The 2013 Alltech Medal of Excellence winner Dr. Eugenia Wang was announced by Dr. Lyons during the opening session for her pioneering work in using high-throughput technologies to explore the molecular signatures of Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias and heart disease.
Dr. Wang, a Chinese-born researcher from the University of Louisville focuses her research on the role of microRNAs as molecular “switches” in aging and age-dependent diseases. Her research has led to diagnostic breakthroughs in challenging age-related diseases.
In her presentation, Dr. Wang painted a picture of a world in the near future where diagnostic tests will enable family physicians to simply take a drop of blood from a patient’s finger and determine if they are progressing towards, or predisposed to, a potentially fatal disease. Dr. Wang explained that age is the time bomb for disease onset, meaning that as you get older it’s harder to remain disease free. Her solution to this is to modify gene expression via diet and behaviour so as to reduce the effects of age, as well as to provide cheap and efficient screening for genetic vulnerability to diseases like cancer and dementia.
The Alltech Medal of Excellence is awarded each year during the opening session of Alltech’s International Symposium and this year was no different. Such widely known and respected names as, Governor John Y. Brown, Dr. Inge Russell, Dr. David Byrne or Prof. Jim Pettigrew to name a few were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the development of the global agriculture and agribusiness industries.