May 24, 2001
Vol. 20 No. 17

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    Joint medical societies award professor in Medicine

    By John Easton
    Medical Center Public Affairs

    Julian Solway, Professor in Medicine and Pediatrics and Director of the Asthma Center at the University, has received the 2001 Award for Outstanding Work in Science as Related to Medicine from the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, two medical societies that merged in 1998.

    The award, given annually since 1958, honors “an outstanding contribution to medicine.”

    Previous winners include several scientists who also won the Nobel Prize, including neuroscientist Eric Kandel, who won this award in 1989 and the Nobel for Medicine in 2000; and cancer researchers Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus, who won this award in 1987 and the Nobel in 1989.

    “This is quite an honor to receive an award with such a distinguished history,” said Solway. “It is a testament to the work our entire team has been doing, not just in the laboratory but also in the community, where asthma is common, and often poorly understood and inadequately treated.”

    Solway is being honored for his contributions to both the basic science and the public understanding of asthma. His laboratory research investigates asthma-related abnormalities in the structure and function of smooth muscle cells that encircle the airway tubes (and constrict the airways during an asthma attack). The National Institutes of Health and the Sandler Program in Asthma Research fund Solway’s laboratory work.

    His public awareness efforts include the creation of the University’s Asthma Center. Solway assembled a multidisciplinary team of researchers, educators and community outreach workers to teach physicians, patients and residents of local communities about asthma.

    The Center has established asthma classes at the University Hospitals and organized an outreach program for residents of Chicago Housing Authority developments and for Chicago Public School nurses, teachers and staff members.