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People briefs

For immediate use

May 15, 2007

Local angles: Lexington, Ky.; Pittsburgh, Pa., Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill high school students to cycle across US to raise cancer research funds

Seven high school students from Chapel Hill will bicycle 3,700 miles across the United States this summer to raise funds for and awareness of cancer research at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. The ride, called WaBu (Washington or Bust) Cycle Tour, begins in Aberdeen, Md., on June 10 and concludes 10 weeks later in Annacortes, Wash.

David Hare, one of the riders, knows firsthand about UNC Lineberger because his mother, Gill, was treated for breast cancer there in 2002 and is now cancer free. “Almost everyone I know has been affected by cancer in some way, whether it’s a friend, a family member or themselves,” Hare said. “We WaBu riders want to raise money for the scientists and physicians at UNC Lineberger to conduct research that will help as many people as they can.”
 
In addition to Hare, the riders will be Kit Brown, Adams Conrad, Heath Hudgins, Matt Moulton, Daniel Pearce and Angelo Sharp, with leaders Brian Burnham and Brad Wilson. The cyclists hope to raise $10,000 for cancer research at UNC.

For more information about the ride and to make donations, visit: http://www.wabucycletour.com/index.html

UNC Lineberger contact: Dianne Shaw, (919) 966-7834 or dgs@med.unc.edu

Local angles: Chapel Hill, Durham

Associate professor receives Defense of Democracies fellowship

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C., has awarded an academic fellowship to David Schanzer, an adjunct associate professor of public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Schanzer is also the director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, created in 2005 as a collaborative effort by Carolina, Duke University and RTI International. The center is based at Duke, where Schanzer is a visiting associate professor at the Sanford Institute of Public Policy.

The academic fellows travel to Tel Aviv, Israel, for a 10-day course on terrorism, with lectures by academics, diplomats, military and intelligence officials, and politicians from Israel, Jordan, India, Turkey and the United States. The fellowship also includes visits to military bases, border zones and other security installations to learn the practical side of deterring terrorist attacks.

News Services contact: Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415 or susan_houston@unc.edu

Local angles: Baltimore, Md.; Chapel Hill

Johns Hopkins scientist receives seventh Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has named Dr. Solomon Snyder, distinguished professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as recipient of the seventh annual Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize.

The prize carries a $10,000 award and is given to recognize a seminal achievement in neuroscience. Synder is being honored for his identification of opiate receptors in the brain that led to the discovery of brain chemicals, enkephalins and endorphins, that have opiate-like effects. He also developed specific techniques for localizing the opiate receptors, ultimately mapping their regional distribution in the brain.

Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research and economic development and professor of cell and molecular physiology, will present the award on Wednesday (May 16). Snyder will deliver the Perl Prize lecture immediately following the ceremony. The lecture begins at 3 p.m. in the Medical Biomolecular Research Building (MBRB) auditorium on the UNC campus.

Dr. Edward R. Perl is Sarah Graham Kenan professor of cell and molecular physiology at UNC’s School of Medicine. Thirty years ago, he was the first to prove that a particular class of nerve cells (now called nociceptors) responds exclusively to stimuli that are perceived as painful. These cells now are targets of intensive efforts to find drugs that block their function.

Previous awardees are Dr. David Julius from the University of California at San Francisco, Dr. Roderick MacKinnon from Rockefeller University, Dr. Linda Buck from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Dr. Richard Axel from Columbia University Dr. Roger Tsien from the University of California at San Diego, Dr. Roger Nicoll from University of California at San Francisco, and Dr. Rob Malenka from Stanford University School of Medicine. MacKinnon, Buck and Axel were subsequently awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries.

School of Medicine contact: Les Lang, (919) 843-9687 or llang@med.unc.edu