Sydney professor wins prestigious American Heart Award
6 July 2010
Professor Morris, from Sydney Medical School's School of Medical Sciences and Bosch Institute will receive his prize at a ceremony in Washington DC in October, where he will deliver the Dahl Lecture for 2010.
Professor Morris says he "ecstatic" to win the award, adding, "I guess you could say this is like the Nobel Prize for hypertension research.
"I have been doing research on this for 40 years and I was even present at the 1975 awards ceremony when Lewis Dahl [after whom the award was named] was the winner of the equivalent top award back then."
Professor Morris has been recognised for his major breakthroughs in the field of hypertension, which include: the discovery of prorenin; elucidating renin's biosynthetic pathway; the cloning the human renin gene and working out how it is controlled; pioneering the molecular genetics of hypertension field; discovering gene expression signatures for hypertension; and various other research firsts.
Over his 40-year career, 32 of which he has spent at the University of Sydney, Professor Morris has unravelled key molecular and genetic aspects of this serious medical condition.
"Finding the underlying molecular component of the disease is very exciting and identifying a gene's involvement and getting all the basic knowledge on mechanisms will take us a long way to finding a cure."
High blood pressure is the world's biggest killer, because it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. It affects one-in-three adults.
"It's called the silent killer," says Professor Morris. "A person could be a walking time bomb, not knowing they have high blood pressure."
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