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Feinstein Institute Scientist Wins Crafoord Award From Royal Swedish Academy Of Sciences For Arthritis Research

MANHASSET, N.Y., Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced today that Peter K. Gregersen, MD, a scientist at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, will receive the prestigious Crafoord Prize for his genetic research in the area rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Gregersen, center head of the Feinstein Institute's Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics in Manhasset, NY, will be formally presented with the award on May 2 by the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf.

Dr. Gregersen and two collaborators, Robert Winchester, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Lars Klareskog, MD, a professor at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute, are being honored "for their discoveries concerning the role of different genetic factors and their interactions with environmental factors in the pathogenesis, diagnosis and clinical management of rheumatoid arthritis," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in announcing its Crafoord Prize in Polyarthritis.

"The knowledge acquired by the 2013 Crafoord Laureates opens new possibilities for the prevention and better treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Their focused detective work has resulted in a hypothesis that the disease arises from the interplay between genetic inheritance and environmental influences," the Royal Academy said of Drs. Gregersen, Winchester and Klareskog. "According to this premise, joint problems from rheumatoid arthritis may start in another part of the body: the lungs."

Dr. Gregersen will split a $600,000 award with his two colleagues.

Dr. Gregersen has mounted collaborations across the world in an effort to expand the numbers of genetic specimens used to identify specific disease genes, with an emphasis on autoimmune disorders.  The North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium, directed by Dr. Gregersen, has identified several major risk genes for rheumatoid arthritis.

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