Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Awardees of the inaugural Hermann Rahn Award for Excellence in Pulmonary Research


Dr. Sadis Matalon has established the Hermann Rahn Award for Excellence in Pulmonary Researchfor outstanding contributions by junior members of the APS to Pulmonary Biology. Three awards will be distributed during the Respiration Dinner at the 2014 Experimental Biology meeting at San Diego. The purpose of this award is to enhance participation of pulmonary scientists and physicians to the EB meeting and improve the quality and impact of the Respiration Section.

Dr. Hermann Rahn (1912–1990) received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Rochester (1933) and began teaching physiology at the University of Rochester in 1941. He collaborated with Dr. Wallace O. Fenn and Dr. A.B. Otis to lay the foundation of respiratory gas exchange and respiratory mechanics. Some of their seminal findings were published in the American Journal of Physiology (Rahn H. A concept of mean alveolar air and the ventilation-blood flow relationships during pulmonary gas exchange. Am J Physiol 158: 21–30; 1949; Rahn H, Otis AB, Chadwick LE, Fenn WO. The pressure-volume diagram of the thorax and lung. Am J Physiol 146: 161–178, 1946; . Rahn H, Fenn WO. A graphical analysis of the respiratory gas exchange. Washington, DC: Am. Physiol. Soc., 1955). Their work fostered the field of aerospace medicine and advances in pressure breathing and understanding of acclimatization to altitude. The O2-CO2and pressure-volume diagrams are in every respiration book and taught to medical students.

Dr. Rahn joined the University at Buffalo in 1956 as the Lawrence D. Bell Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology. He trained and collaborated with a large number of outstanding physician scientists including Dr. Claude Lenfant (who became the first director of the National Heart. Lung and Blood Institute), Dr. Leon Farhi and Dr. John West. Please see the outstanding article by Dr. West on the “Physiological legacy of the Fenn, Rahn and Otis School, Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 303: L845–L851, 2012; (http://ajplung.physiology.org/content/ajplung/303/10/L845.full.pdf). Dr. Rahn was the 36th President of the American Physiological Society (1963-1964) and a member of the National Academy of Science and is well known to ornithologists for his work on avian eggs. In collaboration with Dr. O. Douglas Wangensteen and Dr. Charles V. Paganelli, he developed a series of equations to describe the interrelation-ships of bird size, egg size, incubation period, shell structure, and energy and water use as well as the diffusion of gases across the egg shell.

After reviewing numerous qualified abstracts (eligibility is also predicated upon submission and presentation of an abstract to the Experimental Biology meeting on one of the Respiration Section topics), the Awards Committee has determined the awardees of the inaugural Hermann Rahn Award for Excellence in Pulmonary Research:

Dr. Fiona Murray, of the University of Aberdeen, for Abstract #1491: Interleukin-33 in pulmonary arterial hypertension: a role in disease pathogenesis? 

Dr. Megha Talati, of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, for Abstract #4357: Mutant BMPR2 expression in Cardiomyocytes Results in an Altered Hypertrophic Response 

Dr. Rajasingh Johnson, of the University of Kansas Medical Center, for Abtract #6336: Combinatorial treatment with epigenetic modifiers inhibits thrombin-induced eNOS/RhoA signaling and restores AJ integrity.


Please join me in congratulating these individuals on their accomplishments. We hope that they will submit their outstanding manuscripts to the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (http://ajplung.physiology.org/)


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