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M. Amin Arnaout, HMS professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, was selected to receive the 2018 Homer W. Smith Award

Oct 22, 2018

Arnaout discovered a class of cell adhesion molecules on leukocytes, now known as leukocyte β2 integrins, whose inherited deficiency causes life threatening bacterial infections (NEJM, 1982). He then pioneered a structure-based approach to the biology of integrins, which culminated in his elucidation of the 3-dimentional structure of these receptors. His work was editorialized in Science as "one of those spectacular results that will change a field.”  Arnaout is using integrin structure to address a major drawback in current anti-integrin drugs, namely the inadvertent drug-induced proadhesive shape-shifting activity in these receptors that has been linked to major adverse outcomes in patients. Dr. Arnaout developed first-in-class orthosteric inhibitors that are not partial agonists and has recently shown the effectiveness and safety of one such inhibitor in preventing fibroinflammatory kidney failure in nonhuman primates. These recent studies are rekindling interest in development of safer anti-integrin drugs to treat common diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and cancer. 

The top international award presented by ASN recognizes “an individual who has made outstanding contributions which fundamentally affect the science of nephrology.” In the 54-year history of this award, this is the second time it goes to an HMS physician scientist at Mass General.

Professor and Physician Dr. Mohammed Amin Alaeddine Arnaout (Republic of Lebanon)

Awarded the Kuwait Prize for 2017 in the Field of Applied Sciences- Applied Medical Sciences

Dr. Arnaout was born in the Republic of Lebanon in 1949. He received his medical degree with distinction from the American University of Beirut - Lebanon in 1974. He is currently Physician and Director in the Division of Nephrology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in the United States of America. Dr. Arnaout published 186 papers in high impact scientific and medical journals including Science, Cell, Nature and New England Journal of Medicine, and also published 15 book chapters in his specialty field. His published work was quoted more than 20,334 times, with a 67 h-index, an international author-level metric of the productivity and citation impact of publications by a scientist or scholar.  

Dr. Arnaout is considered a pioneer and an internationally recognized leader in kidney disease. His research has focused on the biology and atomic structure of integrins, receptor proteins of the plasma membrane of living cells that play a central role in cell-cell- and cell-matrix adhesion.