Boston, MA—Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, was recently awarded the 2007 Linus Pauling Functional Medicine Award from the Institute for Functional Medicine. Holick, an internationally recognized expert in vitamin D and skin research, received the award for decades of pioneering work that elucidated the important role vitamin D plays in a wide variety of chronic health conditions. The award was presented at the 14th International Symposium on Functional Medicine in Tuscon, Arizona.
Holick is a professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, and director of the General Clinical Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine and Director of the Bone Healthcare Clinic at Boston Medical Center.
The Linus Pauling Award is given for research that is changing the way people think about a biomedical problem. Linus Pauling is the only person ever to receive two unshared Nobel Prizes – for chemistry (1954) and for peace (1962). His colleagues often acknowledged Dr. Pauling as the most influential chemist since Lavosier, the 18th Century founder of the modern science of chemistry.
After completing medical school at the University of Wisconsin in 1976, Holick joined the staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital where he did an internship in medicine while simultaneously initiating a basic and clinical research program on the photobiology of vitamin D. Over the next several years he made major contributions in the areas of skin disease, metabolic bone disease, and calcium metabolism.
In 1987, Holick was recruited by Boston University School of Medicine for the position of chief of endocrinology at Boston City Hospital and director of the Clinical Research Center. Since assuming this position, he has initiated numerous clinical research programs. His psoriasis work with active vitamin D is considered to be on the forefront of research into this complex disease. The results of these programs have led to significant contributions in the basic science of vitamin D and more recently into a clearer understanding of the calciotropic hormone, PTHrP and its uses. This translates into remarkable new therapies for a wide diversity of diseases from psoriasis and hair loss to osteoporosis.
Holick has received numerous honors and awards including The American Society for Clinical Nutrition's McCollum Award for his innovative research in the field of photobiology in 1994, and the Psoriasis Research Achievement Award, American Skin Association in 2000, the Robert H. Herman Memorial Award in Clinical Nutrition, American Society for Clinical Nutrition 2002, and the General Clinical Research Centers Program Award for Excellence in Clinical Research in 2006.