Okada Receives Prestigious Award

Pittsburgh, June 1, 2001 -- Hideho Okada, MD, PhD, research assistant professor of neurological surgery, has been announced as one of this year's fifteen recipients of the Clinical Scientist Development Award presented by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

This national award is presented by the foundation to help prepare and support new investigators as they begin their careers as independent clinical researchers. The program, inaugurated in 1998, is limited to the development of clinical researchers in cardiovascular diseases, cancer, AIDS, and sickle cell anemia and other blood disorders.

The award is part of the foundation's Medical Research Program, This program seeks to support clinical research and address the gap between the exponential increase in basic biomedical discoveries and their application to improve human health. The foundation believes that a vigorous clinical research enterprise is essential for the timely translation of basic research findings into new treatments, preventions, and cures for human diseases.

Approximately $45 million has been awarded to recipients since the program's inception according to the foundation.

Dr. Okada joined the faculty in the Department of Neurological Surgery in 1996. His major research interests lie in biological therapy for cancers, especially malignant brain tumors. He holds a patent from the United States Patent Office for Adeno-Associated Virus Vectors Comprising a First and Second Nucleic Acid Sequence. Dr. Okada is the principal investigator on two grants dealing with tumor vaccine and co-PI on an NIH grant for therapy with activated NK cells for gliosarcomas.