Jonathan V. Pascale, Ph.D. Candidate, Wins Inaugural Melvin H. Amler Prize for Innovation
Mr. Pascale’s Research Surrounds GPR75 Receptor Blockers That Could Prevent Or Reverse Pathologies Associated With GPR75
Jonathan V. Pascale, center, a fifth-year Ph.D. student, was named the inaugural recipient of the Melvin H. Amler Prize for Innovation for his research illuminating the importance of the vasoactive eicosanoid, 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) and its receptor GPR75 at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Biomedical Space Conference, on September 15. 20-HETE and its receptor are implicated across a variety of pathologies including cancer, hypertension, diabetes and most recently, obesity. The award was established in honor of the late Melvin H. Amler, M.S., D.D.S., a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded biomedical researcher and practicing dentist whose creativity inspired his students and colleagues for more than six decades.
Mr. Pascale’s research, done under the mentorship of Michal L. Schwartzman, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology, and Victor Garcia, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology, focuses on discovering more about the underlying mechanism of metabolic syndrome and its associated complications, and the possible creation of therapeutics for those conditions.
“I am incredibly honored to be receiving this award, it feels really good to have your work looked at and realized for its potential,” Mr. Pascale said. “These recent discoveries and what they mean for the fields of GPR75 and 20-HETE are incredibly exciting, and I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to have a part in this ever-growing story.”
With his discovery, Mr. Pascale is working to develop and characterize novel GPR75 receptor blockers that can prevent or reverse the pathologies associated with GPR75. Mr. Pascale’s plans include the investigation of therapeutic potential of a water-soluble GPR75 receptor blocker in the prevention of diet-induced obesity and cardiometabolic disease.
“Jonathan is an extremely dedicated, professional and driven scientist that you can always count on for advice and support. He is always there to help others and share what he has learned, especially with our graduate students at NYMC. We are delighted to see his success as he continues to develop his research project and we are excited to see what his future holds,” Dr. Garcia said.
While delighted with winning the prize—where he received a cash prize, a certificate, as well as an opportunity to seek additional support from New York Medical College (NYMC) faculty—Mr. Pascale is most grateful to Drs. Schwartzman and Garcia for their mentorship.
“Drs. Garcia and Schwartzman have been the greatest inspirations in my long journey in both science and academia. The support and guidance they have given me since the beginning of my Ph.D. studies here at NYMC mean more to me than I can find the words to properly express,” Mr. Pascale said. “I will be forever grateful to the two of them who accepted me into their labs five years ago and granted me the great opportunity to grow and pursue my own scientific interests along the way.”