Peter H. Byers receives lifetime award in genetics from March of Dimes
PHOENIX, AZ, MARCH 14, 2008 – A
member of the team that established guidelines for the emerging field
of molecular genetic pathology, which provides new ways to diagnose
disease, is the 2008 recipient of the March of Dimes/Colonel Harland
Sanders Award for lifetime achievement in the field of genetic sciences.
Katz, MD, March of Dimes senior vice president of Research and Global
Programs, presented the award today to Peter H. Byers, MD, of the
Departments of Pathology and Medicine at the University of Washington,
at the Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting of the American College of
Medical Genetics held here.
The specialty of Molecular
Genetic Pathology was established in 1999 by the Assembly of the
American Board of Medical Specialties and is a joint specialty of the
American Board of Medical Genetics and the American Board of Pathology.
It combines the principles and technologies of molecular biology and
genetics and applies them to clinical situations
Dr. Byers’ is known for his ability to integrate clinical
knowledge and molecular genetic analysis in inherited disorders that
involve collagen genes, providing needed information to guide treatment
of connective tissue disorders.
Dr. Byers’ research has
focused on collagen gene mutations and the protein abnormalities they
produce to explain the cause and progression of disorders that affect
the skin, bone, blood vessels and ligaments. Mutations in collagen
genes can cause serious diseases such as forms of Ehlers-Danlos
syndrome, characterized by fragile skin, unstable joints, and early
death from arterial, bowel and uterine rupture; and osteogenesis
imperfecta, (brittle bone disease), a disorder in which bones break
easily, sometimes from only slight pressure.
More information about Dr. Byers’ work can be found online at: http://depts.washington.edu/medgen/faculty/byers.html
Byers began his career at the University of Washington School of
Medicine in 1974 as a Fellow in Medical Genetics and Biochemistry, was
appointed to the faculty in 1977 and named a full professor in 1986. He
is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,
a member of both the American and European Societies of Human Genetics,
the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American
Society for Investigative Pathology. He was Editor-in-Chief of The
American Journal of Human Genetics from 1993 to 1999. He served as
president of the American Society of Human Genetics in 2005 and in 1997
of the American Board of Medical Genetics, the accrediting and
certifying body for the Medical Genetics profession.
March of Dimes/Colonel Harland Sanders Award for Lifetime Achievement
in the field of genetic sciences is given annually to an individual who
has made a significant contribution to the genetic sciences.