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The American Heart Association's Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher -To Dr. Rabea Asleh of the Technion

Dr. Rabea Asleh
Dr. Rabea Asleh

23 September, 2007

He is the first Israeli researcher to receive this prestigious prize


Dr. Rabea Asleh of the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and The Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences has been chosen as this year’s outstanding young researcher by the American Heart Association. This is the first time that this prestigious prize, which is awarded to one researcher annually, has been won by a young Israeli researcher.


Dr. Asleh was born and grew up in Kfar Arabe. He completed his medical studies (MD/PhD) with excellence at the Technion and was on the President’s List of Outstanding Students throughout his studies. In addition, he won the Wolfe Prize and the Israeli Diabetes Association Prize. He is about to begin his specialization in ophthalmology at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, as well as a post-doctorate working with Prof. Andrew Levy’s of the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine.


In the research that won the American Heart Association’s prestigious prize, Dr. Asleh expanded understanding of the connection between the protein haptoglobin 2-2 and heart diseases in diabetics. Moreover, he also found one of the main reasons that diabetics develop heart diseases. “Diabetics who have the protein haptoglobin 2-2 are five times more likely to develop heart diseases than diabetics who have the protein haptoglobin 1-1, which is a good protein,” he explains. “In my research, I found that haptoglobin 2-2 can bind to the ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) and decreases the patient’s anti-atherogenic and anti-oxidant properties. As a result of this, diabetic patients with haptoglobin 2-2 have a higher likelihood of developing atherosclerosis and heart attacks. We found that treating diabetics who have haptoglobin 2-2 with vitamin E improves the condition by lowering oxidative stress in the blood vessel wall. But if we can find a way to inhibit this binding, it will improve the diabetic’s condition even more and we will be able to decrease the rate of cardiac complications in these diabetics.”


The prize will be awarded to Dr. Rabea Asleh at a scientific conference that will take place in November 2007 in Florida. At this conference, his research, for which he received the prize, will be presented.


Technion Spokesman, Amos Levav – 052-4524873

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