UW-Madison News: Researcher wins presidential award

CONTACT: Dave Pagliarini,
608-316-4664, [email protected]

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MADISON – Dave Pagliarini, director of metabolism at the Morgridge Institute for Research and associate professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has received the U.S. government’s highest honor for scientists in the early stages of their careers.

President Barack Obama announced this month that Pagliarini is among 105 recipients nationally of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The awards recognize scientists “who show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge in the 21st century.” PECASE was created in 1996 with the goal of maintaining U.S. global leadership in science.

The Pagliarini lab focuses on the composition and function of mitochondria, tiny cellular structures at the heart of metabolism and energy production. Mitochondria still hold many secrets, and their dysfunction is associated with as many as 150 human diseases, including cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s.

Pagliarini’s team is focused on hundreds of “orphan” proteins used by the mitochondria – proteins that currently have no clear, defined function. Defining these proteins and understanding how they work together as a system will be a major step toward finding their link to disease and developing targeted therapies.

Read more at http://news.wisc.edu/pagliarini-earns-presidential-recognition-for-research-on-mitochondria/