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University of Iowa News Release

April 26, 2005

Freed To Deliver Ojemann Lecture April 29

Curt R. Freed, M.D., professor of medicine and pharmacology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, will present the Ralph H. and Freda E. Ojemann Visiting Professorship Lecture Friday, April 29. Freed will present, "Neurotransplantation for Parkinson's Disease," from 4 to 5 p.m. in room 2117 of the Medical Education an Biomedical Research Facility (MERF). The event is free and open to the public.

The Ralph H. and Freda E. Ojemann Visiting Professorship, which the Ojemann children established to honor their parents' commitment to education, is an endowed fund established to bring a distinguished professor to the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine each year. Ralph Ojemann served on the UI faculty from 1929 to 1965.

The event is sponsored by the UI Departments of Psychiatry, Neurosurgery and Neurology, and the UI Carver College of Medicine.

The program will begin at 2:30 p.m., with a welcome and introduction from Robert G. Robinson, M.D., UI professor and head of psychiatry. From 2:45 to 3:45 p.m., Robert L. Rodnitzky, M.D., UI professor of neurology, will present "Advances in the Diagnosis and Medical Therapy of Parkinson's Disease." Freed will present his lecture at 4 p.m., and from 5 to 6 p.m. Ricardo Jorge, M.D., UI assistant professor of psychiatry, will discuss, "Mood and Anxiety Disorders Associated with Parkinson's Disease." A reception will follow.

Freed has been a member of the medicine and pharmacology faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine since 1975. He serves as head of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Department of Medicine and is director of the Neurotransplantation Program for Parkinson's disease. He was director of the school's neuroscience program from 1997 to 2002.

Freed earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry and physics from Harvard College in 1965 and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1969. He completed residencies in internal medicine at Harbor General Hospital in Los Angeles and psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. A three-year research fellowship in clinical pharmacology at the University of California-San Francisco followed and inspired his interest in neurochemistry and Parkinson's disease.

Freed is a pioneer in studies of L-dopa in patients with Parkinson's disease. His exploration into the brain's control of dopamine release led to a landmark study in 1999 showing that transplanting human fetal dopamine neurons into patients with Parkinson's disease could be beneficial. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in March 2001, showed that transplants survived in 85 percent of patients regardless of age and without immunosuppression. Freed has taken results of this study and is moving forward with efforts to develop dopamine neurons from human embryonic stem cells that will be suitable for transplant into Parkinson patients.

Freed is the author of numerous scientific articles, and in 2002 he published "Healing the Brain," a book for general audiences that describes the political as well as scientific aspects of his human neurotransplantation research. The book was co-written with the well-known science author Simon LeVay.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, (319) 335-8032,