Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

03.25.11 | By Kate Connors

On The Catalyst, Grady and I write often, and generally, about the researchers - be they government-funded, academic, or with biopharmaceutical companies - that create America's collaborative research ecosystem. Today, we get to know one a little bit better.

This Wednesday, the PhRMA Foundation announced the recipient of its Award in Excellent in Pharmacology/Toxicology, naming University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine professor Bryan L. Roth, PhD.

The award honors researchers who previously received PhRMA Foundation grants early in their careers, later distinguishing themselves through outstanding scientific and/or academic achievements.

As Dr. Roth said, "Essentially, the PhRMA Foundation makes a bet on young investigators, and no one knows for years whether it was a good bet or not. I am happy I was able to find success and, hopefully, will continue to find it for many years.

Dr. Roth is humble, having had remarkable success as both a researcher and an academic. Much of his research has focused on how central nervous system drugs affect the brain's neurons, the goal being to investigate existing treatments in order to find new therapies and mitigate side effects, particular for conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and eating disorders.

In another project, Dr. Roth and his colleagues at UNC, together with scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, developed and validated a computer model that can allow researchers to predict likely side effects before a drug is even put into clinical testing. It has provided information about interactions between medicines and their disease targets that could not be predicted based on their chemical structures.

The award will be presented to Dr. Roth April 9 at a meeting of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

The work that Dr. Roth does is remarkable. Incredibly, he is one of hundreds of thousands of researchers doing similarly noteworthy work across the U.S. Wouldn't it be great to celebrate them all?

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