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People in the News: Dennis Lo, Chris Austin

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Dennis Lo has been awarded the Ernesto Illy Trieste Science Prize, which is given to scientists living and working in developing countries whose research has had a significant impact on sustainable development. Lo received the award for his work in the area of non-invasive prenatal diagnostics and his research demonstrating that it is possible to detect the fetal genome from maternal plasma.

Lo is the director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences and a professor of medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He holds a doctorate from Oxford University and an undergraduate degree from Cambridge University.


The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences has named Chris Austin to be the first director of the new center, which launched at the beginning of the year and has so far been run by acting director Thomas Insel.

Austin began his National Institutes of Health career in 2002. Previously, he worked as a genomics researcher at Merck and as a senior advisor to the director for translational research at the National Human Genome Research Institute.

At NHGRI, Austin started the Knockout Mouse Project and the Molecular Libraries Roadmap Initiative. He also served as director of the Therapeutics of Rare and Neglected Diseases program and the NIH Chemical Genomics Center and as scientific director of the NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics.