Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award for Neuropathologist

July 31, 2014

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) announced today that Edward B. Lee, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, is one of the seventeen recipients of the 2014 Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award (CSDA). The award aims to strengthen the clinical research field by providing opportunities that help advance the careers of young scientists and provides funding for physician-scientists as they transition to independent research careers.

The three-year award for $486,000 will support Dr. Lee's current research project on transcriptional silencing of C9orf72 in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration. Dr. Lee heads the Translational Neuropathology Research Laboratory, which aims to understand the root causes of human neurodegenerative diseases to translate into specific disease-modifying therapies. The lab uses an interdisciplinary approach to address the mechanisms of neurodegeneration, using and developing such cutting-edge techniques as high-resolution, multi-spectral, 3-dimensional confocal imaging and next-generation sequencing.  

He holds an MD and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed his Anatomic Pathology residency and his Neuropathology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the recipient of the 2012 Excellence in Science Award from the American Society for Investigative Pathology.

The award will allow Dr. Lee to study a mutation in the C9orf72 gene, the most common genetic cause of frontotemporal degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Together with collaborators at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, the ALS Center at Pennsylvania Hospital, and the PENN FTD Center, Lee will determine how epigenetic modifications of C9orf72 affect disease pathogenesis in order to develop novel diagnostics and therapies.

Since 1998, the DDCF has awarded 235 Clinical Scientist Development Awards. The Foundation’s Medical Research Program supports clinical research that advances the translation of biomedical discoveries into new preventions, diagnoses and treatments for human diseases.
Read more in the Department of Communications announcement.