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    St. Jude scientist named Distinguished Biotechnologist

    Memphis, Tennessee - March 7, 2006

    Robert G. Webster, Ph.D., who holds the Rose Marie Thomas Chair at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, has been given the Distinguished Biotechnologist of the Year Award by the New Zealand Biotechnology Association (NZBio) for his work in virology and avian influenza.

    The award is the highest recognition of achievement bestowed by the NZBio, New Zealand’s biotechnology industry organization. The mission of the NZBio is to create the environment for a prosperous New Zealand biotechnology sector.

    In addition to his position at St. Jude, Webster is a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s national academy of science. Webster also directs the WHO Collaborating Center on the ecology of influenza viruses at the animal/human interface; based at St. Jude, it is the only laboratory of its type in the world.
    Webster, a native of New Zealand, was recently named by Scientific American magazine as a “Research Leader” within the 2005 Scientific American 50 for providing insight into how novel influenza viruses spread.

    “Influenza is a continuously re-emerging global threat,” said Elaine Tuomanen, M.D., St. Jude Infectious Diseases chair. “The application of new technologies to successfully race against this virus with novel vaccines is a great achievement for biotechnology and worldwide health. Dr. Webster’s influenza research plays an important role in this global race.”

    The presentation of the NZBio Distinguished and Emerging Biotechnologist Awards was made recently at the association’s annual conference awards dinner in New Zealand.

    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fund-raising organization.


    Last update: March 2006