SOURCE: PatientsLikeMe, Inc.

July 08, 2008 08:30 ET

PatientsLikeMe Geneticist, Catherine Brownstein, Ph.D. Wins Prestigious Research Award

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - July 8, 2008) - PatientsLikeMe is proud to announce that team geneticist Catherine Brownstein, Ph.D. will receive the 2008 Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR). The award, given for Dr. Brownstein's post-graduate creation and study of the Klotho/HYP double knockout mouse, which further elucidates the genes responsible for bone density and phosphate metabolism, will be conferred this September at the ASBMR Annual Meeting in Montréal, Canada.

"I'm honored and excited to receive such a prestigious award," says Dr. Brownstein. "The ASBMR is a fantastic organization with many brilliant experimental and clinical scientists. I look forward to the meeting in September."

Dr. Brownstein recently joined the PatientsLikeMe Research & Development team to ready its platform for the incorporation of genetic and biomarker information. PatientsLikeMe's unique platform gives patients with life-changing illnesses sophisticated personalized outcome tools that previously were only available to clinical research centers like Yale where Dr. Brownstein completed her award winning work. The open data model of PatientsLikeMe and the thousands of active patients provide a unique new opportunity to do collaborative disease discovery and help improve patients' lives. Dr. Brownstein will be responsible for defining and building the data structures that allow patients, for the first time, to actively participate in disease discovery as well as treatment.

Dr. Brownstein joins an internationally recognized research group including: Paul Wicks, Ph.D., an expert in psychological aspects of neurodegenerative conditions; behavior informaticist Jeana Frost, Ph.D. and social-statistician Michael Massagli, Ph.D., whose recent joint paper on "Social Uses of Personal Health Information Within PatientsLikeMe" is in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research; and Sally Okun, RN, an industry veteran focused on health data integrity for PatientsLikeMe communities. The team is led by James Heywood, co-founder of PatientsLikeMe, and renowned expert on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

"Catherine has received a great honor with this award. Yet, we know her work is just beginning," says Heywood. "Giving patients the power to discover and use genetic information to support discovery and improve care will change the landscape of medicine as we know it."


PatientsLikeMe ( is the leading online health community for patients with life-changing conditions. PatientsLikeMe creates new knowledge by charting the real-world course of disease through the shared experiences of patients with ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, HIV and Mood conditions (including depression, bi-polar, anxiety, OCD and PTSD). While patients interact to help improve their outcomes, the data they provide helps researchers learn how these diseases act in the real world. PatientsLikeMe endeavors to create the largest repository of real-world disease information to help accelerate the discovery of new, more effective treatments.

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