M. Ian Phillips, Ph.D., 2002 Annunzio Award

Written by on July 10, 2002 in 2002, Researcher, The Annunzio STEM Leadership Award

M Ian Phillips

M. Ian Phillips, Ph.D.

University of Florida
College of Medicine
Physiology & Functional Genomics
Gainesville, Florida

Dr. Ian Phillips is internationally known for his basic research on the brain and renin-angiotensin system, and for his invention of potential new therapies for chronic diseases using gene targeting approaches.

He has applied his 30 years of academic and medical research and teaching toward the study of heart and cardiovascular disease that affects millions of people. He has inspired and educated more than 3,000 medical students and 40 Ph.D. and minority students in research.

Dr. Phillips’ recent work has been on developing reverse DNA to inhibit proteins involved in hypertension, athlerosclerosis and cardiac disease. The reverse, “antisense” DNA, is non-toxic, long lasting and effective in reducing blood pressure and improving heart performance during heart attacks. His current work is on “vigilant vectors” which are safe, stable viral vectors. The vector is designed to wait in specific organs until it is switched on when health conditions deteriorate. The vector then provides a burst of protective genes until health is restored. Developed to be switched on during hypoxia in heart attacks and prevent cell damage, the “vigilant vector” concept applies equally to a vast range of chronic diseases. His goal now is to encourage researchers to develop “vigilant vectors” to treat diabetes, stroke, arthritis, renal disease, lung disease, cancer, anemia and other chronic and fatal diseases affecting patients.

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation is honored to have had the assistance of the following distinguished individuals serving on the 2002 Frank Annunzio Awards Evaluation Committee:

Anthony Atala, M.D. – Associate Professor of Surgery at Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. (Dr. Atala was the recipient of the 2000 $100,000 Christopher Columbus Foundation Award.)
Eric Haseltine, Ph.D. – President, Walt Disney Imagineering, Research and Development, Glendale, CA
Gina Ryan, CAE – Executive Director and CEO of the Society of Women Engineers, Chicago, IL
Neill S. Smith, Ph.D. – Senior Engineer, Vehicle Control Technologies, Reston, VA


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