Dr. Pendyala honored by international society

by Chuck Brown, UNMC public relations | May 14, 2009

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Howard Fox, M.D., Ph.D., and Gurudutt Pendyala, Ph.D., with awards Dr. Pendyala received at the recent Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology (SNIP) conference in Wuhan, China.
Gurudutt Pendyala, Ph.D., a post doc researcher in the department of pharmacology and experimental neuroscience, received the Arthur Falek Young Investigator Award during the recent Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology (SNIP) conference in Wuhan, China.

Dr. Pendyala works in the laboratory of professor Howard Fox, M.D., Ph.D., where he aims to identify biomarkers that can reveal drug targets to treat HIV.

"Guru is an outstanding young scientist and he is very deserving of this award," Dr. Fox said. "He has worked with me for several years and he consistently produces work that pushes the envelope in our area of research."

Dr. Pendyala -- or "Guru" as he is known in Dr. Fox's lab -- won the Falek award for a poster presentation that illustrated changes in monkeys cerebro spinal fluid following infection with the primate equivalent of HIV.

Such changes may show scientists where drugs may be effective in attacking the disease, said Dr. Pendyala, who also won a young investigator travel award that paid for his trip to the conference.

Arthur Falek, Ph.D., was a population geneticist at Emory University in the 1970s who explored the ability of opiates to cause cytogenetic damage. Through these studies, he realized a connection between such damage and the ability of opiates to alter immune function. As he continued this research, he helped stage the integration of the disciplines that compose neuroimmune pharmacology (NIP).

The award that bears his name aims to promote interest in neuroimmune pharmacology and recognize the work of young investigators who work in this area.