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Release: Nov. 22, 2000

Campbell is awarded G. Conte Prize

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Gaetano Conte Academy has awarded a University of Iowa researcher the G. Conte Prize for Basic Research. Kevin Campbell, Ph.D., Roy J. Carver Chair of Physiology and Biophysics, and professor of neurology, received the award Oct. 1 at the Mediterranean Society of Myology Congress Meeting in Capri, where he also presented his work.

The Gaetano Conte Academy promotes scientific research on diseases of muscle (myopathies) and chronic disorders of cardiac muscles (cardiomyopathies). Every two years the academy awards the G. Conte Prize to three scholars who have recently published papers of significant scientific interest in the field of muscular dystrophy. The prize is awarded for advances in basic, clinical and social research on muscle disease. Muscular dystrophies are a group of genetic diseases that cause weakness and deterioration of muscle tissue.

Campbell, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and UI Foundation Distinguished Professor, was honored for his work toward understanding the function of dystrophin in skeletal muscle. His work uncovered the molecular basis for disease development of muscular dystrophy. Campbell discovered the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex, a network of proteins important in maintaining the structural integrity of muscle-cell membranes. Muscle cells that lack dystrophin start to degenerate because of the instability of the membrane. Campbell’s discovery also made possible the identification of six different forms of muscular dystrophy caused by mutations in genes that code for various parts of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex.

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