The award, which was created in 2002 to recognise unique, outstanding contributions among particular scientific disciplines, is periodically made to a former recipient of the Smith Family New Investigator Awards Program, which supports newly appointed junior faculty engaged in innovative basic research in the areas of AIDS, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or neuroscience.
Honoured as a Smith Family New Investigator in 1994 for his work in diabetes and obesity research, Lowell is the fourth recipient of the foundation's Award for Excellence in Medical Research, for which he received a $65,000 cash prize.
”The New Investigator Awards Program was created because we wanted to ensure that our support of medical research would make a difference,” says Richard A. Smith, co-chair of the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation.
Lowell's investigations utilize genetically engineered mice to probe the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for obesity and its complications. These studies have led to important discoveries regarding the means by which the brain controls fat stores.
Among other findings, Lowell's lab has discovered an important role for uncoupling protein-2 in causing obesity-induced loss of pancreatic beta-cell function in type 2 diabetes. He has also identified molecular pathways mediating diet-induced thermogenesis and established the importance of beta-adrenergic receptors in regulating energy expenditure.
His laboratory is also in the process of conducting neuroanatomical mapping studies to identify neurocircuits that may be important in regulating food intake and energy expenditure. Lowell is Director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Transgenic Program.
MEDICA.de; Source: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center