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American Health Assistance Foundation Board Member, Stanley B. Prusiner, M.D., Receives President's National Medal of Science

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CLARKSBURG, MD.-The American Health Assistance Foundation today announced that one of its board members, renowned scientist Stanley B. Prusiner, M.D., received the President's National Medal of Science, the nation's highest honor for science and technology.

Dr. Prusiner was one of 10 awardees named by President Barack Obama. All the recipients will receive their medals at a White House ceremony later this year.

Stanley B. Prusiner, M.D.“Dr. Prusiner has been a longtime leader in research related to degenerative diseases of the nervous system,” said AHAF President and CEO Stacy Haller. “This award highlights not only his achievements, but underscores the importance of the work still left to be done in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease.”

Dr. Prusiner is a University of California, San Francisco professor of neurology and director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997 for his work understanding how improperly folded protein can lead to disease. Though focused on dementia-causing diseases such as “mad cow” disease, and human Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, his work has far-reaching implications for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

AHAF's relationship with Dr. Prusiner began in 1985 with several grants aimed at understanding the structure of these misfolded proteins, and later methods for blocking the conversion of “normal” proteins to misfolded, disease-causing, versions.

About American Health Assistance Foundation 

The American Health Assistance Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures for age-related and degenerative diseases by funding research worldwide on Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma. AHAF also provides the public with free information about these diseases, including risk factors, preventative lifestyles, and current treatments and coping strategies.