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Caswell Receives Surgeon General's Medallion

NIDCR's Dr. Caswell Evans recently received the Surgeon General's Medallion, the highest honor bestowed by the Surgeon General. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher presented the medallion to Evans at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, held this year in Atlanta. Evans won the medal for his "outstanding efforts in promotion of the health of the public as executive editor for Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General." The document was the first-ever Surgeon General's Report on oral health.

NIDDK's Hoofnagle Honored

Dr. Jay Hoofnagle, director of NIDDK's Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, received the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Distinguished Achievement Award on Nov. 12. The award honors individual researchers for their sustained scientific contributions to the field of liver disease. Earlier this year, Hoofnagle received the Gold Medal from the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver for contributions to liver disease research.

"He's been a pivotal figure in three areas," says NIDDK's Dr. Leonard Seeff, who presented the AASLD award. "He's trained outstanding physicians in the field, he's a leading figure in treating viral hepatitis, and he's been an important figure in supporting research on liver and gastroenterological diseases."

Hoofnagle's findings have provided the scientific underpinnings of now standard treatments for many people infected with hepatitis C. In the 1980s, he and his NIH colleagues began evaluating alpha interferon's antiviral potential in hepatitis B and hepatitis C, then known as non-A, non-B. At the time, few people believed that viral hepatitis could be treated. The pharmaceutical industry became interested when Hoofnagle showed that long-term interferon therapy could control chronic hepatitis C in some patients.

To improve treatments for people with hepatitis, Hoofnagle continues to run clinical trials and organize national and international educational opportunities for those who treat the disease. In 1999, he co-organized an international symposium on hepatitis C and related viruses and NIH workshops on alternative and complementary medicine in chronic liver disease and on hepatitis C in African Americans.

NIDCR Video Wins 'Freddie' Award

NIDCR's videotape "Science Knows No Country" recently won a "Freddie" award from Time Inc. Health, which honored the video with a first prize — the Freddie — in the category of Dentistry for its 2001 International Health & Medical Media Awards. Working with filmmaker Mona Kanin, the NIDCR Office of International Health produced the videotape to highlight the institute's global research agenda.

The principal purpose of the film is to show the importance of international collaborative oral health research, and to communicate that NIDCR supports not only U.S. researchers, but also desires to fund the best research anywhere in the world. To illustrate the value of international collaborative research, the video focuses on two institute efforts: a research program in Africa looking at noma, a form of gangrene that attacks the face, and a cleft lip-cleft palate study in the Philippines. "Science Knows No Country" is dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. David Barmes, one of the video's featured researchers, who served as special expert for international health at NIDCR.

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