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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 14, 2008


CONTACT:

Becky Wexler
202-687-5100
rjw43@georgetown.edu


Georgetown Drug Discovery Expert To Be Awarded Endowed Chair in Experimental Therapeutics


Washington, DC—Have you ever looked at a pill prescribed by your doctor and wondered how it came to be? Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) Professor Milton Brown, M.D., Ph.D., has devoted his career to developing drugs to treat diseases ranging from cancer to seizure disorders to hypertension.

On Thursday, January 17, 2008, Brown’s work will be recognized as he is installed as the inaugural Edwin H. Richard and Elisabeth Richard von Matsch Endowed Chair in Experimental Therapeutics at Georgetown. As chair, Brown will continue to lead Georgetown’s thriving Drug Discovery Program in its mission to develop lifesaving diagnostics and therapeutics.

The endowed Chair is part of a $4.5 million gift from Mrs. Elisabeth Richard von Matsch and the Richard family to support clinical and translational research in drug discovery, research and development at GUMC. Brown and colleagues hope to use their research to narrow the gap between the discovery of tools that improve our knowledge of diseases and the number of new therapies “translated” to the bedside.

“I am really grateful for the generous support of the Richard family,” said Brown. “Their generosity will help us solidify the foundation of one of the only academic drug discovery programs in the country, leading to the creation of many new compounds aimed at helping people live healthier lives.”

Brown will give an overview of the newly emerging field of academic drug discovery and discuss the future of Georgetown’s Drug Discovery Program at a formal ceremony, which will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the New Research Auditorium on the Georgetown Campus.

“Scientific understanding of disease has increased dramatically in recent years,” said Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Health Sciences at GUMC, “but what we now need are the tools and resources to turn these basic discoveries into drugs that will help save lives.”

Brown was recruited by Georgetown in 2006 from the University of Virginia, where he tested thousands of potential drug compounds, leading to a patent for a class of novel oral general anesthetics and more than 20 currently pending patents for various therapeutics including new anticonvulsants and non-addictive pain relieving drugs.  In addition to this work, Brown has several patents on small molecule angiogenesis inhibitors that are licensed and in development for treating acute macular degeneration.

About Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 39 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu.

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through our partnership with MedStar Health). Our mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), home to 60 percent of the university’s sponsored research funding. 

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