The first-ever William Warren, Jr. Prize for Excellence in Celiac Disease Research, with a prize of $25,0000 funded by the Oklahoma-based William K. Warren Foundation was awarded to Ludvig Sollid, M.D., Ph.D., professor at the Immunology Institute at the University of Oslo in Norway. Sollid, who was nominated for the award by Nobel Laureate Rolf Zinkernagel, was selected by a
national panel from among ten world-class scientists nominated for the prize.
Sollid is among a stellar list of speakers for the event, which also included Frits Koning, Ph.D., Professor of Immunology at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands; Alaa Rostom, M.D., associate professor of medicine and community health science at the University of Calgary in Canada; Chaitan Khosla, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, clinical engineering and biochemistry at Stanford University; and Martin F. Kagnoff, M.D., professor of medicine and pediatrics at UCSD and director of the William K. Warren Medical Research Center for Celiac Disease.
Sollid’s research at the University of Oslo demonstrated that in order for a person to develop Celiac Disease, he or she must have inherited specific genes from either or both parents. He and his colleagues defined the mechanism and structural basis by which specific molecules contribute to the disease. Sollid’s essential new insights into the pathogenesis of Celiac Disease underlie several new therapies currently being explored for Celiac Disease.
UCSD’s Research Center and the symposium are funded by a $2.5 million gift from the William K. Warren Foundation, announced in December 2005. Research investigators at the center include Kagnoff, a widely recognized expert in the field of celiac disease; Michael Karin, Ph.D., UCSD School of Medicine professor of Pharmacology, widely recognized for his studies on the signaling and regulation of inflammation; and Hilde Cheroute, Ph.D., UCSD associate adjunct professor of medicine, a world authority in the immunology of the small intestine.