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July 19, 2002

John Q. Trojanowski Appointed Director of the Penn Institute on Aging

(Philadelphia, PA) - Renowned researcher and clinician John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been appointed director of Penn's Institute on Aging. His appointment is effective immediately. Dr. Trojanowski has been serving as interim director of the Institute since the departure of Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His main research/clinical interests as a senior fellow at the Institute are neurodegenerative diseases, dementia, and memory loss.

"As co-director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, Trojanowski has demonstrated how much can be accomplished by investigators working synergistically," said Arthur H. Rubenstein, MB, BCh, Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and Dean of the School of Medicine. "I have every confidence that he will have the same extraordinary level of success heading our Institute on Aging, whose stated mission is to improve the physiological, psychological, and social well-being of the elderly through state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research, education, and clinical services."

Trojanowski has been a member of the School of Medicine faculty since 1981. In 1990, he was awarded a five-year $3,500,000 Program Project grant by the National Institute on Aging to pursue multidisciplinary studies of molecular substrates of aging and neuron death associated with Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. In 1991, he became director of Penn's Alzheimer's Disease Center, funded by a $3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, which designated it a comprehensive center - the only one in the Delaware Valley. In 1992, with Trojanowski and Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ph.D., as co-directors, Penn's Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research was established.

Trojanowski's current research centers on the molecular mechanisms underlying neuron dysfunction, degeneration, and death in normal aging as well as neurodegenerative diseases. In his research, he uses immunological, biochemical, molecular, and morphological methods.

In 1998, Trojanowski shared the Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick's, Alzheimer's, and Related Diseases. He was recognized for his contributions to the advancement of the understanding of the neurofibrillary "tangles," one of the hallmark lesions of brains affected by Alzheimer's disease. Recipient of a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health, he has also received the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award for his research on Alzheimer's disease. The National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression honored him with its Established Investigator Award. A member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, Trojanowski has served on the medical and advisory boards of the National Alzheimer's Association and the NIH's National Advisory Council on Aging. Trojanowski has also served as president of the American Association of Neuropathologists.

Lee, who has served with Dr. Trojanowski as co-director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, will advance to director of the Center, and Dr. Trojanowski will become associate director.

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Editor's Note:

Founded in 1765 in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is the nation's first medical school and continues to thrive as a world leader in research and medicine. The Penn School of Medicine consistently ranks highly among the best U.S. medical schools in the regards to both academic and research performance. Working with the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Penn medical researchers and physicians continue to serve the medical needs of Philadelphians and the entire Delaware Valley.

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