Two Department of Medicine Faculty Members Receive Prestigious NIH Awards

Two of the Department of Medicine faculty members, Mukesh Jain, MD, and Sandy Markowitz, MD, PhD, were awarded prestigious Outstanding Investigator Awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support their breakthrough work. The highly competitive awards are the largest individual support grants from the NIH and provide funding to investigators with outstanding records of productivity in research by ensuring extended funding stability and encouraging investigators to continue to embark on projects of noteworthy potential.

Dr. Markowitz has a long history of significant scientific breakthroughs in identifying key genetics causes of colon cancer and developing molecular tests for early detection of the disease. Some of his notable discoveries include identifying colon cancer tumor suppressor genes, TGF-beta RII and 15-PGDH, well as developing a test for the detection of colon cancer through stool DNA. The $6.7 million grant Dr. Markowitz received will be used to further advance his work in developing novel methods and drugs for early detection, prevention and treatment of colon cancer.

Dr. Jain is internationally known as a though leader in cardiovascular medicine, he has made significant contributions to the field by identifying a family of proteins known as Kruppel-like factors (KLFs) that regulate critical aspects of heart, blood vessel, and immune cell biology. Dr. Jain’s recent work expands on his previous findings and suggests that KLFs control lifespan and general health. The $ 6.7 million award will support Dr. Jain’s future work in examining ways KLFs influence aging and the affect KLF manipulation has on regulating cardiovascular health and age-associated diseases.