DALLAS – April 2, 2012 – Dr. Eric N. Olson, chairman of molecular biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, is the winner of the 2012 Steven C. Beering Award for outstanding advancements in biomedical or clinical science.
Dr. Olson is known for his work at the interface of developmental biology and medicine that identified major genetic pathways controlling the formation of the heart and other muscles. Several drugs based on his research are currently under study.
The award is given annually by the Indiana University School of Medicine.
At UT Southwestern, Dr. Olson directs the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Basic Research in Cancer and the Nearburg Family Center for Basic and Clinical Research in Pediatric Oncology.
A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, Dr. Olson will present a lecture to medical students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and medical residents on the Indianapolis campus Oct. 16, followed by the Beering Award lecture on Oct. 17. The award includes a medal and a $25,000 prize.
Dr. Olson holds the Pogue Distinguished Chair in Research on Cardiac Birth Defects, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Science, and the Annie and Willie Nelson Professorship in Stem Cell Research.
Several Beering awardees have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. 1990 Beering winner Dr. Alfred G. Gilman, UT Southwestern professor emeritus of pharmacology, was awarded a Nobel in 1994.
The Passano Foundation recently named Dr. Olson the winner of the 2012 Passano Award, a $50,000 prize created in 1943 to honor U.S.-based research that leads to real-world applications. Dr. Olson will accept that prize April 30 in Baltimore.
Twenty-three Passano Award recipients have gone on to win the Nobel Prize including Dr. Gilman, Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein, chairman of molecular genetics; and his 1985 co-winner Dr. Michael S. Brown, director of the Erik Jonsson Center for Research in Molecular Genetics and Human Disease. Dr. Brown holds the W.A. (Monty) Moncrief Distinguished Chair in Cholesterol and Arteriosclerosis Research, and the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine. Dr. Goldstein holds the Julie and Louis A. Beecherl Jr. Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science, and the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine.