Pictured left to right: Dr. Harold & Beverly Maurer, Drs. Tammy and Mark Kielian
Tammy Kielian, Ph.D., professor of pathology and microbiology, received the Harold M. Maurer, M.D. & Beverly Maurer Scientific Achievement Award at the 14th Annual Tribute Spring Luncheon sponsored by the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures.
Dr. Kielian was recognized for her research on juvenile Batten disease, a neurodegenerative condition that first presents with blindness around 5-10 years of age, then progresses to seizures, cognitive and motor loss, dementia and premature death.
In 2012, Dr. Kielian shifted her research work to study juvenile Batten disease because her niece in Colorado was diagnosed with the disease. She hopes to begin a Phase I clinical trial in the near future to evaluate her use of gene therapy in treating juvenile Batten disease.
The award, which pays a $10,000 stipend, is named after Dr. Maurer, who served as chancellor of UNMC from 1999-2014, and his wife. It was created by the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures to recognize the Maurers for their staunch support of research.
David Crouse, Ph.D., president of the coalition, introduced Dr. Kielian. He said, “She’s more than a rising star. She’s already there. She’s a triple threat — she excels in research, teaching and service.”
Dr. Crouse retired from UNMC in 2012 after 35 years with the medical center. He held several key administrative roles including associate vice chancellor for academic affairs.
Each year at the Tribute Spring Luncheon, the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures honors individuals from Nebraska who have made a difference in the world through their passionate support of medical research.