Anthony Cerami: A Life in Translational Medicine (Hardcover)

Anthony Cerami: A Life in Translational Medicine By Conrad Keating Cover Image
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Since the turn of the new millennium, ‘translational research’, the scientific process of bringing disease-targeted knowledge from the laboratory to treat patients in the clinic, has gone mainstream and is now practiced by large universities and institutes across the globe.  Into this dynamic of the rapidly changing world of translational medical research this book sets the life of one of the discipline’s most influential practitioners, Anthony Cerami. His work spans more than five decades and culminated in the discovery, invention and development of diagnostics and therapeutics used daily by millions of people. Students in molecular medicine and investigators pursuing basic science in the hope of improving human health will find inspiration in examining the sacrifices and achievements of Cerami’s career in translational medicine. During his three decades at Rockefeller University his cross-disciplinary and laboratory-without-wall approach established ‘rational drug design’ as the most effective means of advancing the fields of parasitology, hematology, immunology, metabolism, therapeutics and molecular medicine. Cerami’s story and that of the evolution of translation are intimately entwined: the contours of Cerami’s career shaped by developments in translation, and in exchange, the field itself molded by Cerami’s work.  To understand one is to understand the other. By examining the life of this often overlooked biochemist it is possible to intimately focus on the ideas and thought processes of a scientist who has helped to define the great acceleration in translational research over the past half century – research that, knowingly or otherwise, has most likely affected the life of almost everyone on the planet.  We also gain a better understanding of the febrile creative atmosphere that percolated through the laboratories leading the way in translational medicine, and gain insight into the art, science, successes, failures and providence that underlie major scientific breakthroughs.  Anybody interested in the questions of where modern medicines come from, how health outcomes around the globe are affected by research and imagination, and where the future of drug discovery is leading, will be rewarded by exploring Cerami’s life in translation.  This book is not restricted to those with a professional interest in science, because anyone dedicated to living a life of creativity and discovery will be rewarded by reading this book.  In many respects, Cerami’s life reflects the modern metaphor of the ‘American dream’ with his journey from humble beginnings on a chicken farm in rural New Jersey, to occupying a place in  the highest echelons of the US scientific establishment.  His journey in translational medicine was propelled forward by two obsessions; the idea that he could help people who were sick, and the excitement of discovery. In following his two great passions, he trained a generation of specialists in translational medicine that continue to transform our understanding of, and treatments for, human disease.  Anthony Cerami’s work has shown how science has become an important force for social change by laying the foundations of modern translational medicine.

About the Author

CONRAD KEATING is the Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Professor at the School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin. Keating had previously been the Writer-in-Residence at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Oxford. His most recent publication is the widely acclaimed medical biography Kenneth Warren and the Great Neglected Diseases of Mankind Program: The Transformation of Geographical Medicine in the US and Beyond. In 2013 Keating curated the exhibition ‘800 Years of Oxford Innovation: Great Medical Discoveries’ for the Bodleian Library and wrote the accompanying book Great Medical Discoveries: An Oxford Story. Keating’s other major work in the history of medicine is Smoking Kills: The Revolutionary Life of Richard Doll. Keating also has an Art of Medicine essay series on the history of randomized controlled trials in The Lancet; in April 2020 his article ‘A history of the RTS,S Malaria Vaccine’ was published as the 3rd essay in this ten-part series.

Praise For…

“Tony Cerami has been one of the most creative exponents of translational medicine. He has combined innovative science with novel approaches to experimental medicine to better understand the basis of disease and how therapies work and his insights into diseases such as sleeping sickness and diabetes have had a wide impact on medicine.”
— Sir John Bell

“Translation of scientific discoveries into useful applications is central to modern biomedicine, leading to the development of new and more effective ways of treating human disease. Anthony Cerami has played a critical role in establishing and promoting translation through a half-century career in laboratory research aimed at new methodologies and rational drug design for improved diagnosis and therapies. Read this book to follow his life from a chicken farm to respected biomedical scientist, and to learn how translation has evolved in recent decades and has brought benefit to humankind through better treatment of disease.”
— Sir Paul Nurse

"This is a fascinating profile of a remarkable man who throughout his life has made key contributions to the warp and the weft of translational medicine. His work on cachectin/TNF alone has had a huge impact, contributing both to transformational treatments for inflammatory diseases and to the reshaping of the pharmaceutical industry.”
— Sir Greg Winter

“Tony Cerami is one of the great unsung heroes of biomedical research. His discoveries had a direct impact on the development of cytokine inhibitors as a strategy to treat inflammatory diseases. Conrad Keating has done a great job in telling Tony’s story and conveying his huge contribution to translational medicine.”
— Luke O'Neill

"A 'smooth' read that describe[s] [Anthony Cerami's] scientific successes as well as his scientific and personal failures. After reading this book, it is clear to me that most scientists would do well to emulate the successes of Dr. Cerami but to also avoid his failures. Nonetheless, as clearly covered in this book, his career was exciting and constantly challenging....This will make a good summer beach read."
— Howard Young, Ph.D.,
Product Details
ISBN: 9781978801400
ISBN-10: 1978801408
Publisher: Rutgers University Press Medicine
Publication Date: August 13th, 2021
Pages: 218
Language: English