Matzuk, who also holds the Stuart A. Wallace Chair, Robert L. Moody, Sr. Chair in immunology and pathology, is being awarded the Hill Prize in Medicine. He is among five awardees, the others focusing on engineering, biological sciences, physical sciences and technology. Each of the five winning proposals will receive $500,000 in funding from Lyda Hill Philanthropies to support their work.
The prizes recognize exceptional innovators by providing seed funding to advance groundbreaking science. They aim to bridge the path from research to business development and further innovations that need additional funding for greater impact. A committee of TAMEST members (Texas-based members of the National Academies) selected the recipients, and finalists were endorsed by a committee of Texas Nobel and Breakthrough Prize Laureates and approved by the TAMEST Board of Directors.
Matzuk and his team were chosen for the 2024 Hill Prize in Medicine for creating a novel approach to treat endometriosis, a debilitating chronic disease that occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. This affects nearly 190 million women across the globe and has no effective treatment. It can be extremely painful and make becoming pregnant difficult and also cause other inflammatory side effects.
Matzuk’s team identified a new therapeutic approach to relieve the pain and cause the endometriotic tissue to shrink. They used this research to find several potential drug candidates and will use the prize funding to perform preclinical development studies to create first-in-class non-steroidal drugs to treat endometriosis.
Other awardees include:
- Hill Prize in Engineering Awarded to Maria A. Croyle, Ph.D., the University of Texas at Austin
- Hill Prize in Biological Sciences Awarded to Russell A. DeBose-Boyd, Ph.D. (NAS), UT Southwestern Medical Center
- Hill Prize in Physical Sciences Awarded to Allan H. MacDonald, Ph.D. (NAS), the University of Texas at Austin
- Hill Prize in Technology Awarded to Hermann Lebit, Ph.D., Alma Energy
Awardees will be recognized at the opening reception of the TAMEST 2024 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas.