Michael O. Thorner
awarded $500,000 grant
U.Va. Health System
has received a five-year, $500,000 Unrestricted Metabolic Research
Grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. The grant will
be supervised by Dr. Michael O. Thorner, chair of the internal
medicine department at the University, a nationally recognized
researcher on growth hormone regulation.
research focuses on two different aspects of growth hormone regulation.
First, he has a major interest in helping to define and understand
the mechanism by which growth hormone declines with age. Secondly,
his studies explore the possibilities of enhancing growth hormone
secretion in the elderly.
metabolic grant program through which unrestricted grants are
given by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation offers the world's
premier metabolic research institutions the opportunity to pursue
new laboratory findings, support promising young scientists or
acquire new laboratory technology.
grant will allow us to leverage our research in a unique way,"
Thorner explained. "We will be able to pursue more innovative
and speculative projects. The traditional granting mechanisms
require preliminary data and proof of concept before funds are
approved and released. This is a rare and wonderful opportunity
which we will use judiciously and effectively."
The Bristol-Myers Squibb grants programs also gives an annual
award for distinguished achievement to an individual researcher.
As the supervisor of an unrestricted metabolic research grant,
Thorner becomes a member of an independent selection committee
that will select the winner of the annual $50,000 Bristol-Myers
Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Metabolic Research.
Thorner is a leading investigator of the molecular mechanisms
involved in the control of the secretion of growth hormones,"
said Dr. Richard Gregg, vice president for metabolic and cardiovascular
drug discovery at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research
Institute. "He is doing exciting work in understanding alterations
in growth hormone secretion with aging, the neuropeptides and
receptors involved in the regulation of growth hormone secretion
and the modulation of this secretory pathway."