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UCLA RESEARCHER RECEIVES BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

 LOS ANGELES, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- A UCLA doctor whose research with bone growth means trauma victims can keep the shattered limbs they would otherwise have had amputated is being honored for his work.
 Marshall R. Urist, M.D., is known to the international orthopaedic community as "the father of BMP," a title that represents a lifetime of research spent in pursuit of an ancient gene product that triggers the growth of healthy bone, and as the first to identify the relationship of estrogen, calcium and exercise in osteoporosis.
 For his accomplishments, the UCLA School of Medicine researcher has been chosen by a panel of his peers to receive the 1993 Sixth Annual Bristol-Myers Squibb/Zimmer Award for Distinguished Achievement in Orthopaedic Research. The award will be presented to Dr. Urist Sunday, June 6, at the opening ceremony of the American Orthopaedic Association meeting in Coronado, Calif.
 In 1970, Dr. Urist discovered a protein which he named bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) to describe its ability to induce healthy bone growth in damaged bones through the same process as in the natural development of bone cells. That discovery is leading to a time, perhaps 10 years down the road, when "surgeons will have something on the operating room shelf that will repair bone in patients suffering with skeletal injuries caused by disease or damage," he said.
 Preliminary clinical research with BMP has demonstrated its ability to heal traumatic fractures in patients who would otherwise have limbs amputated. In the last 10 years, Dr. Urist has treated 70 patients with 68 successful outcomes.
 In early 1993, Dr. Urist, who is director of the Bone Research Laboratory at UCLA Medical School, and his colleagues launched a multi- institutional research study to explore the use of BMP in inducing bone growth in patients with traumatic, non-healing fractures or severe congenital bone defects, such as missing bone segments.
 The researchers hope to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration to permit the widespread use of BMP in traumatic nonunions, spinal fusion, reconstructive and implant surgeries.
 In addition to his work with BMP, Dr. Urist was among the first to prospectively study risk factors for osteoporosis, the leading bone disease which affects one in four women over the age of 55. Osteoporosis is a thinning of bone density which weakens the body's skeleton.
 Dr. Urist's research demonstrated that "dowagers hump," a spinal curvature common to elderly women, was actually the result of fractures to the weakened spinal column. He observed that osteoporosis was not attributable simply to estrogen deficiency, inactivity and lack of calcium in the diet, but to a BMP theoretical autoimmune mechanism. His BMP theory could explain why three out of four postmenopausal women never develop osteoporosis.
 Dr. Urist received his medical degree in 1941 from Johns Hopkins Medical School. His career has included assignments at the Pentagon and the Atomic Energy Commission. He joined the faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine in 1948; presently, he is Professor of Surgery (Orthopedics) at the UCLA School of Medicine, an appointment he has held for over 30 years.
 The Bristol-Myers Squibb/Zimmer Award for Distinguished Achievement in Orthopaedic Research is part of a $40 million program of unrestricted medical research grants Bristol-Myers Squibb has sponsored since 1977.
 -0- 6/3/93
 /CONTACT: Tiffany Van Elslander or Kathleen Boylan of Bristol- Myers Squibb, 312-558-1770/


CO: UCLA; Bristol-Myers Squibb ST: California IN: MTC SU:

WB -- NY064 -- 5007 06/03/93 13:01 EDT
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Date:Jun 3, 1993
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