Gladstone Director Receives 2012 Abraham White Scientific Achievement Award

Dr. Deepak Srivastava recognized for his contributions to cardiovascular research

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—March 15, 2012—Gladstone Institutes Senior Investigator Deepak Srivastava, MD has won the prestigious 2012 Abraham White Scientific Achievement Award from The George Washington University. Dr. Srivastava, who directs cardiac and stem cell research at Gladstone will share the award with Dr. Luigina Romani, professor of microbiology at the University of Perugia.

Dr. Srivastava is being recognized for his findings concerning how the protein thymosin beta 4 is vital to protect and repair cells that become damaged in a heart attack—pointing the way to its potential use in treating cardiac disease. His research has shown that thymosin beta 4 is not only critical to the development of a heart, but that it also prevents heart cells from dying—while stimulating new blood vessels to form.

“Dr. Srivastava's pioneering studies and scientific contributions have significantly advanced our understanding of the role of thymosin beta 4 in the development and function of the human heart,” said Allan Goldstein, PhD, professor and emeritus chairman of The George Washington University. “His studies have provided the scientific foundation for the potential use of thymosin beta 4 to treat heart attacks and other heart diseases.”

Dr. Srivastava, who joined Gladstone in 2005, uses modern genetic and stem cell technologies to identify the molecular events that instruct progenitor cells to become cardiac cells—and subsequently fashion a functioning heart. In addition to his research with thymosin beta 4, Dr. Srivastava and his lab have successfully reprogrammed connective tissue in the heart directly into beating heart cells—a process that may help regenerate damaged heart muscle.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and basic research in this field is vital to identifying and understanding the causes of human heart disease,” said Dr. Srivastava, who is also a professor of pediatrics, biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), with which Gladstone is affiliated. “I am honored to receive this award and hope our efforts ultimately lead to important new treatments for patients with heart conditions.”

George Washington University presents the Abraham White Scientific Achievement Award annually to honor individuals who have made unique contributions to science and medicine. Notable past recipients include Nobel laureates Bengt Samuelsson, MD, Julius Axelrod, MD, Michael Brown, MD, Joseph Goldstein, MD and Tim Hunt, PhD in addition to a number of other distinguished scientists. The award will be presented today at a special ceremony in Washington D.C.

“We are delighted that George Washington University has acknowledged Dr. Srivastava's exceptional achievements in the field of cardiovascular research,” said Gladstone President R. Sanders Williams, MD. “He richly deserves this recognition due to the creativity and innovation evident in his work—and because of its potential to benefit the millions of individuals suffering from cardiac disorders.”

Before joining Gladstone, Dr. Srivastava was a professor in the department of pediatrics and molecular biology at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center in Dallas. He has received numerous honors and awards, including endowed chairs at UTSW and UCSF, as well as election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Society for Pediatric Research, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

About the Gladstone Institutes
Gladstone is an independent and nonprofit biomedical-research organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discovery and innovation to prevent illness and cure patients suffering from cardiovascular, viral and neurological diseases. Gladstone is affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco.

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