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Dedication that inspires.
Science that saves lives.

March 2007

John Hart, Ph.D.
John Hart, Ph.D.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, neurological disorders strike an estimated 50 million Americans each year.

The Ewing Halsell Foundation contributed $500,000 to fund one of the Health Science Centerís most critical areas of research - neurodegenerative diseases - and matched the Presidentís Council gifts to the endowment.

These gifts combined allowed the Health Science Center to create, for the first time in its history, a $1 million Presidentís Council Distinguished Chair awarded to an exceptional faculty member - John Hart, Ph.D.

Dr. Hart, professor in the department of biochemistry, joined the Health Science Center in 1998 and has risen rapidly through the ranks of the nationís X-ray crystallographers. In 2003 in the high-impact journal Nature, Dr. Hart reported an exciting discovery that explained why some molecules clump in the hereditary form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrigís disease. His work on a molecule involved in ALS continues today.

"Molecules are art," Dr. Hart says. "They are what make us what we are, and the science I do enables us to get pictures of what they are."

The generosity of philanthropists and foundations, the leadership of the Presidentís Council, and the knowledge and talent of brilliant researchers are moving the Health Science Center closer to its goal of ranking among the top 10 percent of all research universities nationwide.



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