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SEATTLE - (June 15, 2010) - Gerald Nepom, MD, PhD, director of Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) and director of the Immune Tolerance Network, was named a recipient of the David Rumbough Award for Scientific Excellence by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) at its Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Established almost 40 years ago by actress Dina Merrill in honor of her late son, David, the Rumbough Award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievement in diabetes research and service to JDRF.

"The scientists who received these awards represent the best and the brightest, and are the embodiment of the hope and commitment each and every one of us has that treatments will soon be a reality, and that a cure is inevitable," said Dr. Richard Insel, executive vice president of research at JDRF.

Founding BRI's immunology and diabetes research programs, Dr. Nepom is an internationally renowned immunologist and leader in autoimmune disease research. His leadership has made BRI the foremost Type 1 diabetes translational research and clinical trials center in the Pacific Northwest. His contributions to the diabetes field also include the identification and characterization of immune system genes associated with Type 1 diabetes and the use of "tetramer" biomarker technology.

Dr. Nepom previously served as a leader in several organizations, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Autoimmunity Prevention Centers and the JDRF Autoimmunity Centers of Excellence. He is immediate past president of FOCIS, the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies, a worldwide organization dedicated to interdisciplinary research and education in translational immunology.

About the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
JDRF is a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of Type 1 research. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is a disease which strikes children and adults suddenly and requires multiple injections of insulin daily or a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump. Insulin, however, is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation. Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with Type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.4 billion to diabetes research, including more than $100 million last year. For more information, please visit http://www.jdrf.org/.

About Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI), founded in 1956, is an international leader in immune system and autoimmune disease research, translating discoveries to real-life applications. Autoimmune disease happens when the immune system, designed to protect the body, attacks it instead. BRI is one of the few research institutes in the world dedicated to discovering causes and cures to eliminate autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and many others. Visit BenaroyaResearch.org or Facebook/BenaroyaResearch for more information about BRI, clinical studies and the more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases.

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