PHILADELPHIA – Alice Chen-Plotkin, MD, NRSA Post-Doctorate Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, has received a Career Award for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Recently, she also received the 2008 Clinician-Scientist Development Fellowship award from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Foundation and The ALS Association.
Alice Chen-Plotikin, MD
Dr. Chen-Plotkin, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research directors Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD, MBA and John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD and colleagues are homing in on a protein called TDP-43, which is seen in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and a type of dementia called frontotemporal dementia.
“The BWF and AAN awards will allow us to deepen our understanding of TDP-43, which we’ve already shown to be associated with neurodegenerative diseases including ALS and frontotemporal dementia,” says Chen-Plotkin. By better understanding TDP-43’s role in regulating gene expression and defining patterns of abnormal gene expression in people with ALS and frontotemporal dementia, researchers hope to trace causes and ultimately develop effective therapies to treat these devastating neurodegenerative diseases.
The BWF Career Award for Medical Scientists (CAMS) program provides $700,000 over five years to bridge advanced postdoctoral/fellowship training and the early years of faculty service. The award, which was given to 16 researchers out of 124 applicants, supports the last years of a mentored position as well as the beginning years of an independent position. Dr. Chen-Plotkin’s husband, Josh Plotkin, PhD, is a previous recipient of a separate award from BWF, the Career Award at the Scientific Interface (CASI), and is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Computer and Information Science in the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences.
The AAN Foundation/ALS Association Clinician Scientist Development Fellowship is part of The Association’s TREAT ALS™ program. The two-year, $160,000 fellowship was formally presented during the American Academy of Neurology's 60th Annual Meeting in Chicago, held April 12–19, 2008. Dr. Chen-Plotkin’s Department of Neurology colleague, William Hu, MD, PhD, received a 2008 Clinical Research Training Fellowship to research whether the amount of TDP-43 in cerebral spinal fluid may correlate to and possible predict specific degenerative conditions.
Chen-Plotkin received her MD from Harvard University in 2003, a master's degree in biological sciences from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes scholar, and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with B.A. in English. She completed her neurology residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital before coming to Penn in late 2007. In addition to her research, she continues to see patients at the Penn Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center.
For more information:
PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #4 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $7.8 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $405 million awarded in the 2017 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report — Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital – the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, a leading provider of highly skilled and compassionate behavioral healthcare.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2017, Penn Medicine provided $500 million to benefit our community.