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Researcher on Aging One of 14 to Win Award

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Raghunatha Yammani, Ph.D., a researcher at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, is one of 14 early-career scientists to receive a 2006 research grant from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR). Yammani is an instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

AFAR, which is dedicated to advancing biomedical research on aging, uses its privately funded research grant program to provide start-up grants to promising early-career medical doctors and scientists studying the basic mechanisms of aging, age-related diseases and the processes underlying common geriatric functional disorders.

Yammani’s research focuses on a protein known as S100A4 that is involved in activating an array of signaling molecules in cells. His AFAR-sponsored project is to learn more about the signaling pathways that may be involved in age-related changes in cartilage. The research may help explain the development of osteoarthritis and may ultimately lead to better therapies for those suffering from the disease.

“This year’s selections represent the best and the brightest new talent our nation has to offer in the field of aging research,” said Richard Miller, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology and associate director for research at the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center and chair of AFAR's research committee. “It is through a greater understanding of the biological processes of aging and the interplay of genes, hormones, diet and even the environment that will allow us to better understand how and why many diseases of aging occur and progress. The ultimate payoff would be to intervene and prevent these diseases from occurring altogether.”

The 2006 AFAR Research Grant Program is supported by: the AFAR Board of Directors, the Bedminster Fund, the Clarence and Ann Dillon Dunwalke Trust, Eisai Inc., the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, the Partners of Goldman Sachs & Company, F.M. Kirby Foundation Inc., Diane Nixon, Pfizer Inc, the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation, Joseph L.K. Snyder Trust, the Starr Foundation and the Irving S. Wright Endowment.

Yammani is a graduate of the University of Hyderabad, India, and received his Ph.D. from Osmania University in India.

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Media Contacts: Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu; or Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, at 336-716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. U.S. News & World Report ranks Wake Forest University School of Medicine 30th in primary care, 41st in research and 14th in geriatrics training among the nation's medical schools. It ranks 32nd in research funding by the National Institutes of Health. Almost 150 members of the medical school faculty are listed in Best Doctors in America.


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