Raleigh, NC (PressExposure) September 15, 2008 -- The Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society held its annual Dinner of Champions on September 4 at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. More than 250 guests gathered to celebrate the mission of the National MS Society and contributions made by individuals and organizations in North Carolinaâs health and life sciences communities.
Chris Viehbacher, president of North American pharmaceuticals for GlaxoSmithKline, chaired the event that featured a keynote address by former four-term North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt. More than $200,000 was raised for the Societyâs Access to Health Care Fund that will fill gaps in care for people living with multiple sclerosis in eastern North Carolina.
âThe communityâs commitment to the MS cause was evident by its support for the Dinner of Champions,â says Staci Barfield, director of development for the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. âWe were thrilled to celebrate the health and life sciences communities with all of our guests.â
The North Carolina Biotechnology Center presented its inaugural Health and Life Sciences Achievement Awards at the dinner, honoring North Carolina companies and individuals that have contributed significantly to the health and life sciences.
Awards and winners were:
â¢ The Mind to Market Award was presented to Targacept, a Winston-Salem-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in a new class of drugs for the treatment of multiple diseases and disorders of the central nervous system.
â¢ The Breakthrough Research Award was presented to Dr. Michael Ehlers, a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Department of Neurobiology at the Duke University Medial Center. Dr. Ehlers received the award in recognition of his work focused at the interface of cell biology and neural circuit plasticity.
â¢ The Promise for Tomorrow Award recognized student researcher Shivani Sud for developing a model to identify early stage colon cancer patients with a high risk for recurrence. Sud is a graduate of Durhamâs Jordan High School and is a freshman at Princeton University.
â¢ The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jim Hunt, former four-term North Carolina governor, for his sustained efforts in enhancing the health and life sciences communities in North Carolina.
For more information, visit http://www.nationalMSsociety.org/nct.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesnât. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS. Each year, through our home office and 50-state network of chapters, we devote approximately $125 million to programs and services that enhance more than one million lives to move us closer to a world free of MS. In 2007, the Society invested more than $46 million to support 440 research projects around the world. We are people who want to do something about MS NOW. If you or someone you know has MS, please contact the National MS Society today at http://www.nationalMSsociety.org/nct or 1-800 FIGHT MS to learn about ways to help manage multiple sclerosis and about current research that may one day reveal a cure.
About Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body and stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and 2.5 million worldwide.