Trevena, Inc. Founder Honored with National Medal of Science


Dr. Robert Lefkowitz has been awarded the National Medal of Science for his contribution to biology, and will receive the award from President Bush at a White House ceremony on Monday September 29th.

Dr. Lefkowitz, 65, who is currently an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at Duke University Medical Centre, has been recognized for his pioneering work understanding the G-protein coupled receptor system and its application in medical science. Pharmaceutical products that target GPCRs represent over 40% of marketed drugs today. "I have spent my career figuring out what the structure and function of these receptors are," he said. "My most recent research could have applications for a whole new generation of drugs acting on these receptors."

Lefkowitz recently co-founded a start-up biotechnology company called Trevena, Inc., to apply his current research to the discovery and development of novel GPCR-targeted medicines for patients. "The recognition of Bob's work through this prestigious award underlines the importance of his tremendous contribution to this field over many years. We feel privileged to work with Bob to translate some of his findings into novel life-saving medicines," said Trevena CEO, Maxine Gowen, Ph.D.

Following undergraduate and medical studies at Columbia University in New York, and Residency training in Internal Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Lefkowitz spent two years as a researcher at the National Institutes of Health. After completing his clinical training in medicine and cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, he joined Duke in 1973, where he continues to teach in addition to conducting research, and acts as an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. When asked what this award means to him, Dr. Lefkowitz replied, "This is not only a personal and professional honor, but I see it as a tribute to the many talented students and fellows I have had the pleasure of working with in my research," and added "I am as excited about the future as I have ever been."

About Trevena, Inc.

Trevena, Inc. is a Philadelphia-based drug discovery company focused on developing pharmaceutical products targeting G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Trevena's drug discovery platform, licensed from Duke University Medical Center, is based on extensive research from the Duke laboratories of the scientific founders Robert J Lefkowitz, M.D., James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Howard A. Rockman, M.D., Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine and Edward Orgain Professor of Cardiology. Trevena's drug discovery portfolio is currently focused on programs for cardiovascular and CNS indications. Trevena is privately held.

Source: Trevena, Inc.