Kevin P. Campbell, Roy J. Carver professor of physiology and biophysics and neurology at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, received the A. Ross McIntyre Award from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
The award, given for contributions to the study of medicine or medical education, is named for A. Ross McIntyre, who was chairman of the University of Nebraska Medical Center department of physiology and pharmacology from 1935 to 1967.
Campbell is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator as well as director of the Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center and chairman of the department of molecular physiology and biophysics at the University of Iowa. His work focuses on dystrophin, a cytoskeletal protein that is absent in the skeletal and cardiac muscle of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Current projects in his laboratory include investigating the molecular pathogenesis of disorders of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex, looking at the mechanistic basis of maintaining muscle membrane integrity and investigating the structural basis of dystroglycan function as a basement membrane receptor.
Douglas Coleman and Jeffrey M. Friedman received the 2010 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for their discovery of leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite and body weight.
Coleman, an emeritus senior staff scientist at The Jackson Laboratory, established that an appetite-suppressing substance circulates in the bloodstream and signals a second molecule to curb hunger. Friedman, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and the Marilyn M. Simpson professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at Rockefeller University, isolated the gene that encodes the appetite suppressant and showed that fat cells release it. Their studies and subsequent findings demonstrated that the chemical leptin plays the central role in a self-regulating circuit: As fat accumulates, it exudes leptin, which binds to a receptor in the brain that quells the desire to eat.
Now in its 65th year, the Lasker Award is the nation’s most distinguished honor for outstanding contributions to basic and clinical medical research. As many as 79 Lasker laureates also have received the Nobel Prize, including 30 in the past two decades.