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Doctor at Cincinnati Children’s receives prestigious NIH MERIT Award to extend research of eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders


Thursday, July 22, 2010Marc E. Rothenberg, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s, has received an NIH MERIT Award to extend funding of his long-standing investigation into “Regulation of Gastrointestinal Eosinophils.”

Dr. Rothenberg received the award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) due to his “stellar record of research accomplishment.”

Eosinophilic disorders occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly treats nutritious food as a dangerous foreign invader. As a result, the body produces an excess of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell that can cause chronic inflammation and tissue damage.

Dr. Rothenberg’s studies are aimed at increasing understanding of the properties of gastrointestinal eosinophils, their involvement in immune responses, and viable methods to block their role in the cause of disease.

The MERIT Award gives investigators the opportunity to obtain up to 10 years of research support in two five-year segments, thereby relieving awardees of the need to prepare frequent renewal applications.

“The backing of our research program through this award will provide us an extraordinary opportunity to enhance our long-term, in-depth pursuit of developing the best therapy and eventual cure for eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases,” says Dr. Rothenberg. “With the MERIT Award extending these studies for another ten years, I am hopeful that truly meaningful research will be accelerated.”

MERIT Awards are offered to a limited number of investigators, with the NIAID selecting approximately 12 annually from its entire research portfolio of hundreds of grants.

“This award is a tribute to the wonderful people associated with my laboratory and research program over the past ten years,” says Dr. Rothenberg. “These diverse researchers are creative and highly interactive, resulting in a productive work environment that, through this award, has been recognized as such by the NIH.”


About the MERIT Award
Established in l986, the Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award is a symbol of scientific achievement in the research community. The MERIT Award provides long-term support to investigators whose research expertise and contributions are both exceptional and sustainable. It is intended to promote their continued ingenuity and to lessen research-associated administrative burdens so that they may persist in furthering their outstanding work.

Contact Information

Kate Setter, 513-636-1297, katherine.setter@cchmc.org,