SfRBM's Senior Awards Committee has announced that the recipient of the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award is Henrik Poulsen, MD of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
Dr. Poulsen is being recognized for his comprehensive and long-term achievement in the translation of the basic aspect of oxidative stress into human diseases and their treatments.
Poulsen is a National Board of Health-certified Clinical Pharmacologist and Professor in Clinical Pharmacology with over 10,000+ citations of his work. He received a Medical Doctorate from the University of Copenhagen in 1978 followed by an eventual professorship to build programs in human toxicology and environmental medicine, which resulted in the establishment of the Institute of Environmental Health at the University of Copenhagen.
Since the early 1990's, Poulsen's research interests have been in pharmacogenetics, pharmacoepidemiology, and oxidative stress damage to nucleic acids. He has pioneered the development of a state-of-the-art methodology to non-invasively measure the effects of oxidative stress on DNA and RNA and have used this in molecular epidemiology. His group’s major achievement has been finding an association between RNA oxidation, death and death from cardiovascular disease, in patients with type 2 diabetes, in patients with severe psychiatric disease and recently also in the general population.
He has been involved in the creation of a database that includes data on biochemical measurements, DNA and RNA oxidation, detailed questionnaires, vital status, hospitals admission and diagnoses, social and economic data, daylight variations, and all drug prescriptions, in almost 20,000 people. The biochemical measures now also include GWAS data from high density SNP analysis, and present efforts are to identify genes of relation to oxidation of RNA and DNA, and to extend these findings to their relation to death and death from cardiovascular disease in the cohorts. Inclusion of microbiome data is in the pipeline.
Dr. Poulsen will give a featured lecture during SfRBM's 27th Annual Conference titled, "A Lifetime With DNA and RNA Oxidation," which will be available virtually. Click here to learn more about Dr. Poulsen and his work.
SfRBM congratulates Dr. Poulsen on this highly deserved honor.
The recent senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have been emotionally overwhelming and traumatic. These deaths, along with the history of racial injustice and brutality against Black people, are stark reminders that racism continues to function in our society.
To our colleagues, faculty, students, and trainees from vulnerable backgrounds and in particular today to our Black members around the world – we share in your heartbreak, grief, and outrage over these killings. We stand with you in solidarity and we commit as an organization to challenge and confront racism through anti-racist action.
SfRBM will continue to unequivocally denounce and condemn these and other instances of racialized violence and hate. We pledge to continue to advocate on your behalf and support you as we re-commit to address the deep systemic injustice of racism and advancing equity and inclusion for all people.
We do not have all the answers but SfRBM is an organization that values differences, diversity, a shared compassion for humanity and love for science. We call upon our colleagues, members, and the broader scientific community, to commit to anti-racism.
Since everyone’s dreams, aspirations and right to pursue happiness and fulfillment is precious to us, SfRBM’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee will continue to create opportunities, increase the visibility and promote the achievements of our members from underrepresented minority backgrounds.
Phyllis A. Dennery, MD
Brown University / Rhode Island Hospital
on behalf of the SfRBM Council
SfRBM leaders met with key representatives from the NIH Center for Scientific Review in Bethesda, MD on December 9 to discuss how the society can provide a readily accessible pipeline of redox expertise for study sections. SfRBM emphasized the importance of redox biology to a vast array of disease processes as well as an anticipated positive trend of our research in next few years. SfRBM presented data that illustrated the current challenges facing redox-related applications and the lack of qualified study section researchers available to review them.
Of NIH's 180 current standing study sections, over 25% could benefit from redox representation yet either fail to have redox expertise on their roster or redox biology keywords in their listed "Topics" or "Shared Interests and Overlaps". Importantly, approximately 50% of the top 20 study sections receiving redox-related applications neither "advertise" by using redox-related key words nor have redox biologists on their roster. For example, Neural Oxidative Metabolism, Mitochondria and Cell Death Study Section (NOMD), Pathobiology of Kidney Disease Study Section (PBKD) and Tumor Cell Biology Study Section (TCB) all fit this category.
To address the discordance between application focus and representation, CSR indicated that there are opportunities for SfRBM to identify strong reviewers in redox biology to fill some of these gaps. CSR also announced that they are rolling out a new database specifically for societies to make direct reviewer recommendations. SfRBM will be reaching out to members to identify those who would have an interest in serving as a reviewer and would meet CSR prerequisites including a strong publication and research funding track record.
SfRBM also agreed to help CSR diversify the composition of their panels - a topic that was identified as critical to their mission. CSR representatives advised SfRBM how individual redox researchers can improve how they identify their expertise in research grants submitted to NIH. Many investigators may pay little or no attention to this opportunity when submitting a grant application. They pointed out that using "redox biology" alone may not be the best as it is very broad. More specificity in the researcher's profile is crucial in CSR finding reviewers for grant applications. CSR advised paying particular attention to these seemingly trivial details as well as using current terms relative to the field and avoiding terms from 20 years past.
SfRBM's delegation included Phyllis Dennery (President), Holly Van Remmen (President-Elect), Eric Kelley (Advocacy Chair), Chris Kevil (Redox Biology journal co-editor in chief) and Kent Lindeman (Executive Director).
WVU’s Eric E. Kelley, Ph.D., and the University of Minnesota’s Laura Niedernhofer, Ph.D., have published a new study in Redox Biology that could change the way we look at aging in humans. Through a new discovery of the main driver of aging in cells, their research shows that it may be possible to slow the aging process. In the 1950’s, Denham Harmon published a groundbreaking theory correlating antioxidants and aging, but since then there have been few findings that validate directly this theory. This new study provides that validation which has been missing.
SfRBM's Senior Awards Committee has announced that the recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award is Daret St. Clair, Ph.D., of the University of Kentucky, for her seminal work on the role of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) in cancer development and therapy.
A recent breakthrough by Dr. Thomas Michel of Harvard School of Medicine has shown that insulin impacts the body in a unique way. The study, recently published in FRBM, unveiled an entirely unexpected mechanism whereby insulin-dependent generation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in cardiac myocytes controls heart contractility and critical cell signaling pathways. These research findings have direct implications for our understanding of diabetic cardiomyopathy, which is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for patients with diabetes.
This special issue contains a collection of state-of-the art review articles and an updated overview of HNE involvement in human pathophysiology. It will be a valuable resource for researchers in the field, graduate and post-graduate students as well as grant awarding agencies. The issue is dedicated to the discovery of HNE and leading scientist Hermann Esterbauer on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of his death.
Dr. Chris Kevil has been named as the new Co-Editor in Chief of Redox Biology, replacing Dr. Victor Darley-Usmar who stepped down after 5 years of leading the editorial team.
SFRBM's Senior Awards Committee has announced that the recipient of the 2017 Discovery Award is Gregg Semenza, Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Semenza was recognized for his discovery of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1a) transformed the redox field.