DR. PETER AGRE 2009 AWARD RECIPIENT ANNUAL PRIZE FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO LUNG RESEARCH
Dr. Peter Agre, University Professor and Director at John Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, Bloomberg School of Public Health, is the second recipient of the prestigious $50,000 prize from the Will Rogers Institute.
In 2003, Peter shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering aquaporins, protein channels within membranes that allow the movement of water across the membrane. Aquaporins are responsible for numerouse physiological processes in humans and are implicated in multiple clinical disorders including fluid retention, bedwetting, brain edema, cataracts, heat prostration and obesity. Aquaporins also play an important role in the normal physiology and disease in the human airways. Chronic lung injury and lung fibrosis is associated with decreased protein and mRNA expression of aqauporins in the lung. Due to Dr. Agre’s work, researchers around the world now study aquaporins in many species of plants, bacteria and animals and have linked aberrant water transport to a multitude of human diseases and conditions. Currently, Dr. Agre presides over a team of 20 scientists working on everything from designing malaria vaccines to engineering a malaria-resistant mosquito that in theory could out-compete others if released in the wild.
Born in Northfiled, Minnesota, Peter received his B.A. from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and his M.D. in 1974 from John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He served as Vice Chancellor for science and technology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, where he guided the development of Duke’s biomedical research. Agre became director at JHMRI and joined the faculty of hte Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on January 1, 2008. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 2000 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. He is also founding member of Scientists and Engineers for America (SEA), and serves on its Board of Advisors.
The Will Rogers Institute’s Annual Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Lung Research was created to honor individuals for extraordinary work leading to advancements in treatment for lung diseases. The first award was presented to Dr. Francis Collins for his work in identifying the Cystic Fibrosis gene.