Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mass. General's Rudy Tanzi a "Rock Star of Science"

Celebrity rock stars join with GEOFFREY BEENE GIVES BACK® and GQ Magazine in shining a spotlight on leading scientists and the promise of medical research

Alzheimer's disease researcher Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital adds another distinction to his scientific career when he joins Aerosmith's Joe Perry and other rock celebrities Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Will-i-am, and Seal in a designer menswear photo shoot as a "Rock Star of Science" in the June issue of GQ Magazine, now on newsstands. Tanzi and 10 other leading medical researchers turned in their lab coats to be GQ'd for the launch of "Rock Stars of Science" (ROCK S.O.S.), a new public service campaign sponsored by GEOFFREY BEENE GIVES BACK and GQ Magazine that spotlights the need for greater funding for medical research and works to make science a more attractive career choice for tomorrow's stars.


ROCK S.O.S. aims to bridge a serious recognition gap that, according to a recent Harris Interactive survey for Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, makes Britany Spears more influential than Stephen Hawking among most Americans. In fact, an earlier survey commissioned by the national organization Research!America found that nearly three-fourths of those polled could not name a single living scientist.


"Important medical breakthroughs are impossible without broad public support, and support needs mainstream recognition," says Tanzi. "If medical and scientific research could get the same attention as a great band like Aerosmith, just think how much faster we’d be able to rase the funds needed to cure diseases like Alzheimer's."


Director of the Genetics and Aging Unit in the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, Tanzi contributed to the discovery of all three known genes underlying inherited, early-onset forms of Alzheimer's disease. He and his team are continuing to investigate the genetics involved with the more common late-onset form, and his 2008 discovery of four genes that may significantly increase risk was named one of the "Top Ten Medical Breakthroughs" of the year by Time Magazine. Tanzi is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.


In addition to showcasing Tanzi's work, ROCK S.O.S. will also focus on other scientists - including Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, leader of the Human Genome Project; and Nobel-Prize winner Harold Varmus, MD, former director of the National Institutes of Health - and their breakthrough research in cancer, HIV-AIDS, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and advances in genetics and personalized medicine. The campaign will be supported by a website www.rockstarsofscience.org, to be launched on June 1, 2009, that will profile the scientists, their teams and research institutions. Readers will also have the opportunity to sign a declaration calling for more funding for science research, nominate their own Rock Stars of Science, and qualify for limited edition campaign giveaways.


ROCK S.O.S. is made possible by the designer menswear brand, GEOFFREY BEENE with a unique business model of corporate giving. One hundred percent of net profits from GEOFFREY BEENE, LLC fund philanthropic causes. Today, the GEOFFREY BEENE Foundation and the GEOFFREY BEENE Brand have supported over $145 million in charitable commitments to a variety of medical causes including the lead recipient, the GEOFFREY BEENE Cancer Research Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Additional charitable support goes to its Alzheimer's Initiative, the GoRed For Women campaign, signature CFDA and YMA Fashion Scholarships, Veterans' support, protection of animals, and the welfare of women and children, in partnership with Macy's through the Family Violence Prevention Fund. For more information, contact www.geoffreybeene.com.


GQ Magazine is the leading men's general-interest magazine with a monthly readership of 6.1 million readers. The magazine is published by Condé Nast Publications. For more information, contact www.gqconnects.com.


Massachusetts General Hospital, established in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $500 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine.

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