Prestigious Cozzarelli Prize Awarded

Congratulations to senior authors Dr. Carolyn Coyne and Dr. Yoel Sadovsky who have been awarded the Cozzarelli Prize in the biomedical sciences for a July 2013 paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that showed the cells of the placenta may have a unique ability to prevent viruses from crossing from an expectant mother to her growing baby and can transfer that trait to other kinds of cells.

The annual Cozzarelli Prize, established in 2005 and later named to honor late PNAS Editor-in-Chief Nicholas R. Cozzarelli, acknowledges papers that reflect scientific excellence and originality. Six papers received this award for 2013.

“We are very proud of our research paper and are gratified that the scientific community deems our work noteworthy,” Dr. Coyne said.

“To receive the Cozzarelli Prize is a tremendous honor,” Dr.  Sadovsky said. “Our findings revealed elegant and complex mechanisms that have evolved to keep viruses from infecting the placenta, which could help us develop therapies for other kinds of viral infections.”

Co-authors from the article included Dr. Elizabeth Delorme-Axford, Dr. Saumendra Sarkar and MVM Graduate Student Avraham Bayer, all of whom are associated with MMG. Other co-authors include other researchers from MWRI; the University of Pittsburgh departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Cell Biology and Physiology, and Surgery; and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

View the PNAS announcement of winners.

View the UPMC News Release.