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NHLBI's Young To Give Mider Lecture

NHLBI's Dr. Neal Young will be this year's G. Burroughs Mider Lecture speaker, an honor bestowed on intramural scientists. He will present, "Learning from Human Disease: Aplastic Anemia, Autoimmunity and Its Malignant Consequences," on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2005, at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.

Young is an international authority on bone marrow failure, especially aplastic anemia. A graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins Medical School, he began his full-time career at NIH in 1976 and has spent much of his time researching the immunologic and genetic bases of aplastic anemia, myelodysplasia, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and the inherited marrow failure syndromes. He has been chief of the NHLBI Hematology Branch for over 10 years.

Dr. Neal Young
Young's work, which has encompassed the clinical treatment of patients, basic laboratory experiments in hematopoiesis (blood cell production) and virology and the epidemiology of blood diseases, has had a worldwide impact. He is credited with characterizing aplastic anemia as an immune-mediated disease and pioneering immunosuppressive therapy in Clinical Center protocols.

In aplastic anemia, the bone marrow cannot produce sufficient red cells, white blood cells and platelets, and patients suffer from anemia, bleeding and life-threatening infections. Although rare, aplastic anemia affects mainly young people. Left untreated in its most severe form, it is almost always fatal.

Through Young's work, immunosuppressive therapies have resulted in a dramatic increase in survival rates for aplastic anemia, from less than 10 percent to more than 70 percent. Young has accrued the largest population of patients with marrow failure diseases in the world because of the success of his programs at NIH. His interests have taken him to Thailand to conduct a large NHLBI-sponsored epidemiologic study of aplastic anemia in a country where the disease is more common.

Young's laboratory research has included not only studies of basic hematopoiesis, but also characterization of the important human pathogen parvovirus B19, which infects bone marrow cells. He and his colleagues have developed a candidate recombinant parvovirus vaccine now in trials.

The G. Burroughs Mider Lecture was created by the NIH scientific directors in 1968 to commemorate Mider's distinguished career, which included a term as director of NIH laboratories and clinics. For information and for reasonable accommodation, call Hilda Madine, (301) 594-5595.

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