Professor John Forte

International Awards

Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence - Prevention & Non-invasive Therapy of Gastrointestinal Disorders
2003-2004
Professor John G Forte was born in 1934 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA. He obtained his PhD in 1960 form the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Prof. John Forte's contributions in over forty years of scientific work changed the understanding of the function of the stomach and led to vital and novel development of drugs that have benefited innumerable patients. He is one of the true pioneers in epithelial cell physiology and cell biology.
 
 
Forty years ago he began to study the mechanisms that regulate gastric acid secretion. These studies formed the framework for his groundbreaking discovery that hydrogen ions are transported across the cell membrane by a proton pump that is now known as the H+, K+ - ATPase pump. 
This essential observation was soon expanded upon by the characterization of the pump on the parietal cell and the morphological correlates for the mobilization and sequestration of the proton pump on the cell surface.
 
This understanding of the proton pump formed the basis for the development of a new class of highly selective drugs to reduce acid secretion from the stomach. These drugs, which substituted benzimidazoles, now form the basis for treatment of common gastrointestinal complaints such as gastroesophageal reflux and peptic ulcer disease both of which have gastric acid in common as a cause of mucosal injury.
 
In addition to his contributions to our understanding of the proton pump itself, Professor Forte was the first to hypothesize that acid secretion was mediated by the delivery of the pump to the lumen through fusion of intracellular vesicles with the secretory canniculus He also hypothesized in the 1970s that that the pump was regulated by membrane recycling, a novel concept at the time. Subsequent sophisticated electron microscopy studies and vesicle isolation studies showed that intracellular vesicles fuse with the apical membrane and then recycled back into vesicles after the stimulus to secretion has stopped.
 
Professor Forte's accomplishments have gone beyond his creative and meticulous research. He has developed young investigators many of whom are now in prominent academic positions. His former students recognize him as an outstanding teacher, a role model, selfless in his support and, a person whose scientific and personal integrity are of the highest standards.
 
The eminence with which Professor Forte's research efforts are regarded, together with their impact on the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders is reflected by awards he has received from both the scientific and clinical communities, in the USA and internationally.
 
He is in great demand as plenary speaker at international conferences where he will not only describe his current research but also filter in many new ideas.
 
Professor Forte is eminently qualified to be considered for this prestigious award in recognition of a research career, which has led to him being leader in the field of understanding the mechanisms of acid secretion, by the stomach. His discoveries and their transfer into clinical practice has had a significant impact on human suffering.
 
Professor John G. Forte highly deserves for his outstanding contributions that led to have development of pharmaceutical treatment for gastric ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders, the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence, for the year 2003-2004.
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