Scientist at Wistar Institute Awarded Arthritis Foundation Honor

PHILADELPHIA– Lisa Spain, PhD, a scientist at The Wistar Institute, received the 1999 Stewart J. McCracken, MD Award from the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. She was given this recognition for having the highest rated research project in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Dr. Spain’s research focuses on how T cells, which are immune system cells that fight disease, are formed during fetal development in mice. Dr. Spain and her research team found, for example, that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, block T cell development at several key stages by interfering with the synthesis of prostaglandins, which promote cell communications. Their studies show that prostaglandins play an important role in the formation of T cells, and are likely to impact on disease processes such as the development of arthritis.

The Stewart J. McCracken, MD Award is presented annually to the individual receiving the highest rated research project in the Philadelphia area. Projects are graded by a national peer review committee. Dr. McCracken was a long-time member of the Arthritis Foundation board and past president of Medical Affairs of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter. He practiced internal medicine and rheumatology for more than four decades.

The Arthritis Foundation is the source of help and hope for the more than 40 million Americans affected by arthritis. For more than 50 years, the Arthritis Foundation has supported research to find the cures for and methods to prevent arthritis and to improve the quality of life for those affected by arthritis.

The Wistar Institute, established in 1892, was the first independent medical research facility in the country. For more than 100 years, Wistar scientists have been making history and improving world health through their development of vaccines for diseases that include rabies, German measles, infantile gastroenteritis (rotavirus), and cytomegalovirus; discovery of molecules like interleukin-12, which are helping the immune system fight bacteria, parasites, viruses and cancer; and location of genes that contribute to the development of diseases like breast, lung and prostate cancer. Wistar is a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center.

Sources: Wistar Institute, EurekAlert

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