The State of Utah has chosen the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology as a symbol of recognition to those individuals who have provided distinguished service to the State of Utah in the fields of science and technology. Last week eleven Utahns were honored with this award.
We present to you three winners brought to us by Deseretnews.com:
James LeVoy Sorenson of the Sorenson Companies. A renowned entrepreneur who invented and produced many ingenious medical devices, Sorenson is credited with devising the first cardiovascular system to monitor the human heart in real time and with inventing the disposable plastic surgical mask and the plastic venous catheter, says the citation.
“Each of Mr. Sorenson’s inventions not only solved persistent health-care delivery problems, but also made the practice of medicine safer, more effective and more comfortable for patients.”
Daniel Simmons, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Brigham Young University, Provo. His discovery of the COX-2 and COX-3 enzymes and his clarifying the action of COX-2 “form the basis of the majority of treatments for pain and inflammation in common use today,” says the citation.
Simmons told this newspaper that the COX-2 enzyme is “the target site of all the aspirin-like drugs.” Discovering this allowed scientists to better understand how these drugs work.
Blood-thinning caused by aspirin works through COX-1, while anti-inflammatory action happens through COX-2. Because of these discoveries, pharmaceutical companies could develop improved painkillers. Will new medicines be produced? “Oh yes,” he said. “We’re just looking at the beginning of this…
“What we would like to have is a drug that keeps the stomach from becoming ulcerated but has a potent anti-inflammatory activity” without cardiovascular problems.
Richard Koehn, former vice president for research at the U. and co-founder of Sentrx Surgical, a new biotech company. The citation says, “Dr. Koehn has lectured on science and technology in more than 20 countries; has authored over 200 articles, papers, books and presentations; and has sat on over 50 boards and committees ranging from the sciences to the arts.”