Edsel B. Ford II To Receive ESD 2013 Rackham Humanitarian Award: The Engineering Society of Detroit has bestowed its highest honor — the 2013 Horace H. Rackham Humanitarian Award to Edsel B. Ford II, member of Ford Motor Co.’s board of directors and owner and chairman of Pentastar Aviation. The Rackham Award is presented in recognition of an individual’s “outstanding humanitarian achievements as exemplified by meritorious technical accomplishments for the benefit of mankind or by recognition on either a local, national or international level for extraordinary achievements in civic, business, public-spirited or humanitarian endeavors.” Ford is a board member of the International Speedway Corp. and the former Chairman of the Detroit Branch of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank. His philanthropic activities are numerous. He is the former chairman of the National Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, and current trustee of both The Skillman Foundation and The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. He is also very passionate about juvenile diabetes, leading the Ford Global Walk Team, which since 1984 has raised more than $43 million for diabetes research. In addition to his civic activities, Ford is the owner and chairman of Pentastar Aviation, an aviation services provider headquartered at the Oakland County International Airport in suburban Detroit. He is also the majority owner and chairman of Marketing Associates, a Detroit based marketing services company. Born Dec. 27, 1948 in Detroit, Ford received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Babson College in 1973 and completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School in 1981. He is the great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Co. His grandfather is Edsel B. Ford, company president from 1919 to 1943. His late father, Henry Ford II, was president of the company from 1945 to 1960 and chairman from 1960 to 1980. Ford will receive his award during ESD’s Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, June 27 at The Henry Ford Museum. He will be joined by a cadre of award winners representing various industries, backgrounds and skills. For more information about the event, visit www.esd.org or call (248) 353-0735, ext. 112. The ESD Annual Dinner is open to the general public and to the media.
Three Detroit Area Students Among Siemens Scholarships Winners: Three Detroit area students have just been named Siemens Merit Scholarships winners. They are three of 75 students in 21 states who won the scholarship. Each student will be given $4,000 for tuition over the course of their college years, given in installments of $1,000 per academic year. The winning seniors are Lauren Strzyzewski of Troy, a student at Athens High School; Nitin Chandra of Troy, a student at Troy High School; and Neesirg Patel of Sterling Heights, a student at Adlai E. Stevenson. The Siemens Merit Scholarship is an award given to children of Siemens U.S. employees. Recipients were chosen based on high scores on the PSAT as well as academic record, activities, contribution to the community, school recommendation and an essay about personal characteristics, plans and goals. This year the Siemens Foundation awarded $300,000 in scholarship funds on behalf of participating Siemens sectors. By recognizing outstanding performance, the Siemens Foundation hopes to encourage and inspire the next generation of scientists, researchers and thinkers to propel America forward.
Targeted Cancer Therapy Pioneers To Receive $100k Taubman Prize: Two physician-scientists whose research transformed chronic myeloid leukemia from a routinely fatal to a manageable condition will share the 2013 Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science. The $100,000 prize is given by the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, based at the University of Michigan Medical School. This year’s recipients are Brian Druker, M.D., of Oregon Health & Science University, whose work led to the development of the widely used drug Gleevec and served as the proof of principle for targeted cancer therapies, and Charles Sawyers, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, whose studies on resistance to Gleevec led to the development of second generation drugs. The Taubman Prize is presented annually by the Taubman Institute and is open to clinician-scientists — doctors with active patient practices who also conduct laboratory research — around the world. In keeping with the mission of the Taubman Institute, the prize is intended to recognize work in the crucial field of translational medical science by the clinician-scientists who have done the most to transform laboratory discoveries into clinical applications for patients suffering from disease. Druker and his team performed laboratory research that led to the development of imatinib, the generic name for Gleevec. He then led the clinical trials with participation from Sawyers and Moshe Talpaz, M.D. — who now serves on the faculty of the UM Medical School and is associate director for translational research at the UM’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. In contrast to chemotherapies, which are toxic to healthy cells, imatinib targets only cancer cells – leading to fewer side effects. Gleevec has been called a “miracle drug” and “silver bullet” for its ability to halt CML, a cancer that affects the white blood cells. Prior to Gleevec, bone marrow transplantation was the only treatment for CML, with very poor outcomes. But patients taking Gleevec have demonstrated a five-year survival rate of about 90 percent. Since Gleevec was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2001, it also has been found effective for certain gastrointestinal tumors and nine other cancers. Sawyers, recognizing that some patients become resistant to imatinib, performed critical laboratory studies that led to a molecular understanding of the mechanism of this resistance. The understanding laid the groundwork for the development of drugs to combat resistance to imatinib. Together with Druker’s work, this has converted CML from a fatal cancer into one that is highly treatable. Druker and Sawyers will present the keynote addresses at the Institute’s 2013 annual symposium on Oct. 11 in Ann Arbor, where they will be awarded the Taubman Prize trophy. The prize was first awarded in 2012, to Harry Dietz, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins University. Nominations for the 2014 Taubman Prize, which is open to all non-University of Michigan physician-scientists with an M.D. or other medical degree, will be accepted through Feb. 1, 2014. For more information, visit www.taubmaninstitute.org.