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Physiologist receives Korean 'Nobel Prize' (6/11/98)

Byung Pal Yu, PhD, professor of physiology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, received the "Ho-Am Prize" for Medical Science during a ceremony June 1 in Seoul, South Korea.

This award honors individuals who have made outstanding achievements on an international level in Basic Science, Engineering, Medical Science, The Arts or Social Service.

The Ho-Am Prize is known as the "Nobel Prize of Korea." Winners receive a $120,000 monetary award and a 200-gram gold medallion. "I will donate this award money to establish a scholarship fund, and the initial paper work already is done on that," Dr. Yu said.

A Korea native who became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1972, he said receiving the Ho-Am Award is "a lifetime accomplishment for me" because of its importance in Korea.

Working with many colleagues at the Health Science Center, Dr. Yu has made major contributions to understanding of the interaction between aging, dietary restriction and oxidative stress. "Dietary restriction is a potent anti-oxidative action," Dr. Yu said, "and this action is a major mechanism underlying life span extension."

Dr. Yu, who joined the Health Science Center faculty in 1973 and received his PhD at The University of Illinois in 1965, said it is rewarding that his native country is recognizing the importance of research in aging.

Contact: Will Sansom, (210) 567-2570