Friday, May 18, 2012

MGH/Ragon Institute study receives Top 10

A study led by MGH researchers at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard was among those honored by the inaugural Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards of the Clinical Research Forum (CRF). The CRF is a national organization including more than 50 of the country’s leading academic medical centers. Member organizations receive more than 75 percent of external National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding.

Marcus Altfeld, MD, PhD, of the Ragon Institute and the MGH Division of Infectious Disease, led the study, which was published in the Aug. 4, 2011 issue of Nature and showed for the first time that natural killer cells – part of the body’s first-line defense against infection – contribute to the immune response against HIV.  The discovery may lead to new strategies for preventing or controlling HIV infection. Galit Alter, PhD, of the Ragon Institute, lead author of the Nature paper, accepted the award at the annual CRF meeting in April.

“These achievements represent the top clinical research accomplishments in the eyes of this national jury of leaders and, as such, represent a tangible return on our country’s investment in basic research through the NIH, CDC, Department of Defense and other agencies,” says William F. Crowley Jr., MD, director of the MGH Clinical Research Program and founder and past chairman of the CRF.  “The honored projects represent new hope for the alleviation of human suffering in a broad range of conditions.”

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