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May 15, 2008
By Anne McMillin
The University of Nevada, Reno recognized the School of Medicine’s Iain L. O. Buxton, Pharm.D., with its Outstanding Researcher Award at its annual “Honor the Best” awards ceremony yesterday at the Joe Crowley Student Union on campus.
“It is my pleasure to recognize Dr. Buxton for his outstanding research efforts in the areas of premature birth and breast cancer metastasis. His findings bring great credit to the overall profile of the research program and the School of Medicine,” said Mark L. Brenner, Ph.D., vice president for research and dean of the graduate school.
The goal of Buxton’s research program is the prevention of premature birth, a devastating problem that has no clear cause. Buxton’s team at the School of Medicine has discovered an altered gene in some mothers that deliver preterm that may help explain at least some preterm births as well as offer hope of treatment.
Premature birth (delivery before 37 weeks of gestation) is increasing and now accounts for 12 percent of pregnancies in the U.S. and accounts for 75 percent of all fetal morbidity and mortality. If Buxton’s team’s results can be extended to a larger number of cases of preterm labor, they may be able to use this genetic marker to predict preterm deliveries, so premature babies can be born with optimal management. Such findings could also lead to development of new medicines to prevent or stop preterm labor.
The award is given by a committee comprised of past award recipients and recognizes outstanding research achievements of international stature.