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Published: 2008-06-16

Genetically-oriented researchers named honorary doctors by faculty of medicine

NEWS John Hardy, world-leading expert on the genetics behind stroke and other neurological diseases, and Anne Tanner, respected researcher of bacteria in the oral cavity, have been named this year's honorary doctors by the Faculty of Medicine at Umeå University.

Professor John Hardy – born in Lancashire, United Kingdom, and currently established at University College, London – is a world renowned authority in the area of neurogenetics, namely the hereditary background of the diseases of the nervous system, and is known for his discovery of the link to chromosome 21 in some forms of Alzheimer's disease. He has received several prestigious awards for his research and has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology (Medicine).

He has just returned his homeland after 15 years in the United States, including as chief of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at the National Institute of Aging (NIA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Early in Hardy’s career in the beginning of 1980s, he participated in Bengt Winblad’s research team at Umeå University, where he had been expressing his interests in clinical conditions such dementia and stroke.

He is currently initiating research collaboration with Professor Per Wester at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine and Umeå Stroke Center to study the issues regarding the genetic reasoning for the return to sickness after stroke.

Associate Professor Anne Tanner – born in London, United Kingdom and currently active at the Forsyth Dental Research Centre and Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, USA – is an internationally respected researcher in the field of molecular genetics with a focus on oral microbiology.

She has been primarily engaged in the role of various bacteria in the onset of early periodontal diseases (periodontitis) in adults and so-called early childhood caries (ECC). She was one of the pioneers in studying dental plaque, biofilm, on the teeth surfaces with DNA hybridization. In these studies, two periodontal bacteria have been named after Dr. Tanner.

Anne Tanner has ongoing research collaboration with the Department of Odontolgy at Umeå University, and is also a co-supervisor to a doctoral student, Eleni Kanasi, who has received training at Tanner’s laboratory. More exchanges are planned in the coming years.

For more information, contact:

Professor/Chief Physician Per Wester, the unit of Medicine (Hardy); Phone: +46 (0)90-785 25 84;
E-mail: per.wester@medicin.umu.se

Professor Ingegerd Johansson, Department of Odontology (Tanner); Phone: +46 (0)90-785 60 35, Mobile: +46 (0)70-577 60 35;
E-mail: ingegerd.johansson@odont.umu.se

Editor: Hans Fällman