August 21, 2007 - (BRONX, NY) ─ Teresa DiLorenzo, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology and of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, has been selected to receive a 2007 Gail Patrick ADA Innovation Award from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Research Foundation. The prestigious grant, one of only two such awards given each year, will support Dr. DiLorenzo''s research into a therapeutic agent for preventing type 1 diabetes, the form of the disease more frequently associated with onset during childhood.
The two-year, $100,000 grant promotes innovative approaches that could have major impact on diabetes research and the ADA''s efforts to cure diabetes, whether furthering understanding of factors that contribute to diabetes or identifying therapies that can help prevent, treat, or cure the disease that currently affects more than 20 million Americans. Specifically, Dr. DiLorenzo''s award will aid her investigations of a potential therapeutic agent designed to repress a gene that appears to influence development of Type 1 diabetes.
"We hypothesize that by repressing the particular gene that we are targeting, T cell-mediated islet destruction - which is a primary characteristic of diabetes -- will be reduced, thereby delaying or preventing type 1 diabetes development" she explains. "I''m grateful to the ADA and Gail Patrick''s estate for the wonderful support that the grant will afford my lab in conducting the important bench studies necessary to prove our hypothesis."
Dr. DiLorenzo has been a member of the Einstein faculty since 2001, following the completion of her postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Stanley Nathenson, Distinguished Professor of microbiology and immunology and of cell biology at Einstein. Working primarily with mouse models, she investigates the antigenic specificities, pathogenicity, and immunobiology of the CD8 T cell subset in type 1 diabetes, and the research supported by the Gail Patrick ADA Innovation Award is one of several such projects.
Dr. DiLorenzo received her bachelor''s degree summa cum laude from Hofstra University, as well as her master''s degree in biology. She earned her Ph.D., in oral biology and pathology, at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Before pursuing her doctorate, she worked as a research technologist and coordinator in the department of otolaryngology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and while pursuing her doctorate she served as an adjunct instructor of biology at Hofstra, as well as an adjunct lecturer of biology at Queens College of the City University of New York.
The Gail Patrick ADA Innovation Award was established as a tribute to the former motion picture actress, in recognition of the generous grant from her estate in support of diabetes research as well as her role as the first national chairperson of the American Diabetes Association Board of Directors. Ms. Patrick, who lived with diabetes, also is known for co-producing the popular Perry Mason television series with her third husband, Thomas Cornwell Jackson.