarland, chief of the NINDS Neuroimmunology Branch, recently received the Society Builder Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society during the organization's national leadership conference held in Washington, D.C. He was recognized for his contributions in the field of MS research. Lee Stillwell, chairman of the board of trustees of the society, presented McFarland with a silver Tiffany pen emblazoned with the caduceus, the symbol of the medical profession, at a Library of Congress dinner attended by 300 people. McFarland came to NIH in 1975 and since then has worked to identify potential immune-related therapies for MS, a chronic nervous system disease.

Horowitz Receives Knutson Award

NIDCR's Dr. Alice Horowitz received the John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award in Dental Public Health at the American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting held recently in Boston. The Knutson award is given to those who "have made an outstanding contribution to improve oral health in the United States." Horowitz received a commemorative silver plate and a check from Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, a sponsor of the award. A health promotion researcher in the NIDCR Office of Science Policy and Analysis, Horowitz has served as a teacher and mentor to many in public health dentistry. Known for her work on dental caries prevention in schools and communities, she is the institute coordinator for the upcoming NIH consensus development conference on dental caries.

Portier Lauded as Outstanding Risk Practitioner

Dr. Christopher Portier, acting director of the Environmental Toxicology Program and the National Toxicology Program, has received the Society for Risk Analysis's 2000 Outstanding Risk Practitioner Award. The award, which was made at the society's recent annual meeting, honors individuals who have made substantial contributions to the field of risk analysis through work in the public or private sector. The award cites Portier's achievements at NIEHS for nearly 20 years that have appeared in more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in risk assessment and risk-related areas.

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