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A researcher in the UT Health Science Center’s Graduate School of Medicine in Knoxville recently broke records with a five-year extension of a research grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Alan SolomonThe grant, which has funded work by Dr. Alan Solomon since 1965, is one of the longest active grants in NIH history. It is also the longest running grant from that agency in the history of UT. It has provided more than $12 million in research funding over the last 42 years.

Solomon’s work has focused on the study, diagnosis and treatment of cancer over the entire course of the grant. In the last 10 years, Solomon has added a new focus on amyloidosis, a protein folding disorder associated with a wide range of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, adult-onset (type-2) diabetes and an illness related to multiple myeloma called primary or AL amyloidosis.

"I am very appreciative and grateful for the initial and the continuing NIH grant, which will make it possible for us to achieve our ultimate goal, to improve the outcome of patients with these medically devastating amyloid-associated diseases," Solomon said. "I am thankful to receive this award particularly because so few NIH research grants are being funded at this time due to imposed limitations in governmental support for medical research."

In 1992, Solomon, who received his medical degree from Duke University, was named one of the American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professors and is scientific adviser to the International Myeloma Foundation and the Amyloidosis Research Foundation. He has published more than 250 articles on his research in scientific and medical journals.

Most recently, he garnered national and international attention for finding a link between the enlarged livers of force-fed geese used in the dish known as pate de foie gras and the type of amyloid found in rheumatoid arthritis.