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The University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688

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For Immediate Release

News contact:

Steve McGregor, UTD, (972) 883-2293, [email protected]

U. T. Dallas Scientist Betty Pace to Deliver
Key Speech at National Sickle Cell Meeting

Noted Researcher to Update Colleagues on Gene Therapy Efforts

Dr. Betty PaceRICHARDSON, Texas (April 14, 2004) – Noted University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) researcher Dr. Betty S. Pace will deliver a key address at the 27th annual meeting of the National Sickle Cell Disease Program, to be held April 18-21 at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles.

Pace, associate director of the UTD Sickle Cell Disease Research Center, will give the John Hercules Lecture at a plenary session of the meeting on Wednesday morning, April 21. The title of her remarks is “Sickle Cell Disease: The Promising Path Towards a Gene Therapy Cure.”

Each year, the national meeting draws hundreds of physicians, researchers and health care personnel from the 10 comprehensive sickle cell centers throughout the nation that are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The 2004 meeting is sponsored by the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, site of one of the comprehensive research centers, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes of NIH.

Sickle cell is an inherited red blood cell disease that strikes one in 500 African-Americans. Those who suffer from the disorder have a genetic error in their hemoglobin, causing the red blood cells to become inflexible and sickle-shaped, which leads to blockages in blood vessels and prevents body tissues from receiving oxygen.

“I am greatly honored to be selected to play a significant role in the 2004 national sickle cell meeting,” said Pace. “These meetings are vitally important because they provide physicians and allied health personnel with up-to-date information on the diagnosis and management of sickle cell disease and its complications. By sharing new data on treatment strategies, we hope to improve patient care.”

A medical doctor, Pace is an associate professor of molecular and cell biology at UTD and an adjunct professor at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She heads a research team at UTD that is developing gene-based therapies as a possible cure for sickle cell disease. Last fall, Pace was named to Popular Science magazine’s second annual “Brilliant 10” – a list of some of the most promising young research scientists in the country.

In 2002, the first NIH sickle cell center in the Southwest was established in Dallas. It is a collaboration of UTD, U. T. Southwestern and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 13,700 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.

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