Robert J. Cousins, Boston Family Professor of Nutrition at the University of Florida has won the 23rd Annual Bristol-Myers Squibb/Mead Johnson Award for Distinguished Achievement in Nutrition Research.

Cousins was presented with the $50,000 award for his outstanding contributions to micronutrient research, particularly for his extensive studies on the metabolism and function of zinc in the body, according to Bristol-Myers Squibb. He has been a forerunner for more than 30 years in providing an understanding of how genes regulated by zinc are essential for a number of functions in the body.

His discoveries include uncovering the vital role of intestinal metallothionein—a protein involved in regulating intestinal absorption of dietary zinc—in cellular zinc metabolism and its relationship to zinc deficiency, and finding the zinc-binding properties of cysteine-rich intestinal protein's role in immune defense against infection, which has led to a more complete understanding of how zinc behaves in intestinal...

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