American Heart Association honors Nakagawa

Dr. Osamu Nakagawa, instructor of molecular biology, has received the Louis N. and Arnold M. Katz Basic Research Prize for Young Investigators from the American Heart Association Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences.

Presented in November at the annual American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Fla., the Katz award is among the organization's top honors for a young scientist in basic cardiovascular medicine and research. Dr. Nakagawa received the prize for his identification of an enzyme downstream of muscle-specific gene regulatory programs.

Dr. Nakagawa's work focuses on the molecular mechanisms of cardiac and skeletal muscle development and diseases. He hopes to find novel signaling pathways implicated in human diseases and apply the knowledge of basic research to their treatment and prevention.

"I have been working on this project for the past two years, and winning this award reaffirms my scientific approach," he said. "I am humbled when I look at the other Katz Prize winners and aspire to walk in their scientific footpaths."

Dr. Eric Olson, chairman of molecular biology, said: "Dr. Nakagawa is highly deserving of this prestigious award. He has discovered a new signaling protein that controls growth and development of the heart and has systematically used genetics and biochemistry to unravel its functions. His work has been groundbreaking and charted a path that many others in the field are certain to follow."

Dr. Nakagawa received his medical degree in 1988 and doctorate in 1994 from Kyoto University in Japan and was an assistant professor in medicine at Kyoto and Kumamoto universities until coming to UT Southwestern as a research fellow in molecular biology and pediatrics in 1997.

Initiated in 1969, the American Heart Association Louis N. and Arnold M. Katz Basic Research Prize for Young Investigators encourages new researchers to continue their careers in the basic cardiovascular sciences.

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Media Contact: Scott Maier
Phone: 214-648-3404
e-mail: scott.maier@utsouthwestern.edu

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