Gerson's research interests are in the areas of stem cells and DNA repair. In his stem cell research, he developed mesenchymal stem cells as a therapeutic infusion for blood stem cell transplantation and for the correction of genetic disorders. This therapy is approaching FDA approval. He identified a gene therapy strategy method that creates drug resistant stem cells capable of selectively repopulating the recipient without the need for high dose toxic therapy.
This strategy is now used experimentally and clinically throughout the country. In the area of DNA repair, he developed inhibitors of DNA repair to improve the efficacy of anti-cancer agents. Both are currently in clinical trials. Finally, Dr. Gerson has developed transgenic mouse models that examine the role of critical genes in the stability of stem cell populations over the lifetime of the animal. These studies may predict stem cell diseases of aging and cancer. His research has generated 12 patents in the area of gene therapy and cancer drug development that have been licensed to three companies.
Austin, who served as director of the NCATS Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation since the creation of the Center in December 2011, is leading NCATS in its mission to catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that will enhance the development, testing and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions. Austin is applying his experience across the spectrum of translational research to identify commonalities among diseases and implement a system-wide approach to accelerating the translational science process, thus speeding the delivery of interventions that improve human health.
Austin came to NIH in 2002 from Merck, where his work focused on genome-based discovery of novel targets and drugs. He began his career at NIH as the senior advisor to the director for translational research at the National Human Genome Research Institute, where he initiated the Knockout Mouse Project and the Molecular Libraries Roadmap Initiative. Other NIH roles have included serving as director of the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program as well as the NIH Chemical Genomics Center and as scientific director of the NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics.
Austin earned an A.B. summa cum laude in biology from Princeton University and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed clinical training in internal medicine and neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a research fellowship in genetics at Harvard.
Presentation of the 2014 Case Western Reserve
Davis is the principal investigator for the school’s $64.6 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program, continued for a second-five year period in 2012; until last year’s renewal, the original 2007 award of $64 million was the largest the National Institutes of Health had ever awarded in Northeast Ohio
Dean Davis also is a prolific researcher whose work focuses largely on cystic fibrosis. She has published with more than 130 articles in peer review journals, and has continuously funded by the NIH for more than three decades.
She holds seven U.S. patents and is a founding scientist of Copernicus Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company that creates novel pharmaceutical targeting and delivery systems. She has served in prominent roles such as the Advisory Council to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Davis has been a recipient of the Paul Di Sant’Agnese Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Rosenthal Prize for academic pediatrics, the Smith College Medal, and has regularly been named in "Best Doctors in America" and "Top Doctors." She also has been elected to the Association of American Physicians, and inducted into the Cleveland Medical Hall of Fame and the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame.
Davis received her BS in chemistry, summa cum laude, from Smith College in 1968, receiving her PhD in physiology and pharmacology in 1973 and MD in 1974, both from Duke University.
The National Center for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) builds upon leading research and clinical programs at its founding institutions, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Athersys and The Ohio State University, in heart disease, cancer, genetic disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases, coupled with a 25-year history of research on non-embryonic stem cells at these institutions. This combination of outstanding clinical and research programs combined with tested and proven experience of using non-embryonic stem cell transplantation to treat patients makes this center unique in the United States.
Since 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has been dedicated to enhancing human health as a leader and innovator in the fields of medical education and biomedical research. Building upon its proud history while embracing today’s challenges, the school’s mission remains unchanged: to educate future physicians who will care for patients with competence, creativity and compassion, in a setting that fosters collegiality, leadership, and excellence in scholarship and research.