Awards and Recognitions

2013 Lee C. Howley Sr. Award Recipient


The recipient of the 2013 Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize for Arthritis Research is Bruce N. Cronstein, MD

Dr. Cronstein received his BA in History from Lake Forest College and his MD from the University of Cincinnati. After training in Internal Medicine at the University of Cincinnati and Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, Dr. Cronstein completed a fellowship in Rheumatology. Although he had never set foot in a research laboratory Dr. Cronstein entered the laboratories of Drs. Rochelle Hirschhorn and Gerald Weissmann where he became totally immersed in experimental work. Dr. Cronstein’s first discovery in the laboratory was that adenosine, a molecule that is generated as a result of the utilization of ATP, the cell’s energy storage molecule, inhibited inflammation. From this initial seminal observation Dr. Cronstein went on to discover that the anti-­‐inflammatory effects of methotrexate, the anchor drug for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis, were mediated by an increase in adenosine release from cells at inflamed sites. While exploring the mechanisms for methotrexate’s toxic effects Dr. Cronstein discovered that adenosine is also involved in the mechanism for fatty liver and liver fibrosis and regulates bone metabolism. In subsequent studies Dr. Cronstein and his laboratory have demonstrated that adenosine plays an important part in wound healing and in the subsequent fibrosis and scarring that occurs in extensive wounds. Dr. Cronstein and his colleagues have also made important observations on the anti-­‐inflammatory mechanism of action ,of such drugs as corticosteroids, colchicine and sulfasalazine and have helped to dissect the pathologic reactions involved in vascular inflammation, a common complication of rheumatic diseases. The Arthritis Foundation has played a critical role in Dr. Cronstein’s career; Dr. Cronstein was the recipient of Fellowship and Arthritis Investigator Awards from the Arthritis Foundation.

The Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize for Research in Arthritis recognizes those researchers whose contributions during the previous five years have represented a significant advance in the understanding, treatment or prevention of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. It is a fitting memorial tribute to Lee C. Howley Sr., former chairman of Revco D.S., Inc., who was instrumental in the establishment of the Revco Arthritis Research Center at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Arthritis Foundation extends its gratitude to the Howley family on behalf of the estimated 50 million Americans who have arthritis for making the Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize for Research in Arthritis possible. The recognition that this program offers for excellence in arthritis research will ensure that the search will continue for cures to the more than 100 forms of arthritis and the rheumatic diseases. The Howley family's expression of commitment offers hope that one day the problems of arthritis will be solved.

Previous recipients include George C. Tsokos, MD, Alisa Erika Koch, MD, Andrew D. Luster, MD, PhD, Wayne M. Yokoyama, MD, John O’Shea, MD, Gerard Karsenty, MD, PhD, Michel Nussenzweig, MD, PhD, Gary Koretzky, MD, David Wofsy, MD, Gary Firestein, MD, Chella David, PhD, David Felson, MD, MPH, Jeffrey Ravetch, MD, David V. Goeddel, PhD, Betty Diamond, MD, Peter Lipsky, MD, David S. Pisetsky, MD, PhD, Daniel Kastner, MD, PhD, Morris Reichlin, MD, Matthew H. Liang, MD, MPH, William P. Arend, MD, Arthur Weiss, MD, PhD, Michael B. Brenner, MD, Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, Barton F. Haynes, MD, K. Frank Austen, MD, Allen C. Steere, MD, Darwin J. Prockop, MD, PhD, John P. Atkinson, MD, Douglas T. Fearon, MD, Robert J. Winchester, MD, Eng M. Tan, MD, Mart Mannik, MD, Dennis A. Carson, MD, Hugh O. McDevitt, MD,C. William Castor, MD, Joan A. Steitz, PhD, Michael Lerner, MD, PhD, and John A. Hardin, MD.                  View Past Award Recipients

Purpose: The purpose of this award is to recognize an outstanding contribution to research that represents a major advance in the understanding, treatment or prevention of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.

Sponsoring Organization:  Support is provided by a generous endowment by the Howley Family.

Eligibility: An investigator is eligible for nomination if he or she has performed major research in a clinical or scientific field directly related to the rheumatic diseases in facilities located within the U.S. during the five years immediately preceding September 2, 2013.

Restrictions: The award will ordinarily be made to a single individual. In exceptional situations, the prize committee may recommend either:

  • Dividing the award equally among more than one investigator from a single research group.
  • Dividing the award among individuals from more than one research group who have made critical contributions to the same research area or problem.

Basis of Judgment: The awardee will be chosen primarily on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Significance of the work to understanding and treatment of rheumatic disease and to initiating and sustaining the field of arthritis research.
  • Originality and innovative insight on the part of the investigator into a major scientific problem.
  • Intellectual and scientific independence of the investigator clear evidence that he or she is the prime intellectual and organizational force behind the particular research effort cited.
  • The magnitude and quality of other career research efforts by the investigator, whether or not related to the major scientific achievement, will be given some weight in case of a close decision.

Nominations: Nominations can be made by any individual who is thoroughly familiar with the work of the nominee and must be co-sponsored by another such individual. One of these individuals should ordinarily be associated with an institution at which some of the work was performed and the other nominator from a different institution.

Award Procedure: The award includes a cash prize in the amount of $10,000 and will be presented at the Evening of Honors dinner on Friday, November 22, 2013, in Nashville, TN.

Download Nomination Guidelines                                 



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