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2018 Gerstner Career Development Awards boost hereditary cancer and Parkinson’s disease research at Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine announced 2018 Gerstner Family Career Development Award in Individualized Medicine, which are given to early-stage investigators to advance individualized therapies. The award provides funding for research that furthers an individualized approach to predicting, preventing, treating and possibly someday curing disease.

Niloy “Jewel” Samadder, M.D. (GIAE ’11), Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, received a 2018 Mayo Clinic Gerstner Family Career Development Award in Individualized Medicine for research focused on designing a unique stool or blood test that could help detect a cancer at a very early stage anywhere in the body at the point when it is most curable. Dr. Samadder’s research will focus on screening for inherited mutations in cancers including colon, uterine, Lynch syndrome, breast/ovarian, BRCA syndrome and duodenal. Dr. Samadder is an associate professor of medicine in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Fabienne Fiesel, Ph.D. (NSCI ’12), Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic in Florida, received a 2018 Mayo Clinic Gerstner Family Career Development Award in Individualized Medicine for research seeking to discover new biomarkers of health and disease with the goal of preventing, treating and curing Parkinson’s disease through precision medicine. Dr. Fiesel’s research centers on a fundamental cell biology pathway that links two genes involved in rare hereditary forms of Parkinson’s. She hopes to find a biomarker that will help to identify mitochondrial problems in Parkinson’s disease patients. Her project seeks to identify which patients might be candidates for mitochondrial therapies when they are ready to be studied in clinical trials. Dr. Fiesel is an assistant professor of neuroscience in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

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