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MBL Alumnus Wise Young Named to Esquire Magazine's "Best and Brightest"

WOODS HOLE, MA—Esquire magazine has named Dr. Wise Young to its list of ‘Best and Brightest’ men and women of 2005. Young, an alumnus of the MBL’s (Marine Biological Laboratory’s) Neurobiology course and a leader in spinal cord injury research, is featured in the December issue of the magazine.

In the early 1970s, Young spent two summers at the MBL while pursuing his doctoral degree at the University of Iowa. He was a student in the 1972 Neurobiology Course and a Grass Fellow a year later. Last August, the MBL hosted Young as its first Distinguished Alumni Lecturer, which recognizes a prominent MBL course alumnus or alumna who is making strides in his or her field of study. For most of its 117-year history, the MBL has offered career-altering courses to some of the world’s most promising young scientists, many of whom go on to become leading research biologists. There are currently 12,500 MBL course alumni worldwide.

Young is founding director of the W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience at Rutgers University. He was part of the team that fifteen years ago discovered and established high-dose methylprednisolone (MP) as the first effective therapy for spinal cord injuries. This overturned concepts that spinal cord injuries were permanent, refocused research, and opened new vistas of hope. He also developed the first standardized rat spinal cord injury model used worldwide for testing therapies, formed the first consortium funded by the National Institutes of Health to test promising therapies, and helped establish several widely accepted clinical outcome measures in spinal cord injury research.

Much of Young’s current research focuses on stem cells and nerve regeneration. In Young’s lab, scientists are transplanting stem cells derived from neonatal blood and umbilical cord blood into the spinal cord of rats after injury. Preliminary findings suggest that these cells will survive and migrate in the spinal cord and help restore nerve function.

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The MBL is an international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, visit www.mbl.edu.